Several actors have played the role of 007, James Bond. But none has made the role their very own like Scottish actor Sean Connery who died in his sleep yesterday, 31st October 2020 in Nassau, The Bahamas, aged 90.
Sir Thomas Sean Connery is best known as the first actor to portray James Bond in film, starring in seven of such movies between 1962 and 1983.
Born on 25th August 1930, in Fountainbridge, Edinburgh, Scotland, Connery was knighted by the Queen of England in 2000 and became Sir Sean. He was recognised even by his peers and those who also got to act the role of James Bond as the real 007 because of his smoothness and flamboyance – the ladies’ man.
007 was the spy created by journalist and writer Ian Fleming, as a secret agent who was licensed to kill, especially in those days of the Cold War when Russia and anything Russian was villainous and against British and world interest. The James Bond role with the fast cars, blazing guns, gadgets, beautiful women, whiskey and martinis suited Sir Sean so well that his real life could not be separated from his life on the screen.
He played James Bond in the first five Bond films:
- Dr. No (1962)
- From Russia with Love (1963)
- Goldfinger (1964)
- Thunderball (1965)
- You Only Live Twice (1967)
He then appeared again as James Bond in:
- Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
- Never Say Never Again (1983).
All the seven Bond films he acted in were block busters and made fortune for the producers and actors.
In school those days, many of us cut classes and climbed the school wall to go watch any new Bond film that was showing in the Cinema Houses. You were not ‘hip’ if you could not quote a popular line from the latest James Bond film. He was that popular.
In 58 years, 27 James Bond films have been made, with Sean Connery and the following as 007 – David Niven, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig.
Apart from the James Bond movies, Sean Connery acted in several other movies, with him as lead actor in most of them. The films include The Untouchables, The Name of the Rose, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Man Who Would Be King and Hunt for Red October.
Others are Zardoz (1974), The Presidio (1988), Outland (1981), The Wind And The Lion (1975), A Bridge Too Far (1977), The Rock (1996), Never Say Never Again (1983), Highlander (1986), The Russia House (1990), The Great Train Robbery (1979), and Time Bandits (1981). Indeed, there are many more!
Thomas Sean Connery was born in the Fountainbridge area of Edinburgh on 25 August 1930, the son of a Catholic factory worker and a Protestant domestic cleaner. His father’s family had emigrated from Ireland in the 19th Century; his mother traced her line back to Gaelic speakers from the Isle of Skye.
Royal Navy Commander James Bond, code number 007, is a fictional character created by the British journalist and novelist Ian Fleming in 1952. The character appeared in a series of twelve novels and two short story collections written by Fleming and a number of continuation novels and spin-off works after Fleming’s death in 1964. There have been twenty-seven films in total, produced between 1962 and 2020.
Ian Fleming portrayed James Bond as a tall, athletic, handsome secret agent in his thirties or forties; he has several vices, including drinking, smoking, gambling, automobiles and womanizing. He is an exceptional marksman, and he is skilled in unarmed combat, skiing, swimming and golf. While Bond kills without hesitation or regret, he usually kills only when carrying out orders, while acting in self-defence, and occasionally as revenge. That was the Bond that Sean Connery played to the admiration and enjoyment of movie goers worldwide.
Nassau, Bahamas, his place of death yesterday represent all the beautiful locations which his acting career, particularly the Bond scenes, took him in pursuit of enemies of the good old British Empire and the free world, with blue seas and resorts that look unbelievable and unachievable except to the rich and famous.
Sir Sean celebrated his 90th birthday on the 25th of last August. He is survived by his wife, Micheline Roquebrune, and son, Jason.
IMAGE CREDITS: Reuters, BBC
Epa Ogie Eboigbe, veteran journalist, broadcaster and public affairs specialist writes on, and analyses current and historical issues with a ‘wise pen’.