Sean Connery, the Scottish actor who gained international stardom playing James Bond, has died, according to the producers of the film franchise. He was 90.
“We are devastated by the news of the passing of Sir Sean Connery, Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli said in a statement Saturday on the official 007 Twitter account. “He was and shall always be remembered as the original James Bond whose indelible entrance into cinema history began when he announced those unforgettable words — ‘The name’s Bond… James Bond.’
The two went on to credit Connery with making the franchise a success.
“He revolutionised the world with his gritty and witty portrayal of the sexy and charismatic secret agent. He is undoubtedly largely responsible for the success of the film series and we shall be forever grateful to him,” they added.
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Connery’s son said his father had been “unwell for some time,” and passed away peacefully in his sleep in the Bahamas, where he lived.
“A sad day for all who knew and loved my dad and a sad loss for all people around the world who enjoyed the wonderful gift he had as an actor,” Jason Connery told the BBC.
Sean Connery was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in August 1930. As a teenager he joined the Royal Navy, but a few years later was discharged on medical grounds. He returned home and worked a series of odd jobs. Then in 1951, he began helping out at a local theater and developed an interest in acting.
Connery’s breakthrough role came as British secret agent James Bond in the 1960s.
He made his first turn as 007 in Dr. No (1962). We would later appear in From Russia with Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967), Diamonds are Forever (1971), and Never Say Never Again (1983).
After moving on from the film series, the actor had roles in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Hunt for Red October, Highlander, and The Rock. Connery won a best supporting actor Academy Award for his portrayal of a Chicago cop in the 1987 Brian De Palma film The Untouchables.
Among his other honors, Queen Elizabeth II proclaimed Connery a British knight and he was a Kennedy Center honoree in 1999.
Sean Connery is survived by his wife, a brother and sons Jason and Stefan.