Sean Connery dies

Tributes pour in for James Bond star

by Jennie Kermode

Sean Connery as James Bond
Sean Connery as James Bond

Sean Connery, one of the biggest stars of his generation, has died at the age of 90.

The Scottish actor, whose iconic performance as James Bond brought him worldwide fame, was also celebrated for his work in The Untouchables, The Name Of The Rose, Highlander, The Hunt For Red October and Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade, among many other hits.

His career as Ian Fleming's suave and sartorial spy began with Dr No and encompassed From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, Diamonds Are Forever and Never Say Never Again.

The son of a factory worker and a cleaning woman, Connery served in the Navy and worked as a milkman, a lorry driver and a lifeguard as well as coming close to a career as a professional footballer before he got into acting, which happened accidentally when he was working backstage in the King's Theatre in his native Edinburgh. In 1957 he moved from theatre to film with a bit part in No Road Back, which led to a role in Hell Drivers, where he made a big impression. From then on there was no looking back. Over the course of his career he would win an Oscar, two BAFTAs and three Golden Globes.

Outside acting, Connery was passionately committed to Scottish independence and a member of the SNP. He also had a great passion for golf. He collaborated with Richard Demarco on the Scottish International Educational Trust and was an honorary patron of the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Connery passed away in his sleep following an illness. He is survived by his wife Micheline Roquebrune, a painter with whom he spent 45 years, and his son, the actor Jason Connery, from a previous marriage.

Tributes have been pouring in from his fellow actors, with his close friend Michael Caine calling him "a great star, brilliant actor and a wonderful friend," Robert Carlyle calling him "a trailblazer" and Hugh Jackman describing him as "a legend on screen, and off."

"Every day on set with Sean Connery was an object lesson in how to act on screen. But all that charisma and power- that was utterly unique to Sean," tweeted Sam Neill.

Scotland's First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, also paid tribute, saying "I was heartbroken to learn this morning of the passing of Sir Sean Connery. Our nation today mourns one of her best loved sons."

"Wherever he is, I hope there is a golf course," said Daniel Craig.

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