The Screen Room
Star of the Week: Sean Connery
It was my intention to feature a female actor/actress this week but in light of the recent sad news of his passing, this week’s star of the week is:
Sir Sean Connery
Born Thomas Sean Connery (named Thomas after his grandfather), “The Greatest Living Scott” (according to a 2004 poll) will to many of us always be remembered as James Bond.
Before deciding to pursue a career in acting though, Connery had a brief stint in the Royal Navy. He joined when he was just 16 but was discharged three years later on medical grounds.
From the age of 18 he trained as a bodybuilder and when he was 23 competed in the 1953 Mr Universe contest held in London.
In the years before he found fame playing everyone’s favourite British Secret Service agent, Connery had a number of jobs. He was a milkman, a swimming pool life guard, a lorry driver, a labourer, an artist’s model and a coffin polisher of all things!
A man of many talents, Sir Sean was also a keen footballer in his youth and was even offered a contract with Manchester United after their then manager, Matt Busby saw him play in a match. Connery was tempted to accept but worked out that a professional footballer could be “over the hill” by 30 and since he was already 23, decided to become an actor instead.
He started his acting career in small theatre and tv productions and by the time he landed his breakthrough role of Bond in Dr. No (1962), he’d already been acting on the screen for around eight years and had quite a few acting credits under his belt.
As we all know Sean Connery was the first man to utter the famous words, "The name's Bond...James Bond" on screen and played the iconic character in six Eon Productions movies: Dr. No (1962), From Russia with Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967) and Diamonds Are Forever (1971). He reprised the role of Bond 12 years later for the non Eon Productions Bond film, Never Say Never Again (1983). It was the last time he’d play the character.
Although many people consider Connery to be the best Bond, Ian Fleming (the author of the Bond novels) was initially against the idea of the “unrefined” Scots actor playing 007 and apparently wanted Cary Grant instead. After seeing his performance in Dr. No though he changed his mind, admitting Connery was “ideal” for the role and even adapted future novels to give the character a Scots background.
Despite the massive success that the Bond franchise brought Connery, he eventually got tired of the character and of being associated with him.
He went on to appear in around 50 non Bond related movies, playing characters such as Indiana Jones’ dad, “Henry” in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), providing the voice to the Dragon, “Draco” in DragonHeart (1996) and showing up at the end of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991) as King Richard the Lionheart.
Over seven decades he carved out a successful career becoming one of the most loved and respected actors to ever grace the screen.
He’ll be greatly missed.
My top 5 Sean Connery movies are:
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
The Untouchables (1987)
The Rock (1996)
First Knight (1995)
What are yours? 🤔