Sean Connery Has Died At 90
Over the weekend, the ghosts of Roger Moore and David Niven (come on, he counts) shook a cold vodka martini and pulled up a chair at the table of Bonds who have passed. Because we learned that on Saturday, October 31st, Sean Connery, legend of film and the first James Bond to ever appear on screen, died at the age of 90.
According to BBC News, Sir Sean Connery died in his sleep in Nassau, Bahamas. His son Jason Connery told BBC News that he was surrounded by family when he passed, and adds:
“We are all working at understanding this huge event as it only happened so recently, even though my dad has been unwell for some time. 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.”
Sean’s second wife Micheline Roquebrune provided a bit more information about Sean’s death, explaining that he was battling dementia in the final years of this life, via The Hollywood Reporter:
“It was no life for him. He was not able to express himself latterly. At least he died in his sleep and it was just so peaceful.”
Roquebrune went on to share that Connery “got his final wish to slip away without any fuss.” “I was with him all the time and he just slipped away. It was what he wanted.”
Having been married since 1975, Roquebrune described her late husband as “a model of a man.” “He was gorgeous and we had a wonderful life together. He was a model of a man. It is going to be very hard without him, I know that. But it could not last for ever and he went peacefully.”
Sean Connery announced his retirement from acting in 2006 after accepting a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute, and since then he only appeared in one project (voice-over work on a 2012 Scottish animated film).
Obviously, just about everyone knows Sean Connery as the first James Bond, and depending on who you ask, the best James Bond. And he was kind of a lot like the rough, charismatic tough guy he portrayed. Born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1930, Sean Connery only got into acting after dropping out of high school, joining the Navy, getting discharged from the Navy, then working a series of jobs that included driving a delivery truck, working as a life guard, a coffin polisher, and a drawing class model. He got into entertainment after applying for a job in a theater. In 1957, after appearing as a background extra in a few films, he landed several small film roles. In 1962, he played James Bond in Dr. No, and basically became a huge star, because goddamn if people don’t love those Bond movies.
Sean Connery was vocal about how much he didn’t think he was James Bond, and how he didn’t love all the fame he got from playing that role in seven films. But the good news for him was that he was able to have a pretty successful non-Bond career. He appeared in the 1974 version of Murder on the Orient Express, Robin and Marian, Highlander, The Hunt for Red October, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. He played Indiana Jones’ dad in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and won the 1987 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for The Untouchables.
Of course to some people, Sean Connery was also a man who allegedly got violent with his first wife, Diane Cilento. Or the guy who advocated for slapping women in a 1965 Playboy interview (and then again, in a 1987 interview with Barbara Walters, in which he claimed he was still pro-slap, but that it totally depends on the “circumstance“). And, for a few others, Sean Connery’s legacy begins and ends with Darrell Hammond’s iconic Celebrity Jeopardy impression on Saturday Night Live.
In the handful of films I mentioned above, you might have noticed I left out Zardoz, and that’s because Sean Connery is Zardoz to me (or as he’d pronounce it, Shardozsh). Any man with that much chest hair and the ability to wear those red undies should be proud that that’s such a big part of their legacy.
yes bond is iconic, but never forget sean connery’s turn in ZARDOZ as a barbarian with a ponytail who worships a flying stone god that can grant eternal life pic.twitter.com/NrrrpLAGUO
— keaton kilde (@keatonkildebell) October 31, 2020