Sean Connery, the legendary actor best known for his role as James Bond, died this morning (Oct. 31), his family has revealed. The BBC reports that he had died overnight in his sleep, while in the Bahamas. Connery had turned 90 on August 25. No cause of death has yet been revealed, though the BBC indicated that “he had been unwell for some time.”
Many actors have taken on the iconic role of 007, the British secret agent created by Ian Fleming. And most have looked quite fit in the suits, tuxedos, safari outfits, swimming trunks, and other costumes, both formal and casual, that the part required. And ordered a martini “shaken, not stirred.” And paired with such legendary “Bond girls” as Ursula Andress, Honor Blackman, Halle Berry, Jane Seymour, and Barbara Bach, with such “wink, wink” names as Pussy Galore and Holly Goodhead.
And though it’s been since 1983 that Sean Connery has starred as 007, the first Bond is quite simply the best Bond. This isn’t meant to take anything away from the men who followed him: in order, George Lazenby (1), Roger Moore (7), Timothy Dalton (2), Pierce Brosnan (4), and Daniel Craig (5). (And we shouldn’t overlook David Niven, who portrayed Bond in the original Casino Royale, an all-star spoof from 1967).
But Connery, who turned 90 on August 25, 2020, and debuted the character in 1962, continues to be synonymous with the role.
Let’s rattle off his list: Dr. No (1962), From Russia With Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967), Diamonds Are Forever (1971) and Never Say Never Again (1983). That’s a Murderers’ Row of spy thrillers, all by one guy.
His post-Bond movie roles include such memorable films as 1975’s The Man Who Would Be King, 1987’s The Untouchables (for which he won his sole Oscar, for Best Supporting Actor), 1989’s Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, 1990’s The Hunt For Red October, and 1996’s The Rock. But he’ll forever be known as 007.
Connery was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000.