Legendary Scottish actor Sir Sean Connery, who first brought James Bond to the screen, has died at the age of 90.
His family announced that he had died overnight in his sleep in the Bahamas, after being unwell for some time.
The Academy Award and BAFTA-winning actor, whose career spanned decades, was best known for his portrayal of 007, bringing author Ian Fleming’s dashing secret agent to life seven times, starting with 1962’s Dr No.
Connery became the epitome of the dashing Mr Bond, playing him in several instalments including From Russia with Love, Goldfinger and Thunderball.
His other films included The Untouchables, The Hunt for Red October and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
Tributes to screen legend
Tributes have begun to pour in for the legend.
Daniel Craig, current Bond actor, said Connery “defined an era and a style”.
“It is with such sadness that I heard of the passing of one of the true greats of cinema,” A statement from Craig said.
“Sir Sean Connery will be remembered as Bond and so much more. He defined an era and a style. The wit and charm he portrayed on screen could be measured in mega watts; he helped create the modern blockbuster.
“He will continue to influence actors and film-makers alike for years to come. My thoughts are with his family and loved ones. Wherever he is, I hope there is a golf course.”
James Bond producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli said they were “devastated” by his death, pointing out he was the first ever Bond.
“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 producers said his “gritty, witty (and) sexy” fashioning of Bond was a “revolution”.
He is undoubtedly largely responsible for the success of the film series and we shall be forever grateful to him.”
Kiwi actor Sam Neill featured in the 1990 movie The Hunt for Red October with Connery.
“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. RIP that great man, that great actor,” Neill said.
Australian actor Hugh Jackman said he grew up “idolising” Sean Connery.
The British Film Institute said: “We’re deeply saddened to hear of the passing of iconic actor Sir Sean Connery, aged 90.”
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts, which hands out the BAFTA Awards, also paid tribute.
“We are very sorry to hear of the death of British acting legend Sir Sean Connery.
“He was a BAFTA Fellow, a BAFTA Special Award recipient and won a Leading Actor BAFTA in 1988 for The Name Of The Rose.”
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the Edinburgh born actor was a “proud Scot” and a “global legend”.
“Our nation today mourns one of her best loved sons,” Ms Sturgeon siad in a statement.
“It was a privilege to have known Sean. When I last spoke to him it was clear even then that his health was failing – but the voice, the spirit and the passion that we all loved so well were still there.
“I will miss him. Scotland will miss him. The world will miss him.”
Knighted by the Queen
Connery was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 2000.
He retired from acting in 2006, and in recent years had largely become a recluse, rarely leaving a gated community in the Bahamas where he lived with his second wife Micheline Roquebrune.
He celebrated his 90th birthday in August, when he was spotted in public for the first time in three years looking cheerful as he enjoyed a round of golf.
“It’s all set up for him there, all his needs are covered in the Bahamas,” a source told The Sun at the time.
“He doesn’t venture out of Lyford Cay much and has people visit him instead. He has become a bit of a recluse.”
Prior to August the last time he had been seen in public was in New York in 2017, when he was seen needing a walking stick.
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