Sean Connery, the first and by many accounts the best James Bond, died on Saturday at the age of 90. Connery was in the Bahamas and died in his sleep, BBC reported.
The Scottish actor first appeared as Ian Fleming’s British spy in Dr No (1962). Connery played agent 007 in six more films, culminating in Never Say Never Again (1983).
His career included popular non-Bond movies, including The Untouchables (1987), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), The Hunt for Red October (1990), The Rock (1996) and Entrapment (1999).
Connery was born Thomas Sean Connery into a working-class family in Edinburgh on August 25, 1930. He dropped out of school at the age of 13 and worked a series of odd jobs, including delivering milk, polishing coffins and posing as a model at the Edinburgh College of Art, a BBC obituary
In 1953, Connery moved to London and picked up minor roles in plays, films and television shows. His first leading role was as a boxer in the 1957 movie Blood Money.
Connery was chosen to play James Bond over Richard Burton, Cary Grant and Rex Harrison. The success of Dr No in 1962 set him on the path to global stardom. In between playing the martini-swilling secret agent, Connery headlined Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller Marnie (1964) and Sidney Lumet’s World War II drama The Hill (1965).
After opting out of the Bond franchise in the 1980s – he was replaced by Roger Moore – Connery appeared in such films as The Man Who Would Be King (1975), Time Bandits (1981) and The Name of the Rose (1986). He won a supporting actor Oscar for his role as an Irish policeman in Brian De Palma’s The Untouchables.
Connery was knighted in 2000. The knighthood “was reportedly held up by the Labour government because of his support for Scottish independence”, BBC noted.
Among those paying tribute to Connery on Twitter was Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the Scottish National Party.