Sean Connery: “James Bond” Actor Dies at 90


Chloe Wong, Staff Writer

Sir Sean Connery, whose performance as Agent 007 in the original James Bond series that earned him accolade and recognition, has died at the age of 90. According to his son, Connery was ailing with dementia before his death and had been unwell for several years. He passed away on Oct. 31, in Nassau, Bahamas, as confirmed by Eon Productions.

“We are devastated by the news of the passing of Sean Connery,” producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli said in an official statement. “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’—he revolutionized the world with his gritty and witty portrayal of the sexy and charismatic secret agent. He is undoubtedly largely responsible for the success of the film series, and we shall be forever grateful to him.”

Connery was born on Aug. 25, 1930 to Euphemia “Effie” McBain McLean and Joseph Connery in the area of Fountainbridge, Scotland. Connery was of Irish descent and, at the young age of 16, enlisted in the Royal Navy. He served for three years before being discharged because of a medical ulcer. After being employed in various jobs—including lorry driving, laboring, modeling, and coffin polishing—Connery made an additional living by working backstage in theaters and landing small roles in productions such as South Pacific. But his breakthrough came in 1962 in the form of the role of James Bond, a British secret agent famous for his charisma and daring escapades. 

Between 1962 and 1967, Connery portrayed the debonair Agent 007 in the first five Bond films: Dr. No, From Russia with Love, Goldfinger, Thunderball, and You Only Live Once. Generally opposed to the commitment of a film series, Connery was reluctant to take the role but did so for the sake of his career. He departed from the job after the fifth movie but returned for the seventh Bond film in 1971, and then once more in 1983. His presence, magnetism, and suave attitude gained him critical recognition, including a Golden Globes Henrietta Award, an Academy Award, two BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) awards, and a knighthood for services to film drama. 

But despite all the acclaim, Connery had something of a love-hate relationship with the iconic role of 007. In Andrew Yule’s Sean Connery: Neither Shaken Nor Stirred,  actor Michael Caine said, “If you were [Connery’s] friend in these early days you didn’t raise the subject of Bond. He was, and is, a much better actor than just playing James Bond, but he became synonymous with Bond. He’d be walking down the street, and people would say, ‘Look, there’s James Bond.’ That was particularly upsetting to him.”

Although Connery will always be remembered for his role as James Bond, he played many parts outside of the smooth-talking English spy. His other notable works include The Man Who Would Be King, Highlander, Highlander II: The Quickening, Rising Sun, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Murder on the Orient Express, The Untouchables, and Indian Jones and The Last Crusade, to name a few.