Legendary Scottish actor Sean Connery, whose five-decade-long movie career was dominated by the role of James Bond, has died at the age of 90, his family told the BBC on Saturday.
Connery was raised in near poverty in the slums of Edinburgh and worked as a coffin polisher, milkman and lifeguard before his bodybuilding hobby helped launch an acting career that made him one of the world’s biggest stars.
He will be remembered first as British agent 007, the character created by novelist Ian Fleming and immortalized by Connery in films starting with “Dr. No” in 1962.
Connery, who was awarded a knighthood in 2000 for his contribution to the arts, played the British spy in seven movies, beginning with “Dr. No” in 1962, the first of the Bond movies.
As Bond, his debonair manner and wry humor in foiling flamboyant villains and cavorting with beautiful women belied a darker, violent edge, and he crafted a depth of character that set the standard for those who followed him in the role.
Connery also starred in an Alfred Hitchcock film, 1964’s “Marnie,” opposite Tippi Hedren; was part of the all-star cast in 1974’s “Murder on the Orient Express”; played Indiana Jones’ father, in 1989’s “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”; and won an Academy Award for best-supporting actor for his performance as Chicago cop Jim Malone in the 1987 film “The Untouchables.”
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she was “heartbroken” to hear of Connery’s death.
“Our nation today mourns one of her best loved sons,” she said in a statement Saturday. “Sean was a global legend but, first and foremost, he was a patriotic and proud Scot. His towering presence at the opening of the Scottish Parliament was a sign of his dedication to his country,” she said.