Sean Connery: Not Just A Spy Who Brought James Bond To Life
Sean Connery: 007 For Life
Scotsman Sean Connery, who passed away on October 31, was the first Hollywood actor who brought Ian Fleming's MI6 sleuth James Bond to life on on the big screen. Connery, the son of a cleaning lady and a factory worker in Edinburgh, debuted as the first on-screen 007 agent in 'Dr No' in 1962. Directed by Terence Young, the film had him as a resourceful British government agent probing the disappearance of a colleague and the disruption of the American space program. While Connery was appreciated for his striking looks and imposing personality, Swiss actress Ursula Andress shot to fame as the bikini-clad Honey Ryder whose sultry screen presence cast a strong impression on moviegoers, across the world. For Connery, 'Dr No' was the start of a long, Bond-ed association. He went on to star in six Bond films over the years, giving birth to a successful franchise that would be replete with action, fights, car chases, and the triumph of good over evil, mostly. Pic: In this undated file photo, Sean Connery, as James Bond, poses in an event for the movie 'Thunderball'.
Bond-ed For Ever
A year after 'Dr No', Connery returned on the big screen as the 007 agent in 'From Russia with Love' who willingly falls into an assassination plot involving a Russian beauty in order to retrieve a Soviet encryption device that was stolen. In 1964 followed 'Goldfinger' - in which he harnessed his sleuth skills while investigating a gold magnate's smuggling ring. A year later, Connery - who had dropped out of school to pursue a career in showbiz - charmed audiences in 'Thunderball' as he heads to the Bahamas to recover two stolen nuclear warheads. 1967 saw him doing the right thing in 'You Only Live Twice' as he teams up with the Japanese Secret Service to stop the true culprit of a series of space hijackings, before war breaks out with Russia. After four years, he returned to bust a smuggling ring in 'Diamonds Are Forever' which was directed by Guy Hamilton in 1971. A 12-year-break followed and Connery returned to the world of Bond in 'Never Say Never Again' that hit the screens in October of 1983). While many say this was a remake of the 1965 'Thunderball' directed by Terence Young, the Scotsman gives it his best shot in what would turn out to be his last Bond outing. This 007 film was not part of the franchise produced by the regular producers. Pic: In this file photo dated July 29, 1966, actor Sean Connery is shown during filming the James Bond movie 'You Only Live Twice,' on location in Tokyo, Japan.
Not Just Bond ... James Bond ...
Sean Connery became synonymous with Bond on screen as he starred in the first seven cinematic adventures, and converting them into success at the box office. But his body of work was defined not just by Bond. During the success of the MI6 agent films, he managed to strike a successful career as an actor, appearing in hit films like Alfred Hitchcock's 'Marnie', 'The Hill', 'Murder on the Orient Express', 'The Man Who Would Be King' and ' Time Bandits'. In 1989, he was cast as Professor Henry Jones in Steven Spielberg's 'Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade'. A year later he reprised Tom Clancy's character of Marko Ramius , a Russian submarine captain who defects and wants to the U.S. to prevent the Russians from starting a nuclear war in 'The Hunt for Red October'. He would also be seen in 'Later Rising Sun', 'The Rock', 'Finding Forrester' and 'The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen'.
To many of his peers and colleagues from Hollywood, the Scotsman of Irish descent defined style and charisma. He is credited with bringing to life and glorifying the secret agent. A trendsetter in his own way, Connery's spy acts on screen remained unparalleled. That explains why the later Bonds chose to adopt their own individual styles. Daniel Craig, who has portrayed the skilled spy five times starting with 2006's 'Casino Royale', mourned the actor's death and said that "he helped create the modern blockbuster ... He will continue to influence actors and film-makers alike for years to come."
On his official Instagram account, Pierce Brosnan who has enacted Bond thrice himself, recalled the 'mighty' actor with fondness. "Sir Sean Connery, you were my greatest James Bond as a boy, and as a man who became James Bond himself. You cast a long shadow of cinematic splendor that will live on forever. You led the way for us all who followed in your iconic foot steps. Each man in his turn looked to you with reverence and admiration as we forged ahead with our own interpretations of the role."
A Rich Legacy
In a career spanning six decades, Sir Sean Connery received the Oscar nod only on one occasion. He won his only Academy Award - a popular choice as Best Supporting Actor for his “Irish” street-cop act - in The 'Untouchables' in 1987. The Academy win also boosted his chances as the world’s most bankable sexagenarian film star in a sequence of superior adventure movies including 'The Hunt for Red October', 'The Rock' and 'Entrapment'. Connery had also become fixed on his Irish-Scottish drawl of an accent and refused to disguise it, which had become something of a trademark, irrespective of character he played. he part.
Sean Connery was no exception when it came to courting controversy. He kicked up a row for a remark made in an interview with 'Playboy' in 1965 that legitimised hitting a woman. In the interview, the Bond star, who was married twice, commented: “An open-handed slap is justified if all other alternatives fail”. Needless to say this was not well received. On the professional front he had a fall-out with Bond producer Barbara Broccoli, suing her and MGM for alleged non-payment of profit shares in the 007 films.