In Memoriam: Sean Connery (1930-2020)
Sad bit of news to report at the House today as news broke over the weekend that Hollywood legend, Sean Connery, passed away on Saturday at the age of ninety at his home in Nassau, The Bahamas.
Born Thomas Sean Connery on August 25, 1930 in Edinburgh Scotland, Connery was the son of working class parents. His mother Effie was a cleaning woman while his father Joseph was a factory worker and lorry driver. One of Connery’s first jobs was as a milkman before joining the Royal Navy at the age of sixteen He was discharged just three years later for ulcer issues. From there Sean Connery would go on to have a variety of jobs, everything from a lifeguard to a coffin polisher.
During the 1950s Sean Connery attempted to make ends meet with various acting gigs. He caught on as an extra and later as a small part in the King’s Theater production of South Pacific, during which time he met fellow actor Michael Caine, beginning a lifelong friendship. Connery also participated in multiple plays at the Oxford theater and studied elocution before landing small parts in British television shows like The Square Ring.
Sean Connery’s first major film role was in 1957 as the gangster Spike in director Montgomery Tully’s British crime drama No Road Back. From there Connery acted in several small roles before finally breaking through in 1962 with two major films including The Longest Day and Dr. No. The latter film exploded Connery into superstardom as he played the titular role of British MI-6 agent James Bond, a part he would return to six more times.
The Scottish actor’s career sputtered slightly in the 1970s as he struggled to find roles post-Bond with forgettable films like Zardoz and Sword of the Valiant. However, his career rebounded in a big way in the late 80s and early 90s with films like Highlander, The Untouchables, Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade, and The Hunt For Red October. Connery’s role as Malone in The Untouchables landed him an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. Connery’s career would continue through the 90s and early 2000s with varying degrees of success before his retirement seventeen years ago. His last film role was as Alan Quartermain in 2003’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
In his personal life Sean Connery was married twice. His first marriage was to actress Diane Cilento through which Connery had his only child, a son named Jason who is also an actor. Sean Connery’s second wife was Michele Roquebrune who remained his spouse until his death. Connery was by no means a faithful husband carrying on numerous affairs with women like Lynsey de Paul and Lana Wood. Connery also garnered his fair share of controversy throughout his career, most notably when he condoned spousal abuse at various points and coming under fire for tax issues later in life. He was also knighted by Queen Elizabeth II on July 5, 2000.
From a personal standpoint, Sean Connery will always be Professor Henry Jones from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and Juan Sanchez Villa-Lobos Ramirez from Highlander. I unfortunately have not had the chance yet to see him as 007 in any of his James Bond films but I hope to rectify that soon.
R.I.P. Mr. Connery. You are true legend of the silver screen that will forever be missed.