James Bond legend Sir Sean Connery died in his sleep at the age of 90 after a long illness.
The Oscar winner, who died in the Bahamas and left his wife Micheline and sons Jason and Stefan, was honored.
Sir Sean, whose acting career spans decades, is best known for portraying the British fictional spy James Bond, whom he played between 1962 and 1971.
Sir Sean Connery, best known for playing James Bond, passed away today
He has often been named the best bond in surveys on the subject. In 1988 he received an Oscar for his role as the Irish police officer in The Untouchables.
He also starred in The Hunt for Red October, Indiana Jones, and The Last Crusade and The Rock.
Sir Sean was knighted by the Queen in 2000 and celebrated his 90th birthday in August.
Former First Scottish Minister Alex Salmond described his friend Sir Sean as "the greatest Scot in the world, the last of the real Hollywood stars, the ultimate Bond".
Bond producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli paid tribute to Sir Sean in a statement: “We were devastated by the news of Sir Connery's death.
& # 39; He was and will always be remembered as the original James Bond, whose indelible entry into cinema history began when he uttered those unforgettable words – "The name's Bond … James Bond" – he revolutionized the world with its grainy and hilarious portrayal of the sexy and charismatic secret agent.
"He is undoubtedly instrumental in the success of the series and we will always be grateful to him."
Hugh Jackman tweeted: I grew up with Connery. A legend on the screen and off. Rest in peace. & # 39;
From Mason to 007: Sean Connery has a 50-year film career behind him, but he will no doubt be remembered as the first – and some say definitely – James Bond
He had a long and varied film career spanning 50 years, but Sir Sean Connery will no doubt be remembered as the first – and some say definitely – James Bond.
His appearance in Dr. No in 1962 set the jobbing actor and former milkman on a path that would lead to Hollywood's fame and all of its idiosyncrasies.
His roles in Highlander, The Untouchables and Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade helped seal his position as one of the UK's most beloved stars, and his brooding looks and distinct Scottish brogue have earned him legions of fans worldwide.
Connery never lost his heavily mimicked accent, despite his many years abroad. From his home in the Bahamas, he remained a passionate advocate of Scottish independence.
Sean Connery accompanies his wife Micheline Roquebrune to the Athinais Gallery to open an exhibition of their paintings in Athens, Greece in 2001
Sean Connery poses as James Bond next to his Aston Martin DB5 in a scene from the United Artists film & # 39; Goldfinger & # 39; from 1964
Claudine Auger stands in the water with Sean Connery in a scene from the film & # 39; Thunderball & # 39 ;, 1965
Thomas Sean Connery was born in Edinburgh's Fountainbridge on August 25, 1930. As the oldest of two boys, he left school early and took his first job as a milkman with a horse-drawn cart.
He joined the Royal Navy at the age of 16 but was discharged on medical grounds three years later after suffering from a stomach ulcer.
He has two tattoos from this period – one that says "Mum and Dad" and one that says "Scotland Forever".
The avid bodybuilder then took on a variety of roles including stinting a bricklayer, lifeguard, and artist modeling for the Edinburgh College of Art. Under the name Thom Connery, he finished third in the tall man (he was 6 feet 2 inches) division of Mr. Universe competition from 1950.
The stage came when a friend suggested they try a South Pacific production. He took part in the seaman's choir and started his acting career.
He was also a talented footballer. During his tour with the musical, he was offered a contract from former Manchester United manager Sir Matt Busby, who saw him play in a friendly against a local team.
His first major acting loan came in 1957 from the British gangster film No Road Back.
He is also fondly remembered two years later for his part as the father of Harrison Ford's whip in Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade, the third installment in the hugely popular franchise
It was author Ian Fleming's polite and sophisticated intelligence agent who made Connery a star.
Fleming initially resisted the idea that Connery should play his character. He thought the Scot was an "overgrown stuntman" who wasn't sophisticated enough for the role.
He was later so impressed with his performance that he created a Scottish ancestry for the character in his subsequent books.
Connery played Bond in seven films – Dr. No (1962), From Russia With Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967), Diamonds Are Forever (1971) and Never Say Never Again (1983).
He quit the role after You Only Live Twice, frustrated with the repetitive acts, but was lured back after his successor George Lazenby failed to get the grade.
Most of his later successes have featured in ensemble casts in such films as The Man Who Would Be King, Murder on the Orient Express, and A Bridge Too Far.
In the 1980s, The Untouchables (1987) revived a slip-up career. His role as a tough Irish cop with gangbusting earned him an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. Future Oscar winners Morgan Freeman and Denzel Washington were also nominated in the category this year.
He is also fondly remembered two years later for his part as the father of Harrison Ford's whip in Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade, the third installment in the hugely popular franchise.
Connery has now been able to charge massive fees and build a reputation as a ruthless contract negotiator. He hated the idea of being manipulated by the film industry and was regularly involved in lawsuits.
In 1989 the US magazine People voted him Sexiest Man Alive, to which the 59-year-old replied: "Well, there aren't many sexy dead, are there?"
The 1990s saw appearances on The Hunt For Red October (1990), Dragonheart (1996) and Entrapment, the 1999 love story / thriller starring Catherine Zeta-Jones, which Connery also produced.
He was now firmly regarded as the senior statesman in the film industry and was knighted by the Queen in 2000 – an honor that is said to have been delayed by his support for the Scottish National Party (SNP).
Connery, once voted "Greatest Scotsman Living," received the American Film Institute's 2006 Lifetime Achievement Award for confirming his retirement from acting.
He has remained relatively reluctant about his personal life throughout his career, but had to reject claims made by his first wife, Australian actress Diane Cilento, before her death in 2011.
He was plagued by criticism of what he allegedly made in a 1993 Vanity Fair interview when he suggested that there were women who "want a punch".
Connery is reported to have said: “There are women who get it on the wire. This is what they are looking for, the ultimate confrontation. & # 39;
He and Cilento were married for 11 years and had a son, actor Jason Connery.
Connery's successor is Jason and his second wife, the French artist Micheline Roquebrune, whom he married in 1975 and who regularly accompanied him on the red carpet.
In 2009 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Edinburgh Napier University for his achievements over the course of his career.
On his last public appearance, he looked relaxed and in good health when he supported his compatriot Andy Murray at the US Open in September 2012.
The tennis star was shocked when Connery and Sir Alex Ferguson crashed a post-game press conference in New York and posed for photos with him and his mother Judy.
As one of the best-known supporters of Scottish independence, many expected Connery to appear on the campaign ahead of the historic September 18, 2014 vote.
His words were used to bolster support for the yes campaign launched two years ago, when the star stated in a message, "The people of Scotland are the best guardians of their own futures."
The 90-year-old's death was confirmed by his family on Saturday.
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