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Sir Sean Connery's Career in Pictures: From the 1950s to the 1990s, the 007 Icon's Other Notable Roles


Born Thomas Sean Connery on August 25, 1930 in Edinburgh's Fountainbridge neighborhood, the actor dropped out of school at a young age and took his first job as a milkman before working as a bricklayer.

He joined the Royal Navy at the age of 16 but was discharged three years later on medical grounds following a gastric ulcer.

His first big step into acting came in 1957 when he secured a role in the British gangster film No Road Back.

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 a stint as a bricklayer, lifeguard and artist model for the Edinburgh College of Art.

Under the name Thom Connery, he finished third in the tall man division (he was 6 feet 2 inches) in the 1950 Mr Universe competition.

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.

Born Thomas Sean Connery on August 25, 1930 in Fountainbridge, Edinburgh, the actor dropped out of school early and took his first job as a milkman. Pictured: Connery as a young man in 1945

Sir Sean, whose film career spans five decades, is best known for being the first to portray the role of the British fictional spy 007, whom he played between 1962 and 1971. Pictured: Connery as Bond in Doctor No. 1962

Sir Sean, whose film career spans five decades, is best known for being the first to portray the role of the British fictional spy 007, whom he played between 1962 and 1971. Pictured: Connery as Bond in Doctor No. 1962

A poignant final photo of James Bond legend Sir Sean Connery, who died in his sleep at the age of 90, showed him posing with his son Jason on his 89th birthday. Left picture: Jason's partner Fiona Upton

A poignant final photo of James Bond legend Sir Sean Connery, who died in his sleep at the age of 90, showed him posing with his son Jason on his 89th birthday. Left picture: Jason's partner Fiona Upton

1957: Margaret Rawlings and Sean Connery in No Road Back, a British crime thriller directed by Montgomery Tully

1957: Margaret Rawlings and Sean Connery in No Road Back, a British crime thriller directed by Montgomery Tully

1962: Eunice Gayson and Sean Connery become the first James Bond in a scene from the film Dr. No directed by Terence Young

1962: Eunice Gayson and Sean Connery become the first James Bond in a scene from the film Dr. No directed by Terence Young

1963: Connery in From Russia with Love, second in Eon Productions' James Bond franchise

1963: Connery in From Russia with Love, second in Eon Productions' James Bond franchise

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.

It was author Ian Fleming's polite and sophisticated intelligence agent who brought Sir Sean to fame.

Fleming initially resisted the idea that Sir Sean would 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.

Sir Sean 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 Wieder (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.

Sir Sean has now been able to charge massive fees and build a reputation for being 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 Sir Sean 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).

Sir Sean, once voted "Greatest Scotsman Living," received the American Film Institute's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006 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 joined the Royal Navy at the age of 16 (pictured left in naval uniform in 1945), but was discharged three years later for medical reasons following a gastric ulcer

A young Sir Sean, also in 1945

He joined the Royal Navy at the age of 16 (pictured left in naval uniform in 1945) but was discharged three years later for medical reasons following a gastric ulcer. Right: a young Sir Sean, also in 1945

Sir Sean is over 5 years old with his dog in 1935. The actor grew up in Edinburgh's Fountainbridge

Sir Sean is over 5 years old with his dog in 1935. The actor grew up in Edinburgh's Fountainbridge

Sir Sean is also seen upstairs with his mother in 1932 when he was just two years old. After the news of the death of the acting legend, honors have been received

Sir Sean is also seen upstairs with his mother in 1932 when he was just two years old. After the news of the death of the acting legend, honors have been received

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".

Sir Sean is reported to have said, “There are women who get it hooked. 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.

Sir Sean'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 Sir Sean 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 most prominent supporters of Scottish independence, many expected Sir Sean to appear on the campaign trail 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."

1964: Connery with Goldfinger, the third installment in the James Bond franchise based on the 1959 novel

1964: Connery with Goldfinger, the third installment in the James Bond franchise based on the 1959 novel

Sean Connery drives an Aston Martin for the Goldfinger Bond in Motion exhibition at the London Movie Museum in Great Britain

Sean Connery drives an Aston Martin for the Goldfinger Bond in Motion exhibition at the London Movie Museum in Great Britain

1964: Connery as Mark Rutland and Tippi Hedren as Marnie Edgar in the movie Marnie, directed by Alfred Hitchcock

1964: Connery as Mark Rutland and Tippi Hedren as Marnie Edgar in the movie Marnie, directed by Alfred Hitchcock

1965: Claudine Auger stands in the water with Connery in a scene from the film Thunderball, the fourth in the Bond series

1965: Claudine Auger is in the water with Connery in a scene from the movie Thunderball, the fourth in the Bond series

1967: Mie Hama and Connery in You Only Live Twice, the fifth in the James Bond series produced by Eon Productions

1967: Mie Hama and Connery in You Only Live Twice, the fifth in the James Bond series produced by Eon Productions

1971: Connery with Bond in Diamonds Are Forever, the seventh film in the series, directed by Guy Hamilton

1971: Connery with Bond in Diamonds Are Forever, the seventh film in the series, directed by Guy Hamilton

1974: Connery and Vanessa Redgrave star in Murder on the Orient Express, based on a novel by Agatha Christie

1974: Connery and Vanessa Redgrave star in Murder on the Orient Express, based on a novel by Agatha Christie

1975: Michael Caine and Connery are stunned by water in a scene from The Man Who Would Be King

1975: Michael Caine and Connery are stunned by water in a scene from The Man Who Would Be King

1977: Connery as Maj. General Roy Urquhart in A Bridge Too Far directed by Richard Attenborough

1983: Connery plays the fictional spy James Bond while filming the 1983 film Never Say Never Again

1983: Connery plays the fictional spy James Bond while filming the 1983 film Never Say Never Again

1986: A scene from the film The Name of the Rose, in which Connery played the role of Wilhelm von Baskerville

1986: A scene from the film The Name of the Rose, in which Connery played the role of Wilhelm von Baskerville

1986: A scene from the film Highlander that shows Connery as Juan Ramirez, an immortal Egyptian swordsman

1987: Charles Martin Smith, Kevin Costner, Connery and Andy Garcia in the American crime novel The Untouchables

1987: Charles Martin Smith, Kevin Costner, Connery and Andy Garcia in the American crime novel The Untouchables

1989: Harrison Ford and Connery in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, directed by Steven Spielberg

1989: Harrison Ford and Connery in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, directed by Steven Spielberg

1990: Connery as Marko Ramius in The Hunt for Red October, an American submarine spy thriller

1990: Connery as Marko Ramius in The Hunt for Red October, an American submarine spy thriller

1996: Connery with Nicolas Cage in The Rock, an American action thriller directed by Michael Bay

1996: Connery with Nicolas Cage in The Rock, an American action thriller directed by Michael Bay

1999: Connery as Robert MacDougal with Catherine Zeta Jones as Virginia Baker in a scene from Entrapment

1999: Connery as Robert MacDougal with Catherine Zeta Jones as Virginia Baker in a scene from Entrapment

2003: Shane West and Connery in the League of Extraordinary Men, directed by Stephen Norrington

2003: Shane West and Connery in the League of Extraordinary Men directed by Stephen Norrington

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