Mumbai/Edinburg: All heads turned when Sean Connery (90) walked in a room. His wicked smile, sculpted body and macho appeal swept millions of women and men off their feet. Most men age, but only a few mature like James Bond. After all, Sir Connery was the original James Bond 007!
The news of the Scottish star's demise was communicated by his family, according to a report in the BBC. No official reason has been shared for the death yet. Connery, who is widely recalled as the original James Bond on Hollywood screen, had an active career as an actor spanning nearly five decades. Connery was knighted by the Queen at Holyrood Palace in 2000.
He shot to global superstardom as Bond in 1962, with the first film of the 007 series, Dr. No, and then went on to work in From Russia with Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967), Diamonds Are Forever (1971) and Never Say Never Again (1983).
According to BBC, the actor passed away overnight in his sleep while in the Bahamas. He had been unwell for quite some time. In the career spanning half a century, the actor featured in many critically-acclaimed and commercial blockbusters such as "The Hunt for Red October", "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade", "Murder on the Orient Express" and "The Rock".
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon mourned the veteran star's death, saying that the country has lost "one of her best loved sons".
"Sean will be remembered best as James Bond - the classic 007 - but his roles were many & varied. He was a global legend but, first and foremost, a patriotic and proud Scot - his towering presence at the opening of @ScotParl in 1999 showed his love for the country of his birth," she tweeted.
Connery was born on August 25, 1930, to a Catholic factory worker and a Protestant domestic cleaner. He left school at the age 13 with no qualifications and delivered milk, polished coffins and laid bricks, before joining the Royal Navy. But he was invalided out of the service with stomach ulcers only three years later. He initially made a living by doing odd-jobs like driving trucks, working as a lifeguard and posing as a model at the Edinburgh College of Art. The actor spent his spare time bodybuilding.
It was in 1956 that Connery landed his first acting job for BBC production of "Requiem for a Heavyweight". Soon after, he made his film debut with "No Road Back". The following year, he appeared in films like "Hell Drivers", "Action of the Tiger" and "Time Lock".
A major breakthrough in his career came when Connery, a relatively unknown actor, was cast as James Bond after an interview with producers Albert Broccoli and Harry Saltzman.
The American Film Institute has voted James Bond as portrayed by Connery as the third-greatest hero in cinema history. Although his avatar as the stylish superspy often defines Connery, he carved a successful Hollywood career with roles in films such as The Name Of The Rose (1986), The Untouchables (1987), Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade (1989), The Hunt For Red October (1990), The Russia House (1990), Rising Sun (1993), Dragonheart (1996), The Rock (1996), Entrapment (1998), Finding Forester (2000), and The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003), among many others.
For his roles as Jimmy Malone in Brian De Palma's The Untouchables, Connery won an Oscar as Best Supporting Actor. He also won two Bafta awards and three Golden Globes in his career.
The actor had officially announced his retirement in 2006. Connery was married to actor Diane Cilento from 1962-73. The couple divorced in 1973 and Cilento died in 2011. He is survived by his second wife, painter Micheline Roquebrune, whom he married in 1975 and his son Jason Connery.