RIP Sean Connery….The First And Greatest 007 Ever…
Very sad news for movie fans. Legendary Actor Sean Connery, who starred in the first ever James Bond 007 spy thriller and went on to act in a dozens of classic films, has died.
As Deadline.com reported this morning:
“Scottish actor Sean Connery has died at the age of 90. His son Jason Connery told the BBC his father had died peacefully in the Bahamas after a long illness.
Famous for his dashing good looks, strapping physique and abundance of charisma, Connery was the first actor to portray James Bond in film, starring in seven entries in the franchise from Dr No to Never Say Never Again. He was also an Oscar-winner for his supporting turn in Brian De Palma’s The Untouchables, his sole nomination from the Academy, and he received two BAFTAs including an honorary Fellowship Award. He was awarded a knighthood in 2000.”
His Name Was Bond…James Bond!
When Sean Connery uttered those words, motion picture history was made.
It all began in 1963, when a popular series of spy novels penned by Ian Fleming was turned into a tight little action thriller set in Jamaica…
Sean Connery IS 007!
He was the first, and Sean Connery not only set the standard for what James Bond should be, he also starred in what is arguably the greatest Bond film ever, “Goldfinger.” Add to that “From Russia With Love”,”Thunderball”, “You Only Live Twice” and “Diamonds Are Forever”, and he was arguably the most popular Actor in the world at the time…
He was a spy with gadgets and girls, and nothing was ever too much for this ultra-cool secret agent.
The 007 franchise was launched on October 5, 1962…
Let’s begin with the original trailer, which introduced movie audiences to the coolest secret agent of all time:
Look at this shot: Producer Cubby Broccoli, Sean Connery, 007 Creator/Author Ian Fleming, and Producer Harry Saltzman…I wonder if they could have imagined what was ahead!
So how did Connery get cast?
According to wikipedia, Producers Broccoli and Saltzman originally sought Cary Grant for the role! However, Grant wouldn’t agree to more than one, so they held auditions and landed on the very virile Sean Connery, who had the looks And the rough edges they were looking for!
Of course, the series also introduced an iconic opening sequence with the rifle scope, as Bond walks into frame and then shoots the audience…
Connery was so much more than just 007…he starred for acclaimed Directors such as John Huston, Sidney Lumet and Alfred Hitchcock:
Many will remember him for his Oscar-winning performance in Brian DePalma’s pulpy smash hit about the legend of Al Capone:
In 1987, Connery starred with Kevin Costner and Robert DeNiro in the story of Agent Elliott Ness and his dogged pursuit of Al Capone on the streets of Chicago – here is the trailer:
Connery won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar, for a wildly over the top death sequence, and for his uttering of the classic line:
“You wanna get Capone? Here’s how you get him. He pulls a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue! That’s the Chicago way!”
Among the Actor’s many other memorable roles – here are what I call “4 non-Bonds:”
The Man Who Would Be King
Sean Connery and Michael Caine starred in this 1975 action adventure as two British former soldiers who decide to set themselves up as Kings in Kafiristan, a land where no white man has set foot since Alexander the Great.
Here is the trailer:
Connery also starred as a submarine commander in “The Hunt For Red October”, the first in a series of films starring the character Jack Ryan, first played by Alec Baldwin then Harrison Ford.
Connery joined another franchise when he played Indiana Jones’s dad, Henry Jones Sr., in “Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade”, and he was in other great action films as well:
This terrific 90’s action film used Alcatraz Island as a set – check out the trailer:
Of course, he had his share of misfires as well…perhaps one of the strangest films of the early 70’s saw him sporting what looks much like a red diaper:
You won’t see films like this anymore, and if you want to know more about this epic sci-fi misfire, check out my story here:
A sad loss for film lovers – I plan to watch a few of his movies to remember his greatest roles…
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RIP Sean Connery…