James Bond star Sir Sean Connery dies aged 90

Jimmy Nsubuga
·4 min read
Sean Connery
Sean Connery was best known for his starring role in the James Bond films (Picture: Getty)

Sir Sean Connery has died aged 90.

The Scottish actor was best known for his role as the first James Bond from 1962 until 1983.

Connery’s son Jason said he died peacefully overnight in his sleep surrounded by his family at his Bahamas residence and had been "unwell for some time".

His death was first reported by the BBC on Saturday but the cause is as yet undisclosed.

Jason Connery told the BBC: "We are all working at understanding this huge event as it only happened so recently, even though my dad has been unwell for some time.

"A sad day for all who knew and loved my dad and a sad loss for all people around the world who enjoyed the wonderful gift he had as an actor."

The acting icon had celebrated his 90th birthday in August.

Watch: Sean Connery named the greatest James Bond

File photo dated 02/06/64 of Pussy Galore. played by Honor Blackman, submitting to James Bond, played by Sean Connery, in this scene from 'Goldfinger', during filming at Pinewood Studios. Former James Bond actor Sir Sean Connery has died aged 90, his family have told the BBC.
James Bond, played by Sean Connery, in "Goldfinger" (Picture: Getty)

Read more: Sean Connery’s Hollywood career in pictures

James Bond producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli have paid tribute to the actor.

They said: “We are devastated by the news of the passing of Sir Sean Connery.

“He was and shall always be remembered as the original James Bond whose indelible entrance into cinema history began when he announced those unforgettable words — ‘The name’s Bond... James Bond’ — he revolutionised the world with his gritty and witty portrayal of the sexy and charismatic secret agent.

“He is undoubtedly largely responsible for the success of the film series and we shall be forever grateful to him.”

Current James Bond actor Daniel Craig added: “It is with such sadness that I heard of the passing of one of the true greats of cinema.

“Sir Sean Connery will be remembered as Bond and so much more. He defined an era and a style.

“The wit and charm he portrayed on screen could be measured in mega watts; he helped create the modern blockbuster.

“He will continue to influence actors and film-makers alike for years to come. My thoughts are with his family and loved ones.

“Wherever he is, I hope there is a golf course.”

Tribute from James Bond producers

File photo dated 11/08/98 of Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta Jones in south east London for the filming of 'Entrapment'. Former James Bond actor Sir Sean Connery has died aged 90, his family have told the BBC.
Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta Jones filming of "Entrapment" (Picture: Getty)

Connery is regarded as having defined the movie role of Ian Fleming’s James Bond, following his initial appearance as British secret agent 007 in the first of the series, Dr No, in 1962.

He appeared in seven Bond films, the last of them, “Never Say Never Again” in 1983, regarded as an unofficial production outside the official franchise.

In a 1983 interview, Connery summed up the ideal Bond film as having “marvellous locations, interesting ambiance, good stories, interesting characters - like a detective story with espionage and exotic settings and nice birds.”

He is also fondly remembered for his part as the father of Harrison Ford’s whip-cracking hero in Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade, the third instalment in the hugely popular franchise.

Connery was raised in near poverty in the slums of Edinburgh and worked as a coffin polisher, milkman and lifeguard before his bodybuilding hobby helped launch an acting career that made him one of the world’s biggest stars.

He married actress Diane Cilento in 1962. Before divorcing 11 years later, they had a son, Jason, who became an actor. He married French artist Micheline Roquebrune, whom he met playing golf, in 1975.

Actor Sean Connery watches from the gallery at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York September 6, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES  - Tags: SPORT TENNIS ENTERTAINMENT)
Sean Connery at the US Open tennis tournament in New York in 2012 (Picture: Reuters)

Alex Salmond, former first minister of Scotland, who was close friends with Connery, wrote on Twitter: “The world’s greatest Scot, the last of the real Hollywood stars, the definitive Bond.

“Sean Connery was all of these things but much more. He was also a staunch patriot, a deep thinker and outstanding human being.

“I have had the rare privilege of being his friend for more than thirty years and enjoyed every single moment of his company and talk.”

He added: “‘Scotland Forever’ wasn’t just tattooed on his forearm but was imprinted on his soul.”

Actor Hugh Jackman tweeted: “I grew up idolizing #SeanConnery. A legend on screen, and off. Rest In Peace.”

A tweet from Pinewood Studios, where the Bond films are filmed, said: “We are extremely saddened to hear of the passing of the legendary Sir Sean Connery.

“Memories of this outstanding actor and his unforgettable embodiment of superspy James Bond will forever be cherished at Pinewood.”

Watch: Sean Connery at the US Open