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James Bond actor Sean Connery has died aged 90

The actor had a career than spanned several decades.

Image: PA

Updated Oct 31st 2020, 2:30 PM

SEAN CONNERY, BEST known for playing James Bond, has died at the age of 90. 

The Scottish actor had a successful film career over several decades, with multiple awards including an Oscar for his role in the the 1987 film The Untouchables. 

The BBC reported his death this afternoon.

Born in Edinburgh as the son of a factory worker and a cleaner, he left the city to join the Royal Navy, before becoming a bodybuilder and a Mr Universe contestant – a path that eventually led into acting. 

An early role included the 1959 Disney film Darby O’Gill and the Little People. 

James Bond

Despite years of success and fame, Connery will be best remembered for his portrayal of British secret agent 007 – the first actor to play the iconic role. 

Cast as Bond in 1962, he starred in a succession of films including From Russia with Love in 1963 and Goldfinger in 1964. 

film Sean Connery was the first actor to play James Bond. Source: PA

He would go on to appear as the spy in seven films and help launch a global and much-loved franchise. 

After leaving the role of Bond behind in 1971, Connery worked steadily for the next two decades – appearing in films such as The Man Who Would be King, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and The Hunt for Red October. 

He would also play Bond one last time in the 1983 film Never Say Never Again. 

In recent years, Connery had also become an advocate of Scottish independence, backing the country leaving the UK in the 2014 referendum. 

He said back in 2014: “As a Scot with a lifelong love of Scotland and the arts, I believe the opportunity of independence is too good to miss. Simply put there is no more creative an act than creating a new nation.”

The following year the actor, who was then retired, voiced the closing passage for the audiobook version of Alex Salmond’s book The Dream Shall Never Die – which charts the 100 days up to the referendum vote.

Salmond, the former SNP leader and Scottish first minister, described him as being the “world’s greatest Scot”, and told how his support for the cause of independence was “unshakable”.

Tributes

Actors, filmmakers and fans have already started to pay their respects to the actor. 

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Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted that she was “heartbroken” to learn of Connery’s death. 

“Our nation today mourns one of her best loved sons,” she said. 

“It was a privilege to have known Sean. When I last spoke to him it was clear even then that his health was failing – but the voice, the spirit and the passion that we all loved so well were still there. I will miss him. Scotland will miss him. The world will miss him.”

Already, film fans have began sharing memories of the actor and reflecting on his most memorable roles. 

Scottish actor Robert Carlyle called him a “trailblazer” and a “true legend”. 

Shirley Bassey, who sung the themes to three Bond films including Goldfinger, also paid tribute.

She said on Twitter: “I’m incredibly saddened to hear of Seans passing. My thoughts are with his family. He was a wonderful person, a true gentleman and we will be forever connected by Bond.

“When we were younger I used to cheer Sean on from the sidelines whilst he played football in his team, The Showbiz 11! Well, I will always be there to cheer you on Sean! Forever in our hearts and may you rest in peace.”

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