Sean Connery: goodbye to the actor with a thousand faces

Sean Connery: goodbye to the actor with a thousand faces
On August 25, 1930, Sean Connery was born, considered one of the most fascinating actors in cinema. In his films he has played the most disparate roles, making them iconic and memorable: the secret agent and the Franciscan friar, the professor of medieval literature and the king, but also the thief and the policeman. And just as on the set, he did everything in his life, working as a bricklayer, dishwasher, lifeguard, coffin painter, before becoming an actor acclaimed and appreciated all over the world. After so many roles, why not become a Knight of Queen Elizabeth II? Sean Connery is one of the actors who over the years has conquered world audiences and critics more than others, even named “sexiest man of the century” by People magazine. Yet despite his characters having become immortal, Sean Connery paid the price for his mortality, leaving us on October 31, 2020, after a ten-year absence from the screens.

Origins and beginnings as an actor

On August 25, 1930, one of the most prolific movie stars on the film scene and most loved by fans (especially those of the female gender) was born: Sean Connery. Born in Edinburgh to a truck driver father and a waitress mother, Connery attended dance school at the age of eleven, however at sixteen he decided to abandon all kinds of studies to join the Royal Navy; discharged a few years later, he began to do various jobs, assisted by physical prowess. Lifeguard, bricklayer, bodyguard, but also professions such as dishwasher or coffin painter.

Meanwhile, his muscles allow him to earn some money as a model for the city's art school, although training as a body builder also gives him access to the competition for the title of Mister Universe. Sean Connery, meanwhile, also starts his acting career by participating in some musicals, however it is only in the 60s that the turning point arrives that introduces him to the real world of cinema and will consecrate him forever with an iconic role: that of James Bond, the famous secret agent 007 conceived by the writer Ian Fleming.

The part seems to arrive precisely following an audition made in front of Fleming himself, although the latter initially rejected Sean Connery in favor of another actor, Cary Grant, as Fleming considers Connery more suitable for the part of the stunt man (remember that the actor is 1.89 m tall and has dedicated himself to body building for years). However, the wife of the film's producer, Dana Broccoli, takes care of saving Connery, convincing Fleming that he is the right man for the part.

The Scottish actor thus becomes one of the most memorable movie characters ever : thanks to his charm and charisma, the role also consecrates him as a sex symbol all over the world. On the other hand, although several actors have taken turns over the years, which face comes to mind first when you think of James Bond? A little curiosity that is probably not known to everyone is that Connery shows precocious baldness, so on the set of every James Bond film he wears a toupé that can hide it: not for this, however, the actor is less charming and conquers the against the hearts of women everywhere - his status as a sex symbol also makes him a tireless seducer!

Sean Connery then plays an immortal James Bond five times in a row, from 1962 to 1967 (License to Kill, From Russia with Love, Goldfinger Mission, Thunderball: Operation Thunder, Yes Vive Solo Due Volte) and then return to the role of secret agent 007 in 1971 with A Waterfall of Diamonds and in 1983 with the “apocryphal” Mai Dire Mai (unofficial remake of Thunderball). Fearful of getting stuck in the same role, the Scottish actor nevertheless gives up on Bond to be able to play other characters that allow him to express his talent, although today, for fans around the world, he seems to be the best 007 ever to appear on screen .

From James Bond to the thousand faces of Sean Connery

The success of Sean Connery is now overt, but the numerous roles to come after James Bond demonstrate the versatility of the actor and his versatility in playing the role of characters that are also very different from each other. The most fascinating Scotsman in the world works like this from now on with some of the most important directors of the cinema scene.

In the 60s we find him in the lead role in Alfred's Marnie Hitchcock, Irvin Kershner's A Splendid Rogue and several Sidney Lumet films such as Dishonor Hill, New York Record Robbery, Reflections in a Dark Mirror and Murder on the Orient Express. Meanwhile Connery marries his first wife, Diane Cilento, in 1962, with whom he has his son Jason, who became an actor and director.

After acting in several other films in the 70s (The man who wanted to King by John Houston, That Last Bridge by John Attenborough or Meteor by Ronald Neame, without forgetting Zardoz by John Boorman, in which the actor wears a costume that no one will ever forget), starting from the 80s we find Sean Connery in the role of a sheriff in a space mining town, in Peter Hyams' Atmosphere Zero; in those of a king in The Bandits of Time, by Terry Gilliam; finally also those of a Spanish master of arms in Highlander - The Last Immortal, by Russell Mulcahy. Speaking of this last film, the director himself stated in a recent interview that it was not easy to work alongside Sean Connery: sometimes, in fact, he was drunk on the set and showed his passion for the good scotch of his land. even offering a bottle to Mulcahy to relieve stress!

The actor, meanwhile, divorced Cilento to get married again in 1975 with Micheline Roquebrune, who nevertheless confirmed her husband's character as an irreducible Latin lover , often ready to seduce colleagues:

I knew that by marrying the most desired man in the world I would marry the whole package. Just understand it.

The films that earned him respectively a BAFTA award for best actor and an Oscar and a Golden Globe for best supporting actor are always from this period: the transposition of Umberto's novel Eco, The Name of the Rose by Jean-Jacques Annaud, in which Sean Connery plays the Franciscan friar William of Baskerville; and The Untouchables, by Brian De Palma, in which we find the actor in the role of Jim Malone, an Irish policeman who helps to arrest Al Capone.

After another interpretation in a film by Sidney Lumet , I'm Family Affairs, Sean Connery is a professor of medieval literature in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: Henry Jones Sr., father of protagonist Henry "Indiana" Jones Jr., another memorable role in one of the most famous films in the pop culture.

From the 90s to the abandonment of the scenes

The Scotsman with a thousand faces continues his brilliant and prolific career: in 1990 he is the commander of a submarine in Hunt in October Red, by John McTiernan. In Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves we find Sean Connery in the role of Richard the Lionheart and in 1994 he is still a king in the film The Hand of the Knight, although this time it is King Arthur. The spy past, however, returns to call Connery to play John Patrick Mason, a former secret agent in Michael Bay's The Rock, while in 1999 we find him in the role of a skilled thief alongside Catherine Zeta Jones, in Entrapment. br>

The following year, Sean Connery is knighted by Queen Elizabeth II: for the first time in history a star of Hoolywood receives the title of Sir; this, although his Scottish patriotism is so strong as to make him a staunch supporter of the independence of Scotland from England (at the ceremony for the award of the honor he wears the typical Scottish kilt without any fear). As for his film career, Sean Connery is working on his last role on the set in The Legend of Extraordinary Men, 2003, based on the comic by Alan Moore in which the Scottish actor plays Allan Quatermain.

The film, however, is scrapped by critics and this is probably one of the reasons why Sean Connery is leaving the scene, together with his opinion on the workers in the world of cinema of the new decade: the Edinburgh actor says in fact, in a 2005 interview, that "Hollywood is full of idiots". This is why we haven't seen Connery as Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings or Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter, both parts rejected by the star.

Although Sean Connery he walked the sets for the last time in 2003, perhaps not everyone knows that it was James Bond once again in 2005, lending his voice to the character of Ian Fleming for the video game From Russia with Love. Today, however, we know that the famous Scottish actor is very likely not to return to acting, since in a recent interview he declared that "the pension is too good".

Some recent rumors want Sean Connery suffering from some pathology, Alzheimer's specifically. However, it seems that the rumors are unfounded to date and in one of the latest shots of the Scottish actor, dating back to 2017, we find him smiling in the stands of a match at US Tennis.

Just turned 90 , after his retirement from the scene, the Scottish actor enjoyed his retirement in the Bahamas with his wife, fulfilling a commitment he made to his people: not to return to Scotland until she became independent from the British crown. A pact of honor maintained until his death, which took place on October 31, 202, which passed him to the Olympus of the great, thanks to a profitable career, and a name that made the history of cinema.

A collection of 7 films of the most famous agent 007 in the world, Sean Connery in the role of James Bond: you can find it at this link.

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