Sean Connery, Acting Icon and James Bond Star, Dead at 90

On Saturday, it was reported James Bond actor Sir Sean Connery died, according to Variety. He was 90. In addition to appearing as Agent 007, he appeared in films such as The Wind and the Lion, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and The Untouchables, the latter of which earned him an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.

Connery, of course, rose to fame as James Bond. After appearing in the BBC's production of Anna Karenina as Count Vronsky, he found himself at the top of the Daily Express' poll of readers suggesting the next James Bond. He later had an interview with producers Albert Broccoli and Harry Saltzman about portraying the famous British agent. Connery subsequently landed the role without a screen test, as Saltzman said. At the time, it was a bit of a controversial choice to cast Connery as James Bond, as he was a relative unknown outside of Great Britain. However, after appearing in 1962's Dr. No, he became an international star. The actor appeared in several subsequent Bond films, including From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, and Thunderball. While he starred in other films throughout his tenure as Bond, the actor returned to the franchise a few other times. He starred in You Only Live Twice in 1967, Diamonds Are Forever in 1971, and Never Say Never Again in 1983, the last time he portrayed 007.

Connery previously spoke about the first time he appeared as James Bond during an interview with Cinescape (as obtained via CommanderBond.net). The Oscar-winner explained that no one thought that Dr. No was going to be such a huge success. But, as the world now knows, Connery's appearance in the film helped bring him, and the character of James Bond, to worldwide acclaim. “Everyone who said that the first one was going to be a success is a liar because they didn’t know,” Connery said. “The film costs less than a million dollars. They didn’t make one immediately afterwards because they still weren’t sure. Everybody forgets that. Believe me, nobody could have foreseen that all these years later, we’d be sitting here discussing James Bond.”

Connery was previously married to actor Diane Cilento, who passed away in 2011, from 1962 to 1973. The couple then divorced, and the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen star later married Micheline Roquebrune, a painter, in 1975. He is survived by his wife, his son Jason Connery, whom he shared with Cilento, and a grandson from Jason's marriage to actor Mia Sara.