Daniel Craig issued a statement on the "sadness" of losing his fellow James Bond actor Sean Connery on Saturday, shortly after the news broke. According to the BBC, Connery passed away overnight at his home in Nassau, Bahamas. Craig shared just a few sentences mourning Connery, wishing well to his family and acknowledging a lifetime of influential work.
"It is with such sadness that I heard of the passing of one of the true greats of cinema," said Craig in a statement posted by the official James Bond Twitter account. "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."
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.— James Bond (@007) October 31, 2020
"My thoughts are with his family and loved ones. Wherever he is, I hope there is a golf course," Craig finished.
Details on Connery's passing are still slim, but his son Jason Connery told the BBC that he "had many of his family who could be in the Bahamas around him." He continued: "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."
Connery was the first actor to portray James Bond — a.k.a. agent 007 — in film, back in 1962. He starred in the first five James Bond films, then reprised the role twice later on. As Craig points out, his work on these spy thrillers arguably led to the creation of the blockbuster movie as we know it, and decades later, new actors like Craig are still trying to imitate his performance.
While the mantle of Bond went on to different actors, Connery continued to set trends through his movie roles in the years that followed. He starred in Highlander, The Untouchables and The Hunt for Red October and appeared in the third Indiana Jones movie. He continued acting into the first decade of the 21st century, with films like The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
Connery told The Hollywood Reporter that this last role — and the commercial failure of the movie itself — convinced him to retire from the entertainment industry altogether. He said that after that, he simply told casting agents he was "having too much fun in retirement." The actor was 90 years old when he passed away.