Legendary Scottish actor Sean Connery has passed away aged 90, his family has announced today. As reported by the BBC, the BAFTA and Oscar-winning screen icon died in his sleep while in the Bahamas, having been unwell for some time. No specific cause of death has been revealed.
Born in Edinburgh in 1930, Connery worked a number of early jobs, including a spell in the Royal Navy, and initially entered the world of bodybuilding, but switched to the stage in the early 1950s with roles in a touring production of South Pacific. Several small TV roles followed, before he made his first big screen appearance in the 1957 crime film No Road Back.
As he continued to build his name in the UK, Connery’s international breakthrough came with his casting as Ian Fleming’s secret agent James Bond. Beginning in 1962 with Dr. No, Connery went on to portray 007 in five more official instalments – From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, and Diamonds Are Forever – as well as 1983’s Never Say Never Again.
Widely regarded as the best actor to have portrayed James Bond, Connery also enjoyed a hugely successful career outside of the spy franchise, appearing in films such as Marnie (1964), Murder on the Orient Express (1974), The Man Who Would Be King (1975), Time Bandits (1981), The Name of the Rose (1986), Highlander (1986) and The Untouchables (1987), the latter of which saw him receiving the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
After portraying Henry Jones opposite Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), Connery’s films in the 1990s included The Hunt For Red October (1990), Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991), First Knight (1995), The Rock (1996), The Avengers (1998) and Entrapment (1999). His final appearance before his retirement came in 2003’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, although he would go on to portray Bond one final time, recording new dialogue for the 2005 video game James Bond 007: From Russia with Love.