Sir Sean Connery: Edinburgh actor famed for James Bond films dies aged 90
Sir Sean Connery has died aged 90.
The Edinburgh actor enjoyed a long and varied film career spanning 50 years, but Sir Sean Connery will undoubtedly be remembered as the first – and some say definitive – James Bond.
His performance in Dr No in 1962 set the jobbing actor and former milkman on a path that would lead to Hollywood stardom and all its trappings.
Roles in Highlander, The Untouchables and Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade helped seal his position as one of Britain’s best-loved stars, and his brooding good looks and distinct Scottish brogue won him legions of fans worldwide.
Connery never lost his much-imitated accent despite his many years living abroad. From his home in the Bahamas, he remained a fervent supporter of independence for Scotland.
Thomas Sean Connery was born in Edinburgh’s Fountainbridge area on August 25 1930. The elder of two boys, he left school at an early age and took his first job as a milkman, complete with horse-drawn cart.
At 16 he enlisted in the Royal Navy but was discharged three years later on medical grounds after suffering with a stomach ulcer.
He has two tattoos from this time – one reading “Mum and Dad” and another “Scotland Forever”.
The keen bodybuilder then undertook a variety of jobs, including a stint as a bricklayer, a lifeguard and an artist’s model for the Edinburgh College of Art. Under the name Thom Connery he was placed third in the tall man’s division (he was 6ft 2in) of the 1950 Mr Universe contest.
The stage came calling when a friend suggested he try out for a production of South Pacific. He got a part in the sailors’ chorus and so began his acting career.
He was also a gifted footballer. While touring with the musical, he was offered a contract by former Manchester United manager Sir Matt Busby, who saw him play in a friendly against a local side.
His first major acting credit came in 1957 British gangster film No Road Back.
Tributes have started to pour in for the iconic Scot.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “I was heartbroken to learn this morning of the passing of Sir Sean Connery. Our nation today mourns one of her best loved sons.
"Sean was born into a working class Edinburgh family and through talent & sheer hard work, became an international film icon and one of the world's most accomplished actors.”
Actor Sam Neill, who stared with Sir Sean in Hunt For The Red October took to twitter to say: “Every day on set with Sean Connery was an object lesson in how to act on screen.
"But all that charisma and power- that was utterly unique to Sean . RIP that great man , that great actor.”
Former First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond added: “The world’s greatest Scot, the last of the real Hollywood stars, the definitive Bond.
"Sean Connery was all of these things but more.
"He was also a staunch patriot, a deep thinker and an outstanding human being.”