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James Bond actor Sir Sean Connery dies aged 90

Written by on 31 October 2020

Sir Sean Connery has died at the age of 90, his family have said.

Sir Sean’s son Jason said his father died peacefully in his sleep overnight while in Nassau, in the Bahamas, having been “unwell for some time”.

Jason Connery said his father “had many of his family who could be in the Bahamas around him” when he died.

Sean Connery: The life and career of the ultimate James Bond

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Sean Connery in the 1971 Bond film Diamonds Are Forever
Sean Connery and Jill Masterson
(Original Caption) James Bond (Sean Connery) and Jill Masterson (Shirley Eaton) share a laugh on the phone in the James Bond flick, Goldfinger. 1964.
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Connery and Shirley Eaton share a laugh on the phone in the James Bond flick Goldfinger

He said: “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.”

A statement from the actor’s wife Micheline and sons Jason and Stephane said there will be a private ceremony for Connery, followed by a memorial once the pandemic has ended.

Connery, from Fountainbridge in Edinburgh, also starred in The Hunt for Red October, Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade and The Rock in a career that spanned 50 years.

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He won an Oscar for his role as a Chicago cop in 1987’s The Untouchables, as well as two Bafta awards and three Golden Globes.

News of his death was met with a flood of tributes from fans, fellow actors and politicians.

Fellow Bond actor Daniel Craig said: “The wit and charm he portrayed on screen could be measured in mega watts; he helped create the modern blockbuster.”

Dame Shirley Bassey, who sung the themes to three Bond films, said: “I’m incredibly saddened to hear of Sean’s passing.

“My thoughts are with his family. He was a wonderful person, a true gentleman and we will be forever connected by Bond.”

Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: “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 and sheer hard work, became an international film icon and one of the world’s most accomplished actors.”

31st August 1962: Scottish actor Sean Connery, the new face of superspy James Bond, relaxes in his basement flat in London's NW8. (Photo by Chris Ware/Keystone Features/Getty Images)
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A young Connery in 1962 – the year he first appeared as Bond
File photo dated 29/11/96 of Dame Diana Rigg and Sean Connery attending the 1996 Evening Standard Drama Awards at the Savoy Hotel in London. The Avengers actress Dame Diana Rigg has died at the age of 82, her agent has said.
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Dame Diana Rigg and Sean Connery in 1996

Bond producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli paid tribute to Connery in a statement, saying: “We are devastated by the news of the passing of Sir Sean Connery.

“He was and shall always be remembered as the original James Bond whose indelible entrance into cinema history began when he announced those unforgettable words – ‘The name’s Bond… James Bond.’

“He is undoubtedly largely responsible for the success of the film series and we shall be forever grateful to him.”

Connery, who celebrated his 90th birthday in August, was knighted by the Queen at Holyrood Palace in the 2000 New Year Honours for services to film drama.

Sir Sean Connery, with wife Micheline (R), pose for photographers after he was formally knighted by ..
Sir Sean Connery, with wife Micheline (R), pose for photographers after he was formally knighted by the Britain's [Queen Elizabeth] at Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh July 5. [The Scottish screen legend, famous for his role as James Bond, was honoured two years after he was reportedly denied a knighthood because of his passionate Scottish nationalism. ]
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Date: 05/07/2000 12:00
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Sir Sean Connery and wife Micheline after he was knighted in 2000
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 09: Sir Sean Connery attends the 2013 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 9, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Uri Schanker/WireImage)
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Connery, pictured in 2013, had a career spanning 50 years

He won legions of fans as Bond, often coming top of fan-voted polls thanks to his debonair manner and wry humour.

He made his on-screen debut in Dr No in 1962. This was followed by From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice and Diamonds Are Forever.