Sean Connery, best known as the original James Bond, passed away at the age of 90 on October 31, according to BBC News. The Scottish actor died in his sleep overnight in Nassau, Bahamas, his son, Jason Connery, confirmed to the network. Jason noted that his father “had many of his family who could be in the Bahamas around him” when he passed. “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.”
Bond producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli told our sister site Variety in an October 31 statement that Sean “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 revolutionized the world with his gritty and witty portrayal of the sexy and charismatic secret agent. He is undoubtedly largely responsible for the success of the film series and we shall be forever grateful to him.”
Sean was born in Fountainbridge, Edinburgh, Scotland as Thomas Sean Connery on August 25, 1930. His family was extremely poor, so Sean left school at only 13 to start working. He joined the Royal Navy for three years at the age of 16, and left after developing stomach ulcers. Sean began working out to become a bodybuilder, and eventually caught the acting bug. With that, he dropped his first name and became Sean Connery. His career spanned five decades and included an Academy Award win for 1988’s The Untouchables.
Sean was cast in Dr. No, the first James Bond movie in 1961. And with that, his career skyrocketed. Sean reprised the role From Russia With Love (1963), Goldfinger (1965), Thunderball (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967), Diamonds Are Forever (1971) and Never Say Never Again (1983). The series was a smashing success and when Sean stepped down, Roger Moore took over as Bond.
Besides his notable career as James Bond, Sean also starred in the Alfred Hitchcock class Marnie with Tippi Hedren. In 1987, he won an Academy Award in the Best Supporting Actor category for The Untouchables. He worked with other Hollywood legends like Audrey Hepburn on Robin and Marian in 1976 and the all-star cast of Murder on the Orient Express, which included Lauren Bacall, Albert Finney, and Ingrid Bergman. He continued to make hits well into his later years including co-starring as Harrison Ford‘s father in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. His last acting role was in the 2003 film The League of Extraordinary Gentleman.
Sean was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000. He married Diane Cilento in 1962 in Gibraltar. The pair later divorced in 1973 after the birth of their son, Jason Connery. Sean later married Micheline Roquebrune, again in Gibraltar in 1975. He also counted legendary actor Michael Caine, whom he met while filming The Man Who Would Be King in 1975, as one of his closest friends. Sean’s death comes six months after Bond Girl Honor Blackman died at age 94. Honor starred alongside Sean in Goldfinger as Pussy Galore.