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Sean Connery's Biography
Scottish actor and film icon, he was the first to play the role of agent 007 in the James Bond series, appearing in seven films from 1962 to 1983. He won the Academy Award in 1987 for Best Supporting Actor in the film The Untouchables. Known on movie sets as a hard-working actor, he demanded and expected professionalism from every actor, director, and crew member.
He lived in an Edinburgh tenement flat as a child where the lower dresser drawer served as his crib when he was a baby. At nine, he helped supplement his van driver father’s income by delivering milk. Once he left school he tried his luck at brick laying, coal mining, usher at the cinemas and posing nude as a model at the Edinburgh Art School. He joined the Royal Navy but was discharged for stomach ulcers.
He began to sculpt his imposing lean 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in) body to compete for the Mr. Universe title representing Scotland. In 1951, he auditioned for a part in the male chorus in the London West End version of South Pacific. At the age of 20, he began his acting training. He went to the public library and taught himself the classics with the encouragement of a theater manager-actor friend. His first staring film role was in Requiem for a Heavyweight in 1957.
Connery garnered bit parts until 1962 when he was chosen to play super agent 007 in the James Bond series. The movies triggered an immediate notoriety, fame, and high acclaim. Unhappy with the Bond franchise, he tried other roles but found his career limited by his Bond Adonis image. He continued to work in films but ran into little success in the late ’70s and early ’80s. After appearing in one more Bond film, Never Say Never in 1982, his career turned around. He won a British Best Actor Academy Award for his role in The Name of the Rose in 1986. He was honored by the American Academy when he won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role as an Irish beat cop in Brian DePalma’s 1987 film The Untouchables. As a mature actor, he continued to work, often in roles where he was cast as a seasoned mentor teamed with another noted actor. In 1969, he made an attempt at directing but the film was never released.
In November 1962, Connery married Australian actress Diane Cilento and they had a son Jason, born on 11 January 1963. While married to Cilento, Connery met Micheline Roquebrune at a golf tournament in Morocco in 1970, a painter and a fierce golf competitor with a young son. He divorced in 1973 and married Roquebrune in March 1975.
The couple owned homes in Marbella, Spain, Monte Carlo, Los Angeles, and the Bahamas. They continued their passion for the game of golf with Connery’s handicap between eight-twelve. He stayed in shape by occasionally abstaining from his favorite drink, vodka and getting on the golf course. He liked to relax by writing poetry. He credited his years of studying movement under the dance therapist, Yat Malmgeren, for his ability in commanding his posture and movement when he walked. He preferred an unpretentious lifestyle without the trappings of celebrity status symbols and did not employ an agent. He made his own travel arrangements and when in London, liked to walk to his appointments by himself. When he drove he preferred his fuel efficient Toyota Land Cruiser to his Mercedes.
In a 1965 Playboy interview he quipped that slapping a woman was justified if she was a bitch. His reputation as a male chauvinist haunted him as he rallied against the female encroachment into traditional all-male enclaves like clubs and bars. Women, however, had always been a part of his life, as evidenced by the loss of his virginity at age 14 to an older woman, who seduced him.
He had no qualms about taking movie productions to litigation if he felt his financial earnings were hidden under clever accounting skills. As a philanthropist and cofounder, he donated millions to the Scottish International Education Trust since 1970. He lent his rich voice to Scottish politics by doing voice-over advertisements for the Scottish Nationalist party for an independent Scotland.
Connery was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II at an investiture ceremony at Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh on 5 July 2000. He died peacefully in his sleep on the night of 30 to 31 October 2020 at his home in the Bahamas at age 90.
Link to Wikipedia biography