Website last updated: 19-9-2017

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25 AUGUSTI 2017
A CELEBRATION OF SIR SEAN CONNERY AS JAMES BOND

Sir Sean Connery, the worldwide-known seven-time James Bond Scottish actor and passionate golfer, celebrates his 87th birthday on 25th August, 2017.

With this page, From Sweden With Love would like to extend our personal wishes to a great actor and living legend.

"Dear Sean - YOU are and always will be my favourite James Bond 007. Here's to good health & happy days for you and your family. And to the next [I believe sixth!] Hole-in-One! We salute you, Sir." - FSWL founder Anders Frejdh

Sean Connery golf Scotland

About Sean Connery

(Official biography)
Sean Connery began his theatrical career as an extra in the chorus, playing bit parts, and modelling. From those modest beginnings, he has become an international film icon. Many believe that his talent and appeal continue to improve with time.

His humble beginnings, growing up in a working class neighbourhood in Edinburgh, gave no indication of the achievements that were destined to come. Sean was born into a working class family in August of 1930. The oldest of two boys, he spent much of his youth working at menial jobs, just to get by. He left school at an early age and went to work fulltime.

Sean Connery in Edinburgh for the city's film festival in 2006
Sean Connery in Edinburgh for the city's film festival in 2006. © Edinburgh International Film Festival. All rights reserved.

At sixteen, he enlisted in the Royal Navy. Like many young men in the Navy, he opted for a tattoo. However, unlike many tattoos, his were not frivolous - his tattoos reflect two of his lifelong commitments: his family and Scotland. After six decades, his tattoos still reflect those two ideas: One tattoo is a tribute to his parents and reads "Mum and Dad," and the other is self explanatory, "Scotland Forever."

After three years of Naval service, a long bout with a stomach ulcer shortened his "naval career". He returned to Edinburgh and seemed to settle into a life of hard work: bricklayer, lifeguard, and coffin polisher. Sean spent much of his free time bodybuilding, a pastime that eventually started his acting career. His hobby of bodybuilding culminated in a bid for the 1950 Mr. Universe title where he placed third.

From his early acting days until his first superstar role, Sean's stardom was certainly not an over-night success story. From his first work in modelling, bit theatrical parts, and chorus appearances, it was almost eight years before he was cast opposite Lana Turner in Another Time, Another Place (1958). It would be another four years before he first uttered those unforgettable words, "Bond, James Bond."

Connery skyrocketed to international fame as the suave, confident (and many say definitive) Secret Agent 007 in six of the James Bond movies over the next decade: Dr. No (1962), From Russia with Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964) (1964), Thunderball (1965) (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967) and Diamonds Are Forever (1971).

Sean Connery golf on the set of Diamonds Are Forever 1971
Sean Connery play golf on the set of Diamonds Are Forever. Copyright © 1971 Danjaq S.A. & United Artists Corporation. All rights reserved.

He then broadened his career with an Agatha Christie whodunit, Murder on the Orient Express (1974), John Huston's adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's adventure The Man Who Would Be King (1975), the medieval romance Robin and Marian (1976) and Peter Hyams' sci-fi film, Outland (1981). He resurfaced as a much wiser and more mature Bond in the 1983 adventure, Never Say Never Again.

The 90's brought such great films as The Hunt for Red October (1990) playing a Russian sub commander), 1993's Rising Sun (as an expert in all things Japanese), Dragonheart (1996), the successful contemporary action dramas Just Cause (1995) and The Rock (1996). In 1999, Connery starred in and produced (Fountainbridge Films) Entrapment, a love story-thriller, co-starring Catherine Zeta-Jones. The year 2000 brought what many have said to be one of his best films, Finding Forrester. Sean's latest movie, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, was released in 2003.

Many critics and fans alike have said that the quality of his acting has only improved with age. Certainly his personal appeal has. In 1989, at almost 60 years of age he was voted People Magazine's Sexiest Man Alive. When advised of the award, Sean seemed to be unaffected as he replied, "Well there aren't many sexy dead men, are there."

Watch a clip from the BAFTA interview with Sean Connery in Edinburgh that FSWL founder Anders Frejdh attended:


Editor's note:
In August 2008, Sean Connery published his book Being A Scot which was also published as a paperback in 2009.

In April 2012, Sir Billi (voiced by Sean Connery) premiered in USA at the Sonoma International Film Festival. And in September 2013, Sir Billi got its UK cinema release and DVD release courtsey of Kaleidoscope Entertainment.

Sean Connery voice over as Sir Billi in Scotland
Sean Connery doing voice over as Sir Billi in The Bahamas. Copyright © 2014 Billi Productions Ltd. All rights reserved.

Birthdays for other James Bond actors:
>Barry Nelson (April 16)
>Bob Holness (November 12)
>Daniel Craig (March 2)
>George Lazenby (September 5)
>Pierce Brosnan (May 16)
>Roger Moore (October 14)
>Timothy Dalton (March 21)

Visit the official website for more information about Sean Connery's life and career including his wife's artwork.

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17 OCTOBER-30 NOVEMBER 2015
ALL SIX JAMES BONDS AT MADAME TUSSAUDS

Madame Tussauds London is bringing together wax figures of all six James Bonds for the first time this October.

To coincide with the release of SPECTRE, wax works of Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan will appear alongside the existing wax work of Daniel Craig for a limited time before embarking on a tour of Madame Tussauds worldwide.

The unique experience, created in close collaboration with EON Productions, will give fans an opportunity to stand side by side with all six Bonds - in the same place, at the same time.

Each of the wax works will be featured in a classic 007 dinner suit, designed by Oscar®-winning costume designer Lindy Hemming.

Sean Connery played 007 in six EON films starting with Dr. No (1962) and is portrayed as he appeared in the 1963 film From Russia with Love.

George Lazenby played James Bond in 1969’s On Her Majesty's Secret Service and will be featured in a classic pose from the film.

Roger Moore played Bond seven times beginning with 1973’s Live and Let Die and will be portrayed as he appeared in the 1977 film The Spy Who Loved Me.

Timothy Dalton will be featured as he appeared in the late 1980s in his two Bond appearances, The Living Daylights (1987) and Licence to Kill (1989).

Pierce Brosnan was 007 four times appearing first in 1995’s GoldenEye (1995); he will be featured as he appeared in the 1997 film Tomorrow Never Dies.

Daniel Craig’s figure portrays him as featured in his third Bond film, 2012’s Skyfall (2012).

The Madame Tussauds team already had access to measurements of Craig, Connery, Moore, Dalton and Brosnan from previous figures but needed George Lazenby's to complete the picture. The star of On Her Majesty's Secret Service was happy to oblige and gave the artists a sitting in Los Angeles in February.

Photo above:
Wax dolls of Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan. © 2015 Madame Tussauds. Alla rights reserved.

For more information and photos of the James Bonds at Madame Tussauds, go to:

www.madametussauds.com/london

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25 AUGUST 2015
SEAN CONNERY: IN HIS OWN WORDS ON BBC FOUR

To mark Sean Connery's 85th birthday, BBC Scotland has produced a special hour long tribute to the first 007 titled Sean Connery: In His Own Words. The programme will air on BBC Four on Tuesday 25th August at 10pm.

Featuring archive interviews with Sean Connery from over 50 years in the business. Friends, actors and directors including Pierce Brosnan, Robert Carlyle, Dougray Scott, Laurence Fishburne, Terry Gilliam, Charlie Higson and George Lucas pay tribute to Scotland's greatest movie star as he celebrates his 85th birthday.

Editor's note:
In August 2008, Sean Connery published his book, Being A Scot. In July 2009 the book was published in paperback.

In April 2012, Sir Billi (voiced by Sean Connery), premiered in USA at the Sonoma International Film Festival. In September 2013, Sir Billi gets its UK cinema release and on DVD release thanks to Kaleidoscope Entertainment.

Photo above:
Sean Connery: In His Own Words. © 2015 BBC Four. All rights reserved.

Watch Sean Connery: In His Own Words on BBC Four:

www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0674mg5

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16 SEPTEMBER 2013
SIR BILLI STARRING SEAN CONNERY ON DVD

SIR BILLI starring legendary James Bond actor Sir Sean Connery is released on DVD. SIR BILLI is the first animated movie from independent film-makers Sascha Hartmann (director) and Tessa Hartmann (screenwriter).

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From Sweden with Love was invited to the preview screening of SIR BILLI in Glasgow on September 5, 2013. Read our report.
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In April 2012, SIR BILLI premiered in USA at the Sonoma International Film Festival and now the film hits UK cinemas, FSWL is so thrilled about this news!

OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE: (16/8/2013)

Kaleidoscope Entertainment is proud to announce the release of SIR BILLI starring Sir Sean Connery, Miriam Margolyes & Alan Cumming

Title track performed by Dame Shirley Bassey
Directed by Sascha Hartmann

Kaleidoscope Entertainment is delighted to announce Scotland’s first full-length animated feature film SIR BILLI, releasing in cinemas from 13 September 2013 and DVD on 16 September 2013.

Synopsis:
An ageing, skateboarding veterinarian Sir Billi goes above and beyond the call of duty fighting villainous policemen and powerful lairds in a battle to save an illegal fugitive - Bessie Boo the beaver!

A heart-warming and action packed family movie where thrilling car chases, heroic skydiving and daring stunts from this octogenarian, fuelled with encounters with a hostile submarine, will keep you on the edge of your seat!

Voiced by Sir Sean Connery, everyone wants a grandpa like Sir Billi, the Guardian of the Highlands! With a star-studded cast including Alan Cumming (Spy Kids, The Smurfs 2, X-Men 2), Miriam Margolyes (Harry Potter, Mulan), Kieron Elliot (How to Train Your Dragon) and title track performed by Dame Shirley Bassey. Original score by Oscar nominee Patrick Doyle.

DVD details:
Format: PAL (region 2)
Running time: 75 minutes
Certificate: U
Price: 14.99 GBP
Extras: Talking to the Talent
Studio: Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment
Catalogue number: KAL8282
Barcode: 5060192813524

Watch the Official trailer for SIR BILLI

Photo above:
The DVD cover for SIR BILLI (2013). © Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment. All rights reserved.

Order SIR BILLI (voiced by Sean Connery) on DVD from Amazon UK:

www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00D959GTO/fromswedenwit-21/

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13 SEPTEMBER 2013
SIR SEAN CONNERY'S SIR BILLI HITS UK CINEMAS

SIR BILLI starring legendary James Bond actor Sir Sean Connery is the first animated movie from independent film-makers Sascha Hartmann (director) and Tessa Hartmann (screenwriter). The film will be distributed in the UK by Kaleidoscope Film Distribution.
-------------------------------------------------------------------
From Sweden with Love was invited to the preview screening of SIR BILLI in Glasgow on September 5, 2013. Read our report.
-------------------------------------------------------------------
In April 2012, SIR BILLI premiered in USA at the Sonoma International Film Festival and now the film hits UK cinemas, FSWL is so thrilled about this news!

OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE: (16/8/2013)

Kaleidoscope Entertainment is proud to announce the release of SIR BILLI starring Sir Sean Connery, Miriam Margolyes & Alan Cumming

Title track performed by Dame Shirley Bassey
Directed by Sascha Hartmann

Kaleidoscope Entertainment is delighted to announce Scotland’s first full-length animated feature film SIR BILLI, releasing in cinemas from 13 September 2013 and DVD on 16 September 2013.

Synopsis:
An ageing, skateboarding veterinarian Sir Billi goes above and beyond the call of duty fighting villainous policemen and powerful lairds in a battle to save an illegal fugitive - Bessie Boo the beaver!

A heart-warming and action packed family movie where thrilling car chases, heroic skydiving and daring stunts from this octogenarian, fuelled with encounters with a hostile submarine, will keep you on the edge of your seat!

Voiced by Sir Sean Connery, everyone wants a grandpa like Sir Billi, the Guardian of the Highlands! With a star-studded cast including Alan Cumming (Spy Kids, The Smurfs 2, X-Men 2) Miriam Margolyes (Harry Potter, Mulan), Kieron Elliot (How to Train Your Dragon) and title track performed by Dame Shirley Bassey. Original score by Oscar nominee Patrick Doyle.

Watch the Official trailer for SIR BILLI

Photo above:
Official UK quad poster for SIR BILLI (2013). © Kaleidoscope Entertainment. All rights reserved.

For more information on SIR BILLI, visit the official website:

www.sirbilli.com

Tags:

#sean_connery

Sir Sean Connery IS Sir Billi in his last official film appearance

From Sweden with Love was invited to a private screening of Sir Billi held at the Grosvenor Cinema, Ashton Lane in the West End of Glasgow on Thursday, September 5. FSWL’s man in Scotland, Brian James Smith, reports.

Sir Blli Sean Connery film
Friends, family, cast & crew and the media descended on a quiet corner of Glasgow’s West End to celebrate the release of Sir Billi, Scotland’s first animated feature film and starring the legendary Sir Sean Connery.

Sir Blli Sean Connery film
By the time Dame Shirley Bassey performs the title song – Guardian of the Highlands - and Sir Sean Connery delivers his opening monologue, the hairs on the back of your neck will be standing on end.

There is real artistry at work here, especially in the landscapes and backgrounds. Richly detailed and layered, the camera movement is as fluid as anything you would expect from a modern live-action motion picture. The rendering of the characters gives this film a fresh and unique feel.

The film sees the directorial debut of Sascha Hartmann. His wife Tessa wrote the screenplay and together they produced it with Sir Sean Connery having set up Glasgow Animation Ltd in 2000. With other family members involved it is clear that the Hartmanns have an abundance of talent and hope that this first foray into motion pictures will not be their last.

Tessa Sascha Hartmann Sir Billi
Co-producer John Fortune Fraser said, “With a budget of 9.5 million GBP, it’s a huge investment for any new business but it’s still a drop in the ocean to what the major animation studios invest – some up to several hundred million dollars per film.”

Indeed, this is not Disney Pixar – as Tessa Hartmann noted in an interview for AMFM Magazine: “I don’t have 200 million USD dollars to put into a film. But I do expect to stand alongside the giants of animation with a really decent product.” However, even at 9.5 million GBP, this is a production that punches well above its weight. The film boasts a music score by Oscar-nominated Patrick Doyle, editing by Steven Weisberg (whose resumé includes ‘Men In Black II’ and one of the Harry Potters) and a cast that includes Alan Cumming, Ruby Wax, Miriam Margolyes, Alex Norton plus Greg Hemphill and Ford Kiernan proving they are still game as a pair of highland bobbies. Sascha has written several songs for the film, including the aforementioned DSB title song and two performed by their daughter – the teen singing sensation Tallia Storm. The pivotal role of Bessie Boo, the last beaver in Scotland, is voiced by their other daughter Tessie Valentina Hartmann.

Tessa Sascha Hartmann Tallia Storm
The one thing that is going to get visitors to From Sweden with Love salivating are the number of James Bond references! Sir Billi is a unique character which Sir Sean has brought to life and he has a lot of fun with. It would seem that with this, what will probably be his final film (unless there is a ‘Sir Billi 2’!) he has made peace with the character that has been a part of his life for over 50 years. The references span the entire 007 series, not just the early Connery films, and work brilliantly. For people who are unfamiliar with the Bond films they certainly don’t look shoe-horned in - they still work well as part of the narrative. For Bond fans the fun will be spotting all the references and this serves to add an additional layer of enjoyment.

To echo Sir Sean’s opening comments, this movie is a rare treat!

Following the screening FSWL spoke to director Sascha Hartmann and his daughter Tessie, credited as Valentina Hartmann, who plays Bessie Boo.

Tessie Valentina Hartmann Sir Blli film
As well as directing this wonderful movie you also wrote the title song. How did that come about?
Sascha Hartmann – The thing about this title song was I had a vision and thought at the end the day if we’ve got Sean Connery involved then we need to have the lady! You go back to ‘Goldfinger’, you go back to the ‘Diamonds’ era, the amazing thing was, and Sean told me this on several occasions, that Broccoli and Saltzman were worried about their main themes. When we approached Shirley we [said] if we play you a song will you be interested? She said, “Not really, because if I don’t like the song I’m not doing it!” Which is fair enough!

At this point had you already written the song?
SH – We’ve done it! I’ve done it on the basis of Shirley, so every single time I was writing it I heard her and the amazing thing was I had written in her key. So eventually she came back and said, “I’ve been living with that song for months in my car. I’ve been rehearsing and I love it!” From that moment on we were glued together! So we did our rehearsals for two days and she was perfect from the start. We went into the recording studios on the third day. The first take was so brilliant that we did the second take just for the sake of it.

And Tessie…
Tessie Valentina Hartmann – I was Bessie Boo the beaver! It was still challenging for me because I was up against twenty five other girls. I had to do a lot of practising and different voices to try and be the perfect young little beaver. It was a great experience.
SH – The biggest challenge was when she [Bessie Boo] was in the water. The poor girl, we actually ...

Did you dunk her?
SH – No, no, no! But she had to have water and this was the hardest thing because I was worried about my girl choking!

I could talk for hours about this film. The in-jokes and references – Alan Cumming, who was in GoldenEye (1995), does the bungee jump off the dam, the car chase is a mix of Goldfinger (1964) and GoldenEye, the parachute jump, on top of the Land Rover, the five notes from the Thunderball (1965) soundtrack….
TVH – … all the posters…

… in the bus shelter…
SH – and the Deux Chevaux Citroën!
TVH – Every Sunday we have a movie night and we watch every James Bond film.

And which is your favourite?
TVH – ‘Goldfinger’.
SH – That’s my girl!

Do you like the Craig films?
TVH – They’re great. I like Skyfall (2012). I love Pierce Brosnan but I prefer Connery.
SH – The amazing thing in this film is, apart from an homage to Scotland with Sir Sean, at the end of the day there’s never been an animated Bond film so it was clear to me that we had to have wee bits that only the Bond aficionados would actually get.

Sir Billi is released on cinemas on September 13 and is available on DVD from September 16.

Written by Brian James Smith. Copyright © 2013 From Sweden with Love.

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13 APRIL 2012
SIR BILLI (SEAN CONNERY) PREMIERES IN USA

Great news! Sir Sean Connery's animated feature film Sir Billi (the first full length animated feature to be produced entirely in Scotland) premieres at Sonoma International Film Festival in San Francisco, USA.

When tragedy strikes in the Scottish Highlands, there can be only one man for the job - Sir William Sedgewick, aka Sir Billi (Sir Sean Connery)! An adventure story about an inimitable Highland hero – a grandpa and skateboarding veterinarian who goes above and beyond the call of duty fighting villainous policemen and powerful lairds in a battle to save an illegal fugitive – Bessie Boo the beaver!

A roller coaster adventure, “Sir Billi” braves treacherous ravines and hazardous gullies with his sidekick Gordon, (Alan Cumming) to save Bessie Boo and Wee Dave the rabbit as they hurtle down a yet perilous river.

A heart-warming and hilarious action packed family movie, where thrilling car chases, heroic skydiving and daring stunts from this octogenarian, fuelled with encounters with a hostile submarine, will keep you at the edge of your seat! In this race against time, will Sir Billi get to Bessie Boo first?

Explore the powerful force of this international Highland community, with its unrivalled Scottish landscapes, breathtaking scenery and hidden secrets.

Discover the power of the local people when they unite as one against evil and embark on an expedition unlike any other.


OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE: Glasgow, Scotland, 15th March 2012
Producers of Sir Billi, the first full length animated feature to be produced entirely in Scotland, have announced that the film will get its first international screening at the 15th annual Sonoma International Film Festival in San Francisco in April 11th-15th, 2012.

Festival Director Kevin McNeely said: “We are thrilled to host the U.S. Premiere of ‘Sir Billi’ featuring the powerfully dynamic voice of Sir Sean Connery...Tessa and Sascha Hartmann have produced an highly entertaining, family orientated film that sizzles with fun, non-stop action and an awesome title track sung by Dame Shirley Bassey, which was composed by Sascha...bring on the Scots...!”

Sascha Hartmann is directing ‘Sir Billi’ from a screenplay written by his wife Tessa Hartmann, from an original story they developed together. John Fraser is producer, with Sir Sean Connery serving as executive producer.

Expanded to a feature length CGI film from a 2006 short concept, this is a roller coaster adventure about the race to save the last beaver in Scotland, led by Sir Billi and voiced by Academy Award® winner Sir Sean Connery, in his first ever voice over role. Sir Billi is a vet by profession, skateboarder by passion and grandfather by love. He is joined by Tony Award® winner Alan Cumming (The Good Wife) who voices Gordon, a goat and Sir Billi’s confidante.

Sir Sean Connery has been heavily involved in the making of the film since its inception and was inspired to take on the lead role of “Sir Billi” after being contacted by the husband and wife producing team.

“I’m excited to be a part of this incredible film and Scotland’s first animated feature,” said Connery. “‘Sir Billi’ is truly a first class film, with an exceptional cast, and is sure to delight audiences of all ages. There’s an incredible amount of work that goes into animated productions and I am delighted that Sascha and his team have completed what has been a labour of love. I am thrilled with the final cut!”

Academy Award® nominated Scottish composer Patrick Doyle, (“Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” “Sense and Sensibility”), created the film’s music score and also lends his voice as a key character in the film.

“Sir Billi’s endearing multi-generational family story and cliff-hanger action spikes in the storyline provided me with just the right elements to compose a score I’m proud to say is among my best work to-date,” said Doyle. “My goal was to shine a light on the soul of this colourful cast of loveable characters through the power of music.”
“Being a part of Sir Billi meant so much because animation has always been a fascination of mine especially because I am from Scotland and know all of the areas where the film is based,” said Doyle.
“The fresh look of ‘Sir Billi’ and its original storyline gave me all the inspiration needed to create some of the best composition work I feel I’ve done.”

British singing legend Dame Shirley Bassey also joined the project to perform the title track “Guardian of the Highlands,” marking the first time Connery and Bassey have worked together since the 1971 James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever. Dame Shirley Bassey was also seen last summer on the red carpet at the Scottish Fashion Awards escorted by the film’s director Sascha Hartmann. She was wearing a couture gown in the Sir Billi tartan, which was designed by Scots designer Graeme Black.

Scotland’s first full length animated feature also showcases the voice acting talents of Miriam Margolyes (“Harry Potter,” “Romeo & Juliet”), Alex Norton (“Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Taggart”), Ford Kiernan (“Chewin’ the Fat,” “The Last Great Wilderness”), Barbara Rafferty (“The Wicker Man,” “River City”), Greg Hemphill (“Still Game,” “Chewin the Fat”), Kieron Elliot (“How to Train Your Dragon”), Ruby Wax, John Amabile, Larry Sullivan, Valentina Fraser, Tallia Storm, Elliot Doyle, Chris Jai Alex and NYC night queen Amy Sacco.

Sascha said: “To get this film made and completed has really been a true labour of love. We received a good studio offer to go to Los Angeles about 3 years ago with a deal that was pretty exciting but we decided to remain in Scotland, keep creative control and produce a truly Scottish product! Granted it’s taken longer than we expected and we had to raise more finance, which was challenging, but this is an expensive business and it has to be done right. Fortunately animation stories are timeless and so there are no restrictions on them. Thanks to the support of our producer and mentor John (Fraser) we made it!”
“Sir Sean has been incredible too. We have worked hand in hand with him for over 6 years. From day one we knew Sir Sean was perfect for the role of ‘Sir Billi”- being a true Scottish hero and also a grandfather himself. No matter how many times I hear his legendary voice on the film, it still gives me a thrill!” said Hartmann.

Producer and Scottish industrialist John Fraser said: “We’re well aware how competitive this market sector is with the heavy weight animation studios out there – I guess you could call it a ‘David and Goliath’ adventure, but we believe we have produced an end product that is something to be proud of as independent film makers. At the end of the day, this film was produced and made in Scotland, because that’s what we believe in. Investing in local creative talent, jobs and ultimately investing in a Scottish film industry. Sascha and his team couldn’t have worked any harder so the rest is in the hands of the gods as they say”.

There is no doubt that the entire project took relentless determination and perseverance from the husband and wife team. Alan Cumming said: “I think it is amazing that they have persevered so long and hard to get this project made in Scotland, when there was absolutely no precedent for anything like this there. Their enthusiasm was so great and I'm very predisposed to doing Scottish things. Though neither [Sir Sean nor I] live in our home country we feel very connected to it.”

So on the 13th April, audiences in San Francisco will have the first look at Sir Billi.
But if the enthusiasm from the cast, legendary voices and talent attached is anything to go by, perhaps the Hartmann’s are indeed in for a big adventure!

TALKING TO THE TALENT: SIR SEAN CONNERY, PATRICK DOYLE AND DAME SHIRLEY BASSEY:


About the Sonoma International Film Festival:
The festival is now in its 15th year and has grown to become a five-day international event, with 8 screening venues and attracting top entertainment talent from around the world. Last year McNeely presented Susan Sarandon with a Lifetime Achievement Award and one of his highlights was presenting a Lifetime Achievement to his best friend and actor Bruce Willis.

After the red carpet premiere, the festival and the Hartmann’s will hold a VIP dinner in true Scottish fashion serving, salmon, haggis, Tunnocks Tea Cakes, Walkers Shortbread and a few drams, completed by a Scottish piper to welcome the American VIP’s.

Production notes for Sir Billi
• "Born in Scotland, created for the world"
All animation has been created in-house by the Glasgow Animation team of 60 creative professionals including fellow Scot Kevin McCormack, Sascha’s right hand who is Creative Technical Director. Having developed a short film teaser using Maya software in 2005, the company then developed and created a unique proprietary production pipeline in order to complete a full-length feature. What began as a budgetary constraint proved to be advantageous as the film now has a very distinctive look, which has been very well received by test audiences.

• Edited by Steven Weisberg:
Weisberg is one of Hollywood’s leading editors and has edited many box office hits. His CV includes an impressive array of work including the critically acclaimed ‘Albert Nobbs’ starring the Oscar nominated Glen Close. His credits also included Morning Glory, Mr.Magorium’s Wonder Emporium, Man of the Year, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Men in Black II amongst others).

• Sound design – "A live action feel"
Sound design was led by Simon Chase, (Quantum of Solace, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Casino Royal and United 93), bringing an edgy live action feel to the animation.

• Sir Billi tartan - as worn by Sir Sean Connery and Dame Shirley Bassey:
Sascha Hartmann created a “Sir Billi” tartan for the film that was exclusively manufactured by Lochcarron of Scotland, based in Hawick. The ‘Sir Billi’ tartan fabric was woven over a period of ten weeks, then registered as a member of the Scottish Tartans Authority, proving its authenticity for the hero’s real-life and film wardrobes.

• Universal Music Publishing sign a deal for Hartmann's original songs:
Sascha and Tessa Hartmann, the husband and wife creative team at the helm on “Sir Billi” have also signed a deal with Universal Music Publishing for the five original songs that will be featured in the animated feature film that is nearing completion. Sascha Hartmann composed the music, and Tessa Hartmann wrote the lyrics for the five-featured original songs.

Simon Mortimer, Vice President of Business Development & Media at Universal Music Publishing Ltd said, “It’s great to be working with Tessa and Sascha who have created a real fun animation film. The songs we are publishing are great commercial songs in their own right and fit perfectly with the film. We wish them all the success they deserve with this terrific project.”

• Securing a musical legend - Dame Shirley Bassey:
When asked how the collaboration with Dame Shirley came about Director Sascha Hartmann, who also composed the original song said: “My wife Tessa and I agreed that Dame Shirley was the ultimate artist to perform the title track for this film, especially given the ‘Bond’ connection of Sir Sean and Dame Shirley. So I sat down and wrote a song for her! Tessa approached her management and thankfully she fell in love with the song. It really was a dream come true for us as she is an absolute icon, consummate professional and a pleasure to work with”.
Dame Shirley was thrilled with the outcome. When asked how the producers persuaded her to join the project, Dame Shirley said: “There was no persuading needed here, I loved the song from the moment I heard it. Sascha and Tessa made the process incredibly fun and easy for me and we got a great result”.

Follow on Facebook and Twitter, or visit the official Sir Billi website for the latest information:

www.sirbilli.com

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13 APRIL 2012
SEAN CONNERY AS SIR BILLI IN ANIMATED FILM

Sir Sean Connery - legendary James Bond actor and movie star - makes the voice to Sir Billi in a new animated Scottish film with the same title. The film is due to be released in 2012 and you can "like" it on Facebook.

Now expanded to a feature length CGI film from a 2006 short concept, the heart-warming and hilarious adventure film Sir Billi features an all star cast including Academy Award® winner Sir Sean Connery in his first ever animated voice-over role, and Tony Award® winner Alan Cumming. All animation has been created in-house by a team from Glasgow Animation consisting of 60 creative professionals who have been hard at work since the inception of the project and created proprietary technology specifically for the film. Having developed a short film teaser using Maya software in 2005, the company then developed and created a unique proprietary production pipeline in order to complete a full-length feature. What began as budgetary restraint proved to be advantageous as the film now has a very distinctive look. Under the direction of Sascha Hartmann, the small but highly skilled team is comprised of Creative Technical Director Kevin McCormack, Head of GA Pipeline Federico Fiore and Supervising Head of Animation Kenneth Chan.

Rich with authentic and discreetly embedded humorous details from the Highland village scenes, the creative team also incorporated artwork of Sir Sean Connery's wife, French artist Micheline Roquebrune, into Sir Billi's cottage. (Check out some of Micheline's art at Sean Connery's official website.) Sascha Hartmann created a Sir Billi tartan for the film that was exclusively manufactured by Lochcarron of Scotland, based in Hawick. The 'Sir Billi' tartan fabric was woven over a period of ten weeks, then registered as a member of the Scottish Tartans Authority, proving it's authenticity for the hero's real-life and film wardrobes.

Academy Award® nominated Scottish composer Patrick Doyle, ("Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," "Sense and Sensibility"), created the film's music score and also lends his voice as a key character in the film.

British singing legend Dame Shirley Bassey also joined the project to perform the title track "Guardian of the Highlands," marking the first time Connery and Shirley have worked together since the 1964 James Bond film, Goldfinger (1964).

Scotland's first full length animated feature also showcases the voice acting talents of Miriam Margolyes ("Harry Potter," "Romeo & Juliet"), Alex Norton ("Pirates of the Caribbean," "Taggart"), Ford Kiernan ("Chewin' the Fat," "The Last Great Wilderness"), Barbara Rafferty ("The Wicker Man," "River City"), Greg Hemphill ("Still Game," "Chewin the Fat"), Kieron Elliot ("How to Train Your Dragon"), Ruby Wax, John Amabile, Larry Sullivan, Chris Jai Alex and New York night queen Amy Sacco.

Official film synopsis:
When tragedy strikes in the Highlands, there can be only one man for the job - Sir William Sedgewick, aka Sir Billi (Sir Sean Connery)!

This is an adventure story about an inimitable Highland hero - a grandpa. As active senior skateboarding veterinarian he goes above and beyond the call of duty fighting villainous policemen and powerful lairds in a battle to save an illegal fugitive - Bessie Boo the beaver!

A roller coaster adventure, Sir Billi braves treacherous ravines and hazardous gullies with his sidekick Gordon the Goat (Alan Cumming) to save Bessie Boo and Wee Dave the rabbit as they hurtle down a perilous river.

A heart-warming & hilarious action packed family movie, where thrilling car chases, heroic skydiving and daring stunts from this octogenarian spurred on by encounters with a hostile submarine, will keep you at the edge of your seat!

Behind the eccentric austere of this tartan plaid overall-attired widower, he reveals a compassionate spirit with his unrivalled love for his late wife. Is it too late for this endearing grandpa to find new lady friend once again? Will Lady Serena, his daughter and grandson Jake even contemplate such a development from this adored Celt? Amongst it all in this race against time, will Sir Billi get to Bessie Boo first?

Explore the powerful force of this international Highland community, with its unrivalled landscapes, breathtaking scenery and hidden secrets. Discover the power of the local people when they unite as one against evil and embark on an expedition like no other.

Sir Billi delivers the charm and panache that one would expect of a true Highlander. As thee Guardian of the Highlands, everyone will want a grandpa like Sir Billi!

CAST AND CREW

SIR SEAN CONNERY - SIR BILLI
Sean began his theatrical career as an extra in the chorus, playing bit parts, and modeling. From those modest beginnings, he has become an international film icon. Many believe that his talent and appeal continue to improve with time.

His humble beginnings, growing up in a working class neighborhood in Edinburgh, gave no indication of the achievements that were destined to come. Sean was born into a working class family in August of 1930. The oldest of two boys, he spent much of his youth working at menial jobs, just to get by. He left school at an early age and went to work fulltime.

At sixteen, he enlisted in the Royal Navy. Like many young men in the Navy, he opted for a tattoo. However, unlike many tattoos, his were not frivolous - his tattoos reflect two of his lifelong commitments: his family and Scotland. After six decades, his tattoos still reflect those two ideas: One tattoo is a tribute to his parents and reads "Mum and Dad," and the other is self explanatory, "Scotland Forever."

After three years of Naval service, a long bout with a stomach ulcer shortened his "naval career". He returned to Edinburgh and seemed to settle into a life of hard work: bricklayer, lifeguard, and coffin polisher. Sean spent much of his free time bodybuilding, a pastime that eventually started his acting career. His hobby of bodybuilding culminated in a bid for the 1950 Mr. Universe title where he placed third.

From his early acting days until his first superstar role, Sean's stardom was certainly not an over-night success story. From his first work in modeling, bit theatrical parts, and chorus appearances, it was almost eight years before he was cast opposite Lana Turner in Another Time, Another Place (1958). It would be another four years before he first uttered those unforgettable words, "Bond, James Bond."

Connery skyrocketed to international fame as the suave, confident (and many say definitive) Secret Agent 007 in six of Ian Fleming's Bond movies over the next decade: Dr. No (1962), From Russia with Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967) and Diamonds Are Forever (1971).

He then broadened his career with an Agatha Christie whodunit, Murder on the Orient Express (1974), John Huston's adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's adventure, The Man Who Would Be King (1975), the medieval romance, Robin and Marian (1976), and Peter Hyams' sci-fi film, Outland (1981). He resurfaced as a much wiser and more mature Bond in the 1983 adventure, Never Say Never Again.

The 90's brought such great films as The Hunt for Red October (1990, as a Russian sub commander); and 1993's Rising Sun (as an expert in all things Japanese); Dragonheart (1996); and the successful contemporary action dramas Just Cause (1995); and The Rock (1996). In 1999, Connery starred in and produced (Fountainbridge Films) Entrapment, a love story-thriller, costarring Catherine Zeta-Jones. The year 2000 brought what many have said to be one of his best films, Finding Forrester. Sean's latest movie, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, was released in 2003.

Many critics and fans alike have said that the quality of his acting has only improved with age. Certainly his personal appeal has. In 1989, at almost 60 years of age he was voted People Magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive." When advised of the award, Sean seemed to be unaffected as he replied, "Well there aren't many sexy dead men, are there."

Recruiting a legend for husband and wife team Sascha and Tessa Hartmann was quite literally a dream come true.

"We approached a mutual friend of Sir Sean's and asked if he would be so kind as to forward a package to Sir Sean for consideration. He agreed and we waited nervously. We heard nothing for a few weeks, feeling slightly disappointed until my mobile rang late one Friday evening! It was Sir Sean. At first I thought it was a joke and as he continued to speak the realization set in that it was actually him calling from the Bahamas," explains Tessa Hartmann, producer.

"He explained that his grandchildren had taken the DVD from him home in the Bahamas back with them to California, without his knowledge, they loved it so much. When word finally got back to him about what had happened, he called us straight away and we met in Scotland several weeks later to present and discuss the project. That was 5 years ago and we have been working together ever since!"

The appeal for Sir Sean wasn't just the originality of the story and characters that Sascha had created, it was the fact that it was being produced in Scotland. Sir Sean said: "It was important to me there was a Scottish element in terms of production and content. In many ways the landmarks used in Sir Billi, even though imaginary, remind me of my time filming Highlander (1986). We did that in the north of Scotland where there are great beaches and spectacular countryside. There's something for everyone in Sir Billi and I'm certain it's going to be something special!"

"It is an honour and indeed privilege to have worked with Sir Sean over these last few years. He is the consummate professional in every way. We are indebted to him for his support, ideas, passion and indeed faith in this production!", states Tessa.

ALAN CUMMING - GORDON THE GOAT
Born in 1965 in Perthshire, Scotland, Alan trained at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. On the New York stage he has appeared in Elle (which he also adapted), Design For Living and Cabaret (for which he won the Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Theater World, New York Press, FANY and New York Public Advocate's Awards). In London: Hamlet at the Donmar Warehouse (TMA Best Actor award and Shakespeare Globe nomination), Cabaret (Olivier nomination), La Bete (Olivier nomination), Conquest of the South Pole (Olivier nomination) and seasons with the RSC and RNT, where he won an Olivier Award for his performance in Accidental Death of an Anarchist (which he also co-adapted).

Alan is an accomplished writer, director and producer with projects such as The Anniversary Party (2001) with Jennifer Jason Leigh and two short films entitled 'Butter' and 'Burn Your Phone'. His other acting credits include X-Men 2 (2003), Spy Kids 3-D (2003), Nicholas Nickleby (2002), Josie and the Pussycats (2001), Company Man (2000), Urbania (2000), Titus (1999), Eyes Wide Shut (1999), Emma (1996), Circle of Friends (1995), GoldenEye (1995) and Buddy (1997).

Alan is currently shooting the role of Alexis in the movie Burlesque (2010), opposite Cher and Christina Aguilera, as well as playing Eli Gold in an arc on the hit CBS series The Good Wife (2010-2012), opposite Julianna Marguiles and Chris Noth.

Alan will play the Green Goblin in the new Broadway show Spiderman:Turn Off The Dark, with music by Bono and the Edge and direction by Julie Taymor. Performances begin in fall 2010 at the Hilton Theatre.

In Sir Billi, Alan takes on the role of Sir Billi's best friend and companion 'Gordon the Goat'. Faced with an identity crisis, Gordon is a goat who think's he's a dog! "We were always huge fans of Alan Cumming, being a Scot and such an accomplished actor and innovator. When we came to cast the role of Gordon the Goat there was only ever one name we had in mind - Alan. From the moment we recorded his vocal in New York, I knew then we were absolutely right - he is the only man for the goat and his performance is just classic. It's one of those roles that you simply have to see to truly appreciate the subtle nuances in his comic and 'dry' delivery - very apt for the personality of Gordon the Goat! He does steal the show in a few scenes!" states Sascha Hartmann.

He resides in New York City and has a long-running website, www.alancumming.com, where you can find the latest information on everything he's involved with, from acting projects to charitable organizations.

ALEX NORTON - BARON MCTOFF / THE BUTLER
MIRIAM MARGOLYES - LADY CHANTAL MCTOFF
RUBY WAX - PATTI TURNER
FORD KIERNAN - PC MCKENZIE
GREG HEMPIL - PC MCTAVISH
JOHN AMABILE - MILK VAN DRIVER
CHRIS JAI ALEX - GOLF TOURIST
JAMIE STILL - WEE DAVE
LARRY SULLIVAN - LADY SERENA SEDGEWICK
AMY SACCO - TONI TURNER
SASCHA HARTMANN - DIRECTOR
TESSA HARTMANN - PRODUCER / WRITER

Visit the official Sir Billi production site for the latest information:

www.billiproductions.com

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1 MARCH - 30 APRIL 2011
SEAN CONNERY FUNDRAISER IN NEW YORK

Exclusive fundraiser at this year's Dressed to Kilt in New York with Sir Sean Connery involved!

Check out the art show with limited edition prints by Terry O'Neill of Sir Sean Connery.

From original stills during the filming of Diamonds Are Forever (1971) to classic off camera shots of Sir Sean with Brigitte Bardot.

All funds going to the Friends of Scotland charity.

All photographs are taken from the original negative and are hand-signed and numbered by the artist, and in some cases, by Sir Sean Connery as well.

Platinum Edition; Black and White
Size: 20"x24";
Limited Edition of 10

Platinum Edition prints Sold from March 1st 2011 - April 30th 2011 will be hand-signed and numbered by both the artist Terry O'Neill and Sir Sean Connery.

Printing of platinum prints will begin after April 30th 2011. Once shipped purchasers will receive a confirmation email with all tracking details.

Silver Gelatin; Black and White
Sizes: 20"x24", 20"x30", 30"X40", 48"x72"
Limited Edition of: 50 (Signed and Numbered by Terry O'Neill)

Silver Gelatin prints sold during this fundraiser will be made to order by the artist and delivery will take 4 to 6 weeks from date of purchase.

All prices are for unframed prints. Prices will not include S/H or Framing. (Framing services are available upon request.)

For more information, check out the official Dressed to Kilt page:

www.dressedtokiltartshow.com/art-fundraiser/

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4 OCTOBER 2010
OSCAR NOMINATED COMPOSER ON SEAN CONNERY'S ANIMATED FILM

"SIR BILLI" CREATIVE TEAM ANNOUNCES COMPLETION OF MUSICAL SCORE BY OSCAR-NOMINATED COMPOSER PATRICK DOYLE FOR SCOTLAND’S FIRST FULL-LENGTH ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

Los Angeles– October 1, 2010 – Glasgow-based Billi Productions Ltd. announced today the completion of the musical score composition and orchestral recording for “Sir Billi,” Scotland’s first full-length animated feature film that is now in the final stages of post production. Internationally recognized film composer Patrick Doyle wrote the score, working with the film’s husband and wife creative team, Sascha Hartmann, who directed the movie, and Tessa Hartmann who wrote the script.

Patrick’s Oscar®-nominated work on the original score for “Hamlet” (1996-Best Music, Original Dramatic Score) and “Sense and Sensibility” (1995-Best Music, Original Dramatic Score), as well as his original scores for the hit British comedy “Bridget Jones Diary” (2001) and Saturn Award-nominated “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” (1996) attracted the Hartmann’s to approach fellow Scot Patrick to compose and record the original score for “Sir Billi.”

“We are thrilled with Patrick’s uncanny ability to capture the true essence of ‘Sir Billi’ through his music and bring it to life in this new dimension,” said Sascha Hartmann. “Patrick has such a keen musical sense and created just the right nuances to convey the highs and lows of Sir Billi’s adventures on his quest to save Bessie Boo the Beaver.”

Patrick was inspired to write the theme to the original score on the spot, as the melody of the theme came to him while speaking with Sascha Hartmann about the direction of the score—something Doyle says has only happened twice before in his career.

“Sir Billi’s endearing multi-generational family story and cliff-hanger action spikes in the storyline provided me with just the right elements to compose a score I’m proud to say is among my best work to-date,” said Doyle. “My goal was to shine a light on the soul of this colorful cast of loveable characters through the power of music.”

“Being a part of Sir Billi meant so much because animation has always been a fascination of mine especially because I am from Scotland and know all of the areas where the film is based,” said Doyle.
“The fresh look of ‘Sir Billi’ and its original storyline gave me all the inspiration needed to create some of the best composition work I feel I’ve done.”

“Sir Billi” is an adventure story about the power of a remote Scottish community held together by an eccentric, skateboarding and retired veterinarian played by Sir Sean Connery and their race to save an illegal fugitive – Bessie Boo the Beaver. Sir Billi braves treacherous ravines and hazardous waters as he and the village clash with the law in their fight to rescue Bessie.

The husband and wife creative team were also very involved in the soundtrack for the film, with the five original songs in the film composed by Sascha, and the lyrics written for the songs by Tessa. The first song announced and opening title track of the film, “Guardian of the Highlands,” was performed by Dame Shirley Bassey and produced by the film’s director Sascha Hartmann. Best known for recording the theme songs to the James Bond films Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever, and Moonraker, Bassey is once again teaming up with Sir Sean Connery, who lends his voice as Sir Billi, the lead character in the film.

WATCH BEHIND THE SCENES INTERVIEWS WITH PATRICK DOYLE

LISTEN TO “BILLI’S THEME”

ABOUT “SIR BILLI”
When tragedy strikes in the Scottish Highlands, there can be only one man for the job - Sir William Sedgewick, aka Sir Billi (Sir Sean Connery)! An adventure story about an inimitable Highland hero – a grandpa and active senior skateboarding veterinarian who goes above and beyond the call of duty fighting villainous policemen and powerful lairds in a battle to save an illegal fugitive – Bessie Boo the beaver!

The heart-warming and hilarious action-packed family movie, where thrilling car chases, heroic skydiving and daring stunts from this octogenarian, fueled with encounters with a hostile submarine, will keep you at the edge of your seat!

A host of other actors have voiced lead roles in the animated feature including Alan Cumming, Miriam Margolyes, Ruby Wax, Alex Norton, Ford Keirnan, Greg Hempill, Barbara Rafferty and John Amabile.

ABOUT BILLI PRODUCTIONS LTD
Billi Productions Ltd was founded in 2005 by Sascha and Tessa Hartmann, Sir Sean Connery and John Fraser (investor) to own the copyright and all film rights to the intellectual property that is ‘Sir Billi.’ Production is being carried out by parent company Glasgow Animation Ltd., an independent studio based just outside Glasgow. This small animation studio is a wealth of young and ambitious creative talents who have produced Scotland’s first full length animated feature in-house.

To learn more about Billi Productions please visit:
www.billiproductions.com

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20 JUNE 2010
A CELEBRATION OF SIR SEAN CONNERY

Special Screening of The Man Who Would Be King (1975) directed by John Huston.

Bank of Scotland Gala Screening. In celebration of Sir Sean Connery's 80th year, and his dedicated support of EIFF as Patron since 1992, he joins EIFF for a special screening of one of his best-loved films in their spectacular new venue.

A late-career masterpiece from legendary director/adventurer Huston and adapted from a Rudyard Kipling story, it stars Sir Sean and Michael Caine as a pair of opportunistic Victorian chappies scheming to take over a remote middle-eastern kingdom, with Saeed Jaffrey and Christopher Plummer rounding out a star-studded cast.

EIFF's long-serving patron has often named John Huston's rip-roaring adventure classic among his own personal favourites. We're therefore especially delighted to present this much-beloved film with the generous support of Park Circus. 35 years on, we've become accustomed to watching movies on our televisions, our laptops, even our mobiles. But of all the films selected for this year's programme,The Man Who Would Be King is the one which emphatically demands to be seen on the biggest of screens.
It's surely what Huston would have wanted - this is the man who once said:
Edinburgh is the only film festival that's worth a damn.

Cast of The Man Who Would Be King
Sean Connery as Daniel Dravot
Michael Caine as Peachy Carnehan
Christopher Plummer as Rudyard Kipling
Saeed Jaffrey as Billy Fish
Doghmi Larbi as Ootah

Film credits
Director: John Huston
Producer: John Foreman
Scriptwriters: John Huston, Gladys Hill
Editor: Russell Lloyd
Director of Photography: Oswald Morris
Music: Maurice Jarre

Hannah McGill, Artistic Director of the EIFF comments:

This event is a fitting way to celebrate Sir Sean's 80 years - almost twenty of which he has given to support EIFF as Patron! He is a great friend of the Festival and we look forward to celebrating this amid the glitter of the Festival Theatre. We are immensely grateful to Bank of Scotland for their support and are delighted to welcome them on board.

Susan Rice, Managing Director of Lloyds Banking Group Scotland comments:

Bank of Scotland is delighted to support the 64th Edinburgh International Film Festival by sponsoring such a timeless classic. EIFF is a wonderful opportunity for us all to see work by some of the best and brightest established film talent, as well as those by the newest, upcoming stars. I am sure this year’s superb programme of films and events will delight people of all ages.

Tickets for the celebration of Sean Connery can be reserved here:
boxoffice.filmhousecinema.com/peo/eiff_loader.asp?interface=6&target=hall.asp?event=14010

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23 JULY 2009
BEING A SCOT BY SEAN CONNERY (PAPERBACK)

UK Publication of Sean Connery's book Being A Scot in paperback.

Although he is an indubitably international superstar, Sir Sean Connery still knows the city of Edinburgh practically street by street from delivering the morning milk as a schoolboy. His round included Fettes College, where Ian Fleming had sent his fictional James Bond after he was expelled from Eton.

Being A Scot is a vivid and highly personal portrait of Scotland and its achievements, which is self-revelatory whilst full of Sir Sean's desire to shine light upon Scottish success and heroic failure. His personal quest with his friend and co-writer Murray Grigor has been to seek answers to some perplexing questions: How did Scots come to devise so many new sports and games, or raise others to new heights? What gave fire to the Gothic tendency in Scottish literature? Why have so many creatively inventive and influential architects been Scots? Where did Scotland's unreal blend of psychotic humour originate? And what about the national tradition of self-deprecation sometimes called the Scottish cringe?

Sean Connery offers a correction to misconceptions that many believe are part of the historical record whilst revealing as never before his own vibrant personal history.

BOOK DETAILS:
Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Phoenix
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0753826313
ISBN-13: 978-0753826317
Dimensions: 221 mm x 184 mm x 25 mm

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Sir Sean Connery was born in Edinburgh in 1930. He shot to international fame as James Bond. His three great passions in life are acting, golf and Scotland, and he rates his love of Scotland first.

(The hardcover edition of Being A Scot was published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson in August 2008.)

Order the paperback edition of Being A Scot by Sean Connery from Amazon UK:

www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0753826313/fromswedenwit-21/

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JAN 2009
SEAN CONNERY INTERVIEW IN GOLF INTERNATIONAL

Former James Bond actor and golf player Sean Connery is interviewed in this month's edition of Golf International, a British magazine. Do not miss it, very interesting stuff for any Bond fan wheather you play golf or not.

This issue is celebrating BOND AND GOLF is featuring: The writing of Ian Fleming, Sean Connery and his lifelong passion passion plus articles about the cars, the drinks, the travel and the gadgets!

About Golf International Magazine:
Since its launch in July 1997, Golf International has forged a reputation for the sheer quality and consistency of its editorial content and the allround production values that set the magazine apart from would-be rivals. It is the quality magazine for the aspirational golfer, its mission to both entertain and inform its readers by providing a high-end product that takes in top-class instruction and first-class writing and photography. In short, a golf magazine for grown-ups.
The underpinning aim is to enable the reader to get more out of his or her game - to play better golf, to understand the developments and benefits in the latest equipment and to suggest new destinations in which to play. And whether it be in the context of profiles, Q&A's and features - or in the comprehensive GI Business and GI Amateur sections within the magazine - Golf International sets out to lead rather than follow opinion, with the major issues in the game being scrutinised and commented upon by an array or respected writers.

"Essential reading from the best in the game" is not only a neat strapline but a statement of fact: among a panel of distinguished instructors the magazine lists Robert Baker, Peter Cowen, Denis Pugh and Jonathan Yarwood among regular contributors - not to mention the staff of David Leadbetter's Academy HQ at Champion's Gate in Orlando. Columnists include the inimitable Peter Alliss, former European No.1 Ronan Rafferty, esteemed journalists David Davies and Clive Agran, while Dominic Pedler, the UK’s foremost writer on golf equipment, keeps our readers one step ahead of technological developments (these days a full time job!)
The UK’s No.1 golf betting expert, Jeremy Chapman, pens a regular column, as does the celebrated author Tom Cox and surely golf’s most acerbic commentator, John Huggan.We are also delighted to provide an outlet for one of golf’s most entertaining and opinionated story-tellers in Tony Johnstone, while the cartoonist Tony Husband is a regular source of amusement.

All considered, the quality of the editorial material is unrivalled in the UK market, and our focus in 2008 (and beyond) is to further increase the visibility of the title nationwide (with the help of our distributors, COMAG, Golf International is listed in all W. H. Smith High Street stores in ’08), and to further maximise the benefits of the various strategic partnerships we have in place, which includes placement in all UK airport lounges, First & Business Class cabins on British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, and – via Gold Key Media – through a number of selected hotels. With Ryder Cup year upon us once more, 2008 promises to be a very special and exciting year in golf, and one – we believe – that will see Golf International consolidate its position as the stand-out title in a tough and uncompromising marketplace. We look forward to seeing you on the tee...

To order your copy of Golf International magazine, click below:

www.golfinternationalmag.co.uk

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21 AUGUST 2008
BEING A SCOT BY SEAN CONNERY (HARDCOVER)

UK Publication of Sean Connery's book Being A Scot in hardback.

"My first big break came when I was five years old. It's taken me more than seventy years to realise that. You see, at five I first learnt to read. It's that simple and it's that profound. I left school at thirteen. I didn't have a formal education... It has been a long return journey from my two-room Fountainbridge home in the smoky industrial end of Edinburgh opposite the McCowans' toffee factory. There was no bathroom with a communal toilet outside. For years we had only gas lighting. Sometimes the light in the shared stairway would be out after some desperado had broken the mantle to bubble gas through milk for kicks."

Although he is an indubitably international superstar, Sir Sean Connery still knows the city of Edinburgh practically street by street from delivering the morning milk as a schoolboy. His round included Fettes College, where Ian Fleming had sent his fictional James Bond after he was expelled from Eton.

Being A Scot is a vivid and highly personal portrait of Scotland and its achievements, which is self-revelatory whilst full of Sir Sean's desire to shine light upon Scottish success and heroic failure. His personal quest with his friend and co-writer Murray Grigor has been to seek answers to some perplexing questions. How did Scots come to devise so many new sports and games, or raise others to new heights? What gave fire to the Gothic tendency in Scottish literature? Why have so many creatively inventive and influential architects been Scots? Where did Scotland's unreal blend of psychotic humour originate? And what about the national tradition of self-deprecation sometimes called the Scottish cringe?

Sean Connery offers a correction to misconceptions that many believe are part of the historical record whilst revealing as never before his own vibrant personal history.

Book details:
Hardcover: 312 pages
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Language English
ISBN-10: 0297855409
ISBN-13: 978-0297855408
Dimensions: 26.4 x 21.6 x 3 cm

Reviews:
"A detailed, fascinating and beautifully designed study of Scottish culture and identity... there can be no doubt that this is essentially Connery's work" - THE SUNDAY TIMES

"This long-awaited book is that rare beast: an autobiography that absolutely mirrors its subject... valiantly surprising and deeply rewarding" - THE OBSERVER

"It has the feel-good factor - a boy from the tenements who has done good." - LONDON LITE

"This is canny history, lightly sprinkled with celebrity, beautifully illustrated, brimming with integrity and intelligence." - UNISON MAGAZINE

About the author:
Sir Sean Connery was born in Edinburgh in 1930. He shot to international fame as James Bond. His three great passions in life are acting, golf and Scotland, and he rates his love of Scotland first.

Order the hardback edition of Being A Scot by Sean Connery from Amazon UK:

www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0297855409/fromswedenwit-21/

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1 AUGUST 2008
ARISE SIR SEAN CONNERY BY JOHN PARKER

ARISE SIR SEAN CONNERY BY JOHN PARKER

Sean Connery is one of the world's few true superstars. The screen creator of James Bond has commanded some of the highest fees in Hollywood and is lauded by critics and public alike. In July 2000, his unique contribution to the world of film was recognized when he was accorded a knighthood. No other British actor has had such a high profile.Yet the man himself stands back from all the Hollywood razzmatazz, private, even reclusive.

Now, John Parker traces the astonishing rise to stardom of a tough street kid from Edinburgh who left school at the age of 13. Arriving in London with gold teeth and tattoos to seek his fortune in the meat market of body-building, Connery fought against snobbery and prejudice to become a self-taught Shakespearian actor. Then came the big break.

Auditioning for the part of James Bond, he told the producers with typical bluntness how Bond should be played - and his bristling attitude landed him the job. He became an overnight star.The most famous secret agent of them all, 007 became a monster which threatened to kill Connery as an actor.

He escaped to establish himself as one of the world's most versatile and highly-paid character actors, winning an Oscar for his part in "The Untouchables."

Book details
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: John Blake Publishing
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1844546195
ISBN-13: 978-1844546190

www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/1844546195/fromswedenwit-21/

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APRIL 2008
SEAN CONNERY INTERVIEW IN HEMISPHERE MAGAZINE

Former James Bond actor Sean Connery is interviewed by Matt Hurwitz in this month's edition of Hemisphere Magazine, the in-flight magazine of United Airlines. Do not miss it, very interesting stuff for all Bond fans.

The Spy We Love: Hemispheres Magazines Focuses on Bond, James Bond.
With the upcoming May centenary of James Bond creator Ian Fleming’s birth, a new Bond book also out that month (Devil May Care by Sebastian Faulks) and a new movie set to release this fall, the April 2008 issue of United Airlines inflight Hemispheres zeroes in on the world’s most famous spy.

A rare magazine interview with Sean Connery breaks new ground with comments on the most recent Bond film and the modern Bond brand. An in-depth feature by world-renowned James Bond expert John Cork explores how the 007 phenomena permeates our culture. (Connery is quoted as saying the feature is “a very fine article, by the way.”)

Several other pieces - including a Bond-themed crossword puzzle - will have Bond fans wanting more. Luckily, Hemispheres’ website provides it. A '007 Dossier' of exciting Bond-themed content fills a special Hemispheres website this month (see below). The 'classified' web folder is stuffed full of multimedia features and links, including a behind-the-scenes look at the upcoming Bond film; a look at Daniel Craig, the latest Bond actor (whom Connery comments on in his interview); and links to 007 travel destinations that have been featured in the magazine’s signature series, Three Perfect Days. There’s also a profile of one Hemispheres cover artist who portrayed a villain in a Bond film.

“This is the topical type of editorial package we love to bring our readers,” says Randy Johnson, Hemispheres editor. “It has it all - news value, cinematic and literary relevance, pop culture, travel, and more. Even if you don’t fly United this month, I urge Bond fans to log on and be amazed at the impact this character has had.”

Visit the official Hemisphere website:

www.hemispheresmagazine.com/2008_04/innerviews.php

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18 JANUARY 2008
SEAN CONNERY BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT

Sean Connery follows Roger Moore in a new "Bond battle".

James Bond legends Sean Connery and Roger Moore will go head to head with rival books this autumn, after Weidenfeld cajoled Connery into telling his story, and Michael O'Mara won the battle for Moore's memoirs.

Connery had initially been signed by HarperCollins to write his autobiography, but pulled out in 2005 after reluctance to discuss certain areas of his private life. A chance encounter at the Edinburgh Festival between Weidenfeld publisher Alan Samson and Connery's co-writer, Murray Grigor, led to Samson signing Connery's Being a Scot, for publication on 25th August.

Billed as "an intensely personal account", the book will fuse Connery's own experiences, including his acting career, with his efforts to track down what Scots have given to the world in art, science and sport. "Sean Connery is not calling it an autobiography but it's probably the nearest we will get to it," said Samson. "He's a legend—one of the absolute, out and out, movie stars."

Samson paid a six-figure sum for UK and Commonwealth rights through Claire Paterson at Janklow & Nesbit UK. The 100,000-word book will be published by W&N's illustrated division, complete with hundreds of illustrations and photographs, many of them previously unseen.

Meanwhile, a high-profile auction for 80-year-old Moore's My Word is My Bond was concluded this week, with Michael O'Mara emerging as the surprise victor. Ghost written by Gareth Owen, Moore's personal assistant, the book is due in October 2008—meaning both Bond books will be in the shops for Christmas, a head-to-head confrontation the two Bonds never achieved in the cinema.

O'Mara promised a "frank, funny and charming" look at Moore's life, with personal anecdotes about such luminaries as Noël Coward, Cary Grant—and Connery himself. UK & Commonwealth rights were acquired from Lesley Pollinger, with US rights going to HarperCollins US for almost $1m (£510,000). Pollinger said she was "on her way" to the £1m she had initially been asking for world rights, with deals struck in Sweden, Norway and Holland, and serial rights lined up.

"We are all delirious with anticipation," said Michael O'Mara. "What I have read so far bubbles with wit and is peopled by a ‘Who's Who' of Hollywood. Roger's book will clearly be the jewel in our crown for 2008."

Visit Sean Connery's official website for more information about his life and work:

www.seanconnery.com

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APRIL 2007
SIDESHOW FIGURE: SIR SEAN CONNERY AS 007

Sir Sean Connery as James Bond - Legacy Collection, James Bond 12-inch Figures, Item No. 7730. The price will be 44.99 USD. Limited edition of 2500.

"Sean Connery is undoubtedly the one actor who is most closely identified as being 007. Having no one to compare to and being the first to play the role - Connery became a world wide figure and romanced a generation in the process."
- Doug Redenius, Vice President of the Ian Fleming Foundation

Sean Connery as James Bond - Legacy Collection Sixth Scale Figure features:
• Authentic Sean Connery portrait
• Fully articulated body with 30+ points of articulation
• Expertly tailored fabric costume
• Poker Chip w/ Sean Connery print
• Martini Glass
• Walther P99
• Walther PPK
• Vodka Bottle
• Watch
• 12" figure display stand featuring the 007 logo print

Other Sideshow Collectibles on From Sweden With Love:
>George Lazenby as James Bond
>Roger Moore as James Bond (scale 1:6)
>Roger Moore as James Bond
>Timothy Dalton as James Bond
>Pierce Brosnan as James Bond

Order the Sean Connery Legacy Collection Sixth Scale Figure from Sideshow Collectibles.

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#sean_connery
#sideshow

15 OCTOBER 2006
SEAN CONNERY

Publication of a biography about the legendary James Bond actor created by Rome International Festival of Cinema and published by Edizioni Electa, softcover version which retails for 25 euro.

Order your copy now:

www.electaweb.com/electa/ita/libri/scheda.jsp?isbn=978883704809&ed=53

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#sean_connery

JULY 2005
SEAN CONNERY - SEIN LEBEN SEIN FILME

Sean Connery. Sein Leben, seine Filme is a biography written by German author and Bond expert Siegfried Tesche.

Sean Connery ist einer der letzten großen "classic film stars". Während sich aber viele seiner berühmten Kollegen aus dem Filmgeschäft zurückgezogen haben, ist Connery quicklebendig und zieht mit jedem neuen Film Millionen von Fans in seinen Bann. Noch immer gilt er als einer der "sexiest men alive". Mit Ehrungen und Preisen wird er geradezu überschüttet. Doch wer gedacht hat, dass Connery sich nun aufs Altenteil zurückzieht, irrt. Seit längerer Zeit arbeitet er daran, im Dienste seines Heimatlandes Schottland eine eigene Filmproduktion zu initiieren. Er mischt sich in die Politik ein und votiert für ein unabhängiges Schottland.

Tesches Biografie widmet sich allen Facetten dieser vielseitigen und bemerkenswerten Persönlichkeit. Im Mittelpunkt aber stehen natürlich die 66 Filme Connerys: Von den Bond-Klassikern über "Der Name der Rose" bis zu den jüngsten Filmen "The Rock" und "Verlockende Falle". Tesche kennt Connery aus einer ganzen Reihe von Interviews, die er mit ihm führen durfte. Darüber hinaus sprach er mit vielen Personen, die mit dem Star gearbeitet haben.

Book details:
Hardcover: 216 pages
Publisher: Henschel (Second edition)
Language: German
ISBN-10: 3894873620
ISBN-13: 978-3894873622
Format: 23,6 x 17 x 2,2 cm

Photo above:
Book cover for Sean Connery. Sein Leben, seine Filme © 2005 Henschel. All rights reserved.

Order Sean Connery. Sein Leben, seine Filme by Siegfried Tesche from Amazon:

www.amazon.de/exec/obidos/ASIN/3894873620/fromswedenwit-21/

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15 MARCH 2005
SEAN CONNERY BY BOB MCCABE

Publication of a biography about the legendary James Bond actor written by Bob McCabe and published by Thunders Mouth Press Inc, softcover version which retails for 13.99 pound.

Order your copy now:

www.thundersmouth.com

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#sean_connery

31 JANUARY 2005
SEAN CONNERY BY JOHN PARKER

Publication of a biography about the legendary James Bond actor written by John Parker and published by John Blake Publishing Ltd, hardcover version which retails for 17.99 pound.

Order your copy now:

www.blake.co.uk/e-store/product.php?productid=4821&cat=0&page=1

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#sean_connery

James Bond : From Sweden with Love

From Sweden with Love (FSWL) is entirely dedicated to Agent 007 and his creator Ian Fleming. We have been studying the phenomenon for more than 30 years. FSWL started as a personal examination of the fictive agent but has developed and progressed now featuring exclusive interviews, Bond news in Swedish media, book and film reviews, meetings with Bond stars who have appeared in or worked on the James Bond films, database with our 007 collection featuring thousands of items, articles and travel stories from the world of 007, competitions, webshop featuring Swedish film posters, the films on Blu-ray and the soundtracks on CD.

Sweden have been represented by (00)7 Bond girls - Britt Ekland, Maud Adams, Anne Lonnberg (Anne's father is Swedish), Mary Stavin, Kristina Wayborn, Izabella Scorupco and Eva Green (Eva's father is Swedish).
Dolph Lundgren and stuntman Lars Lundgren have also appeared in the Bond film series. Two other Swedish actors , Ola Rapace and Jens Hultén, appeared in the 23rd adventure, Skyfall (2012) (2012), with Per Hallberg supervising the sound which gave him an Oscar®.

FSWL's vision is to focus on the phenomenon from a Swedish point of view. We have a serious passion (not interested in rumours) for the fictional hero created by Ian Fleming in 1952 when he wrote the first James Bond novel - Casino Royale.

FSWL is also a tribute to producers Harry Saltzman and Albert R. Broccoli for adapting Ian Fleming's novels into films.

All James Bond 007 films: (1962 - 2015)
Dr. No (1962) starring Sean Connery
From Russia with Love (1963) starring Sean Connery
Goldfinger (1964) starring Sean Connery
Thunderball (1965) starring Sean Connery
Casino Royale (1967) starring David Niven
You Only Live Twice (1967) starring Sean Connery
On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) starring George Lazenby
Diamonds Are Forever (1971) starring Sean Connery
Live and Let Die (1973) starring Roger Moore
The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) starring Roger Moore
The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) starring Roger Moore
Moonraker (1979) starring Roger Moore
For Your Eyes Only (1981) starring Roger Moore
Octopussy (1983) starring Roger Moore
Never Say Never Again (1983) starring Sean Connery
A View to a Kill (1985) starring Roger Moore
The Living Daylights (1987) starring Timothy Dalton
Licence to Kill (1989) starring Timothy Dalton
GoldenEye (1995) starring Pierce Brosnan
Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) starring Pierce Brosnan
The World Is Not Enough (1999) starring Pierce Brosnan
Die Another Day (2002) starring Pierce Brosnan
Casino Royale (2006) starring Daniel Craig
Quantum of Solace (2008) starring Daniel Craig
Skyfall (2012) starring Daniel Craig
SPECTRE (2015) starring Daniel Craig

(Note: Film abbreviations are sometimes used in the text on FSWL.)

All James Bond 007 novels and short stories: (1953 - 2017)
Casino Royale (1953) by Ian Fleming
Live and Let Die (1954) by Ian Fleming
Moonraker (1955) by Ian Fleming
Diamonds are Forever (1956) by Ian Fleming
From Russia With Love (1957) by Ian Fleming
Dr. No (1958) by Ian Fleming
Goldfinger (1959) by Ian Fleming
For Your Eyes Only (1960) by Ian Fleming
Thunderball (1961) by Ian Fleming
The Spy Who Loved Me (1962) by Ian Fleming
On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1963) by Ian Fleming
You Only Live Twice (1964) by Ian Fleming
The Man with the Golden Gun (1965) by Ian Fleming
Fallet James Bond (1965) by Kingsley Amis
Octopussy and The Living Daylights (1966) by Ian Fleming
Colonel Sun (1968) by Kingsley Amis
The Authorised Biography of James Bond (1973) by John Pearson
James Bond, The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) by Christopher Wood
James Bond and Moonraker (1979) by Christopher Wood
Licence Renewed (1981) by John Gardner
For Special Services (1982) by John Gardner
Icebreaker (1983) by John Gardner
Role Of Honour (1984) by John Gardner
Nobody lives forever (1986) by John Gardner
No Deals, Mr. Bond (1987) by John Gardner
Scorpius (1988) by John Gardner
Win, Lose or Die (1989) by John Gardner
Brokenclaw (1990) by John Gardner
Licence to Kill (1990) by John Gardner
The Man From Barbarossa (1991) by John Gardner
Death is Forever (1992) by John Gardner
Never Send Flowers (1993) by John Gardner
Sea Fire (1994) by John Gardner
Cold (1996) by John Gardner
GoldenEye (1996) by John Gardner
Zero Minus Ten (1997) by Raymond Benson
Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) by Raymond Benson
Blast From the Past (1997) by Raymond Benson
The Facts Of Death (1998) by Raymond Benson
High Time To Kill (1999) by Raymond Benson
Midsummer night's doom (1999) by Raymond Benson
The World Is Not Enough (1999) by Raymond Benson
Live at Five (1999) by Raymond Benson
Doubleshot (2000) by Raymond Benson
Never Dream Of Dying (2001) by Raymond Benson
Die another day (2002) by Raymond Benson
The Man with the Red Tattoo (2002) by Raymond Benson
Silverfin (2005) by Charlie Higson
Guardian Angel (2005) by Kate Westbrook
Blood Fever (2006) by Charlie Higson
Secret Servant (2006) by Kate Westbrook
Double Or Die (2007) by Charlie Higson
Hurricane Gold (2007) by Charlie Higson
Final Fling (2008) by Kate Westbrook
Devil May Care (2008) by Sebastian Faulks
By Royal Command (2008) by Charlie Higson
Carte Blanche (2011) by Jeffery Deaver
Solo (2013) by William Boyd
Shoot to Kill (2014) by Steve Cole
Trigger Mortis (2015) by Anthony Horowitz
Heads You Die (2016) by Steve Cole
Strike Lightning (2016) by Steve Cole
Red Nemesis (2017) by Steve Cole

We hope you find the website interesting and worth returning to. Comments and feedback, positive as well as negative, is greatly appreciated. Do not hesitate to contact us.

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#bond_25
#britt_ekland
#daniel_craig
#dolph_lundgren
#george_lazenby
#guy_hamilton
#ian_fleming
#izabella_scorupco
#james_bond_sweden
#john_glen
#kristina_wayborn
#mary_stavin
#maud_adams
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#richard_kiel
#roger_moore
#sean_connery
#timothy_dalton

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This website is not in any way endorsed by EON Productions Ltd, Danjaq, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Sony Pictures, United Artists, Ian Fleming Publications, or any other James Bond copyright holders. It is an independently run non-profit website from a personal basis in spare time.

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Managing Editor: Anders Frejdh