Website last updated: 17-7-2024

FSWL contributor Steven Jay Rubin remembers Sir Sean Connery

By: Steven Jay Rubin
Sean Connery Steve Rubin
The James Bond Movie Encyclopedia presents This Day in James Bond History - as we sadly note the death of legendary Scottish actor Sean Connery at 90. We’ve lost some terrific James Bond movie actors this year but this one is a tough one. The King is dead, long live the King.

Thomas Sean Connery – a proud Scotsman – brought James Bond to life when he signed a seven-year contract with producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman in 1961 and debuted as Bond in Dr. No (1962).

The scene has been shown a million times – directed by Terence Young – of Bond back to camera at the card table at a posh British club, dealing one losing hand after another to fetching society girl Sylvia Trench (Eunice Gayson). Still unseen, he says, “I admire your courage, Miss?” She replies, “Trench, Sylvia Trench. I admire your good luck, Mr?” Appearing on camera for the first time in a cloud of cigarette smoke, Bond utters those immortal words, “Bond, James Bond.”

Young later admitted that he stole the debut idea from Paul Muni’s debut in Juarez.

Connery had everything Bond needed – charisma, machismo, cat-like movements, and a quality that made him enormously popular with both men and women. He also fulfilled Broccoli and Saltzman’s desire for a tough Brit who was good with his fists. Well, he was Scottish, and when he hit his opponents, they stayed down.

Along with Steve McQueen, and Clint Eastwood, he was part of a new wave of motion picture actors who would soon take Hollywood by storm.

Sean was even better in the next film, From Russia with Love (1963), but his Goldfinger (1964) blew out all the box office records when it debuted at Christmas 1964, followed by the most popular film in the series up to that time, Thunderball (1965) the following Christmas. We had all caught Bond fever by then.

In 1964, Sean starred for Alfred Hitchcock in “Marnie, and he realized that there would be life after Bond – although he would come back to the series twice for 1971’s Diamonds Are Forever and twelve years later for Never Say Never Again (1983). During those years and beyond, he made many memorable performances – The Wind and the Lion, The Hunt For Red October, The Great Train Robbery, Highlander, later winning a well-deserved Oscar for his portrait of a tough Chicago cop in The Untouchables.

We all loved Sean – the planet loved Sean – he was a treasured natural resource. R.I.P, Tommy Connery. You will never be forgotten.

All text. Copyright © 2020 Steven Jay Rubin. All rights reserved.



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