SIR SEAN CONNERY Biography - Actors and Actresses


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Name: Thomas Sean Connery                                                                   
Born: 25 August 1930 Edinburgh, Scotland                                                     
Sir Thomas Sean Connery (born August 25, 1930) is a Scottish actor and producer             
who is perhaps best known as the first actor to portray James Bond in cinema,               
starring in seven Bond films. In 1988 he won the Academy Award for Best                     
Supporting Actor for his role in The Untouchables. Sir Sean Connery was knighted             
by Queen Elizabeth II in July 2000.                                                         
Connery is known for retaining his Scottish accent in films, regardless of the               
nationality of the character played, and for his rugged good looks. He has                   
repeatedly been named as one of the most attractive men alive by various                     
magazines, though he is older than most sex symbols.                                         
Connery was born in Fountainbridge, Edinburgh to a factory worker and truck                 
driver father and a charwoman mother. His father, Joseph Connery, was a Roman               
Catholic of Irish descent with roots in County Wexford, while his mother,                   
Euphamia "Effie" Maclean, was a Protestant. He claims he was called Sean, his               
middle name, long before becoming an actor, explaining that he had an Irish                 
friend named Seamus and those who knew them decided to call him by his middle               
name when with Seamus.                                                                       
His first job was as a milkman in Edinburgh with St. Cuthbert's Co-operative                 
He then joined the Royal Navy, but was later discharged on medical grounds                   
because of a duodenal ulcer. Afterwards, he returned to the co-op, then worked               
at other jobs, including a lorry driver, a labourer and an artist's model for               
the Edinburgh College of Art, coffin polisher and lifeguard.                                 
According to Connery's official website, he placed third in the 1950 Mr.                     
Universe contest. Fellow competitor, Johnny Isaacs, suggested he audition for a             
stage production of South Pacific, which led to stage, television, and film work.           
A prominent television role was in Rudolph Cartier's 1961 production of Anna                 
Karenina for BBC Television, in which he co-starred with Claire Bloom. He                   
also acted in Darby O'Gill and the Little People (1956) starring Albert Sharpe;             
his first American television role was as a porter in an episode of The Jack                 
Benny Show.                                                                                 
Connery's breakthrough came in the role of secret agent James Bond. He acted in             
seven Bond films, six produced by EON, followed by an unofficial Warner Brothers             
Thunderball-remake: These include Dr. No (1962), From Russia with Love (1963),               
Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967), Diamonds Are             
Forever (1971) and Never Say Never Again (1983) (unofficial).                               
The imposing, yet light-footed, actor was co-discovered by Harry Saltzman, and               
Albert R. Broccoli after other aspirants to the Bond role were eliminated,                   
including David Niven (later to play Bond in the spoof Casino Royale, in 1967),             
Cary Grant, and James Mason; the latter two refused to commit to a film series.             
The low budget forced the producers to hire an unknown actor. James Bond's                   
creator, Ian Fleming doubted the casting, saying, "He's not what I envisioned of             
James Bond looks" and "I'm looking for Commander Bond and not an overgrown stunt-man",       
adding that Connery (muscular, 6' 2", and a Scot) was unrefined. However,                   
Fleming's girlfriend told him Connery had the requisite sexual charisma. Fleming             
changed his mind after the successful Dr. No premiere; he was so impressed, he               
created a half-Scottish, half-Swiss heritage for the literary James Bond in the             
later novels.                                                                               
Connery's portrayal of Bond owes much to stylistic tutelage from director                   
Terence Young, polishing the actor while using his physical grace and presence               
for the action. Robert Cotton wrote in one Connery biography that Lois Maxwell (the         
first Miss Moneypenny) noticed, "Terence took Sean under his wing. He took him               
to dinner, showed him how to walk, how to talk, even how to eat". Cotton wrote,             
"Some cast members remarked that Connery was simply doing a Terence Young                   
impression, but Young and Connery knew they were on the right track."                       
In June 1967, after filming You Only Live Twice, Connery quit the role, having               
tired of repetitive plots, a lack of character development, the public's demands             
of him, and fear of being typecast. He also disliked the fantastic direction in             
which the series was headed, away from the source material. Connery reportedly               
wanted to be a co-producer of the series, his inspiration being Dean Martin's               
role as a co-producer of the Matt Helm series. Connery noted that The Silencers             
made nowhere near as much money as Thunderball, but Martin made more money than             
he did.                                                                                     
In 1970, United Artists agreed to finance Connery's production of The Offence.               
Connery's final official appearance as 007 was in 1971's Diamonds Are Forever;               
he reportedly declined £5 million to make Live and Let Die (1973).                         
In 1978, owing to complex dealings between EON Productions and Kevin McClory (co-producer   
of Thunderball and co-creator of the story in Ian Fleming's eponymous novel),               
the latter obtained the right to re-make Thunderball. McClory and Connery were               
to write an original Bond film, titled either James Bond of the Secret Service               
or Warhead, but EON and United Artists blocked it in court.                                 
The re-make was revived in the 1980s, and Connery was to play Bond for the                   
seventh, and final, time in the "unofficial" film Never Say Never Again; its                 
title is said to derive from Connery's comment after filming Diamonds Are                   
Forever that he'd never again play Bond. Yet, in 2005, Connery again reprised               
the role with his voice and physical likeness in the video game adaptation of               
From Russia with Love.                                                                       
His favourite Bond film is From Russia with Love, one of the most acclaimed in               
the series, which he confirmed in a 2002 interview with Sam Donaldson for          ; (American Movie Classics mistakenly listed Thunderball as Connery's           
favourite during a Bond retrospective).                                                     
More than forty years after playing the role, Connery's incarnation remains as               
the definitive cinema James Bond, despite popular interpretations by Roger Moore,           
Timothy Dalton (often considered akin to the literary Bond), and Pierce Brosnan.             
Connery's feelings about James Bond range from resentment to fondness, once                 
saying he hated the character so much that he'd have killed him, but also saying             
he never hated Bond, but merely wanted to portray other characters. Certainly,               
when the James Bond series was at its peak in the mid-1960s, his association                 
with James Bond 007 was so great that his performances in films, such as Alfred             
Hitchcock's Marnie, A Fine Madness, and Sidney Lumet's The Hill, were ignored.               
When asked if he'd ever escape the identification, he replied, "Never, it's with             
me 'til I go in the box".                                                                   
At another point, he said he still cared about the future of the character and               
the franchise, having been its icon for too long not to care, and that all Bond             
films had their good points.                                                                 
Although Bond was his most famous role, Connery has also maintained a successful             
career since. As part of the agreement to appear in Diamonds are Forever,                   
Connery was given carte blanche to produce two films for United Artists, but                 
felt that the only film made under this deal, The Offence, was buried by the                 
studio. Apart from The Man Who Would Be King, most of Connery's successes in the             
next decade were as part of ensemble casts in films such as Murder on the Orient             
Express and A Bridge Too Far (in which he acted in a scene opposite Sir Laurence             
Olivier). His portrayal of Berber chieftain Mulai Ahmed er Raisuli in John                   
Milius's The Wind and the Lion (1975) gained him considerable acclaim from                   
critics and audiences and showed his range as an actor.                                     
In 1981, Sean Connery appeared in the film Time Bandits as Agamemnon. The                   
casting choice derives from a joke Michael Palin included in the script, in                 
which he describes the character as being "Sean Connery (or someone of equal,               
but cheaper, stature)". However, when shown the script, Connery was happy to                 
play the supporting role. The brevity of his appearance in this film has been               
hailed by some as refreshing.                                                               
After his experience with Never Say Never Again in 1983 and the following court             
case, Connery became unhappy with the major studios and for two years did not               
make any films.                                                                             
Following the successful European production The Name of the Rose (1986), for               
which he won a BAFTA award, Connery's interest in more credible material was                 
revived. That same year, a supporting role in Highlander showcased his ability               
to play older mentors to younger leads, which would become a recurring role in               
many of his later films. The following year, his acclaimed performance as a hard-nosed       
cop in The Untouchables (1987) earned him an Academy Award for Best Supporting               
Actor. The media reported that the producers wanted him for the movie but could             
not afford his salary, so he agreed to do the movie for $50,000 with a ten                   
percent share of the proceeds. The expectation was that the movie would not make             
much money, but it exceeded all expectations and Sean Connery reaped a large                 
amount of money. It was one of the most publicized times that an actor had                   
benefited so greatly from having "bet" on the future of the film and since then             
other actors have parlayed their acting skills into taking less up front for a               
part of the proceeds.                                                                       
Subsequent box-office hits such as Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) (in             
which he played Dr. Henry Jones, the father of Harrison Ford, actually only 12               
years his junior), The Hunt for Red October (1990), (he was not the original                 
actor for the film, and when that actor left the film, the producer/director who             
were good friends with Connery, called him in desperation and he agreed to do               
the movie out of friendship with two weeks notice, the media reported.) The                 
Russia House (1990), The Rock (1996), and Entrapment (1999) re-established him               
as an actor capable of playing major parts. Just Cause (1995) drew attention to             
some of the issues surrounding race and the death penalty in America and                     
controversially, serves as an endorsement for the practice. Both Last Crusade               
and The Rock alluded to his James Bond days. Steven Spielberg and George Lucas               
wanted "the father of Indy" to be Connery since Bond directly inspired the                   
Indiana Jones series, while his character in The Rock, John Patrick Mason, was a             
British secret service agent imprisoned since the 1960s.                                     
In more recent years, Connery's filmography has included several box office and             
critical disappointments such as The Avengers (1998), The League of                         
Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003) and First Knight (1995), but he also received                 
positive reviews for films including Finding Forrester (2000). He also later                 
received a Crystal Globe for outstanding artistic contribution to world cinema.             
He has often been criticised for never losing his accent, even when playing                 
Russian and Irish characters, but he has said this is out of respect for his                 
In 1987-88, Connery was to star in the British television series Red Dwarf.                 
Connery was to appear as the captain of the spaceship Red Dwarf. However, the               
role was written as being slightly overweight and inept, and so, with the part               
not being a good fit for Connery, it eventually went to an American comedy actor,           
Mac McDonald. This was revealed in the Red Dwarf Series I DVD commentary.                   
In September 2004, media reports indicated that Connery intended to retire after             
pulling out of Josiah's Canon, which was set for a 2005 release. However, in a               
December 2004 interview with The Scotsman newspaper from his home in the Bahamas,           
Connery explained he had taken a break from acting in order to concentrate on               
writing his autobiography. The book project was later abandoned because the                 
publishers wanted to delve too far into his private life. Connery has long                   
denied accusations from his first wife Diane Cilento that he physically abused               
her during their marriage.                                                                   
About a month before his 75th birthday, over the weekend of July 30/31, 2005, it             
was reported that he had decided to retire from film making following                       
disillusionment with the "idiots now in Hollywood", and the turmoil making (and             
subsequent box office failure of) the 2003 film The League of Extraordinary                 
He stated in interviews for the film included on the DVD release that he was                 
offered roles in both The Matrix and The Lord of the Rings series, declining                 
both due to "not understanding them". After they went on to become huge hits, he             
decided to accept the League role, despite not "understanding" it either. At the             
Tartan Day celebrations in New York in March 2006, Connery again confirmed his               
retirement from acting, and stated that he is now writing a history book.                   
He was planning to star in an $80 million movie about Saladin and the Crusades               
that would be filmed in Jordan before the producer Moustapha Akkad was killed in             
the 2005 Amman bombings. Connery received the American Film Institute's Lifetime             
Achievement Award on 8 June 2006, where he again confirmed his retirement from               
acting. On 7 June 2007, he denied rumours that he would appear in the fourth                 
Indiana Jones film, stating that "retirement is just too much damned fun".                   
Sean Connery however did return to acting in one form, in the form of voice                 
acting. As he played the title character in the animated short, "Sir Billi the