I just watched Dr. No last night. I even just released my definitive James Bond movie rankings here.
Unfortunately, I awoke this morning to the very sad news that Sir Sean Connery (famed James Bond actor) passed away today at the age of 90 years (1930–2020). Needless to say, I was left shaken and stirred. For some, and myself included, it seemed as if he would never pass. An icon in the world of secret agent 007, a brilliant actor to the rest of the thespian world. I cannot believe I am writing this; your heroes aren’t supposed to die. That’s what makes them iconic.
While Sean was certainly more than an actor in the 007 movie series, that is what brought him to fame. Dr. No premiered in 1962 as the first James Bond movie and has since become the longest running movie series in history (as we await number 25, No Time To Die in April 2021). Sean Connery ended up playing the British secret agent a record tying seven times. Roger Moore also had seven 007 (ironically) movies under his tuxedo, but Connery’s were (arguably) just better. Sean Connery would play James Bond in the following movies: Dr. No (1962), From Russia With Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967), Diamonds Are Forever (1971). The other one was an “unofficial” Bond movie, Never Say Never Again (1983).
Every Bond that came after Connery was simply trying to live up to the standard. They couldn’t. While each separate actor afterward had their moments and are certainly to be lauded for their movies, Sir Sean just had that classic cool to him.
Women wanted to be with him, men wanted to be him. He re-invented the white tuxedo, basically. His drink of choice, a vodka martini- shaken, not stirred. We all know the famous line, as well, “The name’s Bond. James Bond.” He said it in every movie, and a line we all tried to replicate. Trust me when I say, we never could. There is no replicating that kind of voice and the weight it carries.https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fembed%2FnLXoZ69ce-I%3Ffeature%3Doembed&display_name=YouTube&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DnLXoZ69ce-I&image=https%3A%2F%2Fi.ytimg.com%2Fvi%2FnLXoZ69ce-I%2Fhqdefault.jpg&key=d04bfffea46d4aeda930ec88cc64b87c&type=text%2Fhtml&schema=youtube
Outside of James Bond, though, Sean Connery certainly had other hits. In no particular order, there was The Rock (1996), Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade (1989), Finding Forrester (2000), Highlander I and II (1986 and 1991), The Hunt For Red October (1990), The Untouchables (1987, for which he won an Oscar), The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003, his final movie role), Entrapment (1999), The Man Who Would Be King (1975), First Knight (1995) and The Avengers (1998).
A man that needed no introduction, as I can guarantee you’ve probably seen one of his movies. Born in Scotland, he rose to acting fame by being a stagehand, who happened to appreciate a good workout and a love of acting, before settling on movies over football. True story, he even could have played professionally. Sir Sean even served in the Scottish Navy as a teenager. Talk about tough as nails, this guy lived it.
Sean Connery would smooth talk your woman and then kick your ass, while enjoying a drink over the remnants of your self respect. Now out of respect, I expect you to pour yourself a drink tonight and toast to the man who made suits cool again. Toast the man who made James Bond who he is today. Toast the man who is the reason action/adventure movies became what they did (over $7 billion worldwide box office total for James Bond movies alone).
And lastly, toast yourself. Toast your friends, family and loved ones. They deserve it just as much as anyone. Actors and athletes come and go, but what matters is the ones we surround ourselves with. We may have lost an icon, but the Connery family lost a true loved one.
We all pass from this world at some point. The ones we look up to come as a shock because of the standards we have for them. We expect them to stick around longer than us, because of that regard. To me, Sean Connery was that. He always will be. Forever. And James Bond, is truly forever.