On October 31, 2020, Sir Sean Connery was found dead in Nassau in the Bahamas. After struggling with dementia for years, the 90-year old actor passed away in his sleep. The Scottish actor was famed for being the first of many to play James Bond, appearing in six James Bond films.
After acting in three theatrical films (The Frightened City, Operation Snafu, and The Longest Day), Connery was cast as British superspy James Bond in the 1962 film Dr No, cementing his status as a movie star. He went on to appear in five more Bond films, and an unofficial one, Never Say Never Again, in 1983. Sean Connery is not the first movie star by a long shot; other legends include Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant, Charlie Chaplin, and Clark Gable. He is, however, notable for being the first movie star to be associated with a particular role or character, and being the first star of the first major Western movie franchise.
Even though Connery is known for the Bond films, he did much work beyond that. In 1964, while he was on top of the world, he starred alongside Tippi Hedron in the Alfred Hitchcock film Marnie, which, although at the time seen as a critical failure, has been reassessed and is now considered an underrated Hitchcock. Later, Connery acted in Murder on the Orient Express, The Great Train Robbery, The Untouchables (he earned a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for the role), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and The Rock.
Despite being one of the most identifiable movie stars in history, Connery’s pop cultural legacy goes far beyond film. His iconic Scottish accent has led to many terrible impersonations, and even spawned a recurring role in one of SNL’s most beloved sketches, Celebrity Jeopardy.
From the start of his career, Connery was noted as one of the most handsome men in Hollywood, and later in life, received both the “Sexiest Man Alive” award at the age of 59, and later “Sexiest Man of the Century” (1999). His legacy lives on in his wife Michelle, his son Jason, and his grandson Dashiell.