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Farewell to Our First James Bond

Oscar-winning Scottish actor was 90
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 31, 2020 8:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – He was the first actor, and many say the best, to portray James Bond in the spy film series. Now, a goodbye to the original 007: The family of Sir Sean Connery says the Scottish actor has died at the age of 90, reports the BBC. Connery kicked off his role as a British MI6 agent in 1962's Dr. No, based on the books by author Ian Fleming, and went on to star in seven of the franchise's films. He was also known for his wide span of other movie roles, including The Hunt for Red October, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Rock, and 1987's The Untouchables, for which he won a best supporting actor Oscar for his role as Irish cop Jimmy Malone.

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Born Thomas Sean Connery in Edinburgh, Connery grew up poor and first toiled as an unskilled laborer, until he joined the Royal Navy at age 17, per Variety. He left a few years later due to health issues and worked various jobs before he started entering bodybuilding contests; he even placed third in an early-50s Mr. Universe competition. His trajectory changed when he moved to London and heard about a part in South Pacific: He took a crash course in singing and dancing and surprisingly got the part. He worked for various repertory companies in and near London for several years before his first Bond role. Connery was formally knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000, earning him the right to use "Sir" in front of his name. Connery is survived by his wife of 40-plus years, Micheline Roquebrune, as well as son Jason Connery and a grandson. (Read more Sean Connery stories.)

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