Sean Connery, James Bond Actor, Dies at 90

Sean Connery, the Academy Award-winning Scottish actor best known for his portrayal of James Bond, has died at the age of 90. His son, Jason, said he had died peacefully in his sleep in the Bahamans, having been “unwell for some time.”

Born Thomas Sean Connery in 1930, the actor’s career spanned several decades. He had his breakout role as British secret agent James Bond, leading the first five installments of the series — Dr. No (1962), From Russia with Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965), and You Only Live Twice (1967) — and later reprised his role for 1971’s Diamonds Are Forever and 1983’s Never Say Never Again. Though Connery did not like the off-screen attention the role brought him, the commercial success of the series, which was initially produced on a comparatively low budget, gave him the chance to work with directors such as Alfred Hitchcock (1964’s Marnie), Sidney Lumet (1965’s The Hill), and John Huston (1975’s The Man Who Would Be King). 

In the following decades, Connery took on mostly supporting roles. He earned his first and only Oscar for his turn in Brian De Palma’s 1987 film The Untouchables, in which he played hard-nosed Irish beat cop opposite Kevin Costner. His other notable films included  1974’s Murder on the Orient Express, 1977’s A Bridge Too Far, 1986’s Highlander, 1989’s Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, as well as 1990’s The Hunt for Red October. In 1999, he became a recipient of the US Kennedy Center Honors lifetime achievement award and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth a year later. Though he officially retired from acting in 2006, he appeared in one more film, voice acting the title character in the 2012 animated movie Sir Billi the Vet.

“We are all working at understanding this huge event as it only happened so recently, even though my dad has been unwell for some time,” Jason Connery, who is also an actor, told the BBC. “A sad day for all who knew and loved my dad and a sad loss for all people around the world who enjoyed the wonderful gift he had as an actor.”

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