Hollywood has paid tribute to late James Bond star Sean Connery, who died on Saturday at the age of 90.
Connery’s co-stars and peers have led thousands of online tributes to the original 007, after news of his death was confirmed by his son.
Leading the way were Bond producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, who said they were “devastated” by the news and that Connery's “gritty and witty portrayal of the charismatic secret agent” was largely responsible for the success of the series.
“He was and shall always be remembered as the original James Bond whose indelible entrance into cinema history began when he announced those unforgettable words — ‘The name’s Bond ... James Bond,’” they said in a statement on Saturday.
Daniel Craig, the current Bond, said Connery “defined an era and a style” and that the “wit and charm he portrayed on screen could be measured in megawatts".
“Wherever he is, I hope there is a golf course,” Craig said.
Fellow 007 Pierce Brosnan said Connery was his “greatest James Bond as a boy, and as a man who became James Bond himself”.
“You cast a long shadow of cinematic splendour that will live on forever,” Brosnan wrote on his Instagram alongside a picture of the late star. “You led the way for us all who followed in your iconic foot steps. Each man in his turn looked to you with reverence and admiration as we forged ahead with our own interpretations of the role.”
He added: “You were mighty in every way, as an actor and as a man, and will remain so 'til the end of time. You were loved by the world, and will be missed. God bless, rest now, be at peace.”
Sam Neill, who co-starred with Connery in 1990's The Hunt for Red October, said: "Every day on set with Sean Connery was an object lesson in how to act on screen. But all that charisma and power – that was utterly unique to Sean."
Actor Nicolas Cage said he “admired Sean so much”.
“I was happiest when I was working with him – his wisdom, humbleness and extreme honesty has guided me ever since I met him,” he said. “He was my friend and greatest teacher in cinema. The first movie star to lead the way in combining drama, action adventure and comedy. He did it all effortlessly and with dignity. Maestro, you will be missed."
Michael Caine said Connery was a “rare combination of a great star and a brilliant actor”. “We had a great time together. I haven’t seen him for quite a long time and I’ve missed him, but today, I really miss him. I am grateful for the time we spent together. A wonderful man," he said.
Connery's The Untouchables co-star Kevin Costner told The Hollywood Reporter: "I, like the rest of the world, was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Sean Connery this morning. Sean was a crafted actor who was enormously proud of his body of work, particularly his work on stage. And although he was a very no-nonsense person, he was incredibly inclusive with me professionally and personally. He was the biggest star that I ever worked with and I will be forever grateful to be linked with him on film. Sean Connery was a man's man who had an amazing career."
Fellow The Untouchables star Robert De Niro also shared a tribute with the publication. "He seemed much younger than 90; I expected – and hoped – he'd be with us much longer," he said. "See you up there, Sean."
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the country was mourning “one of her best loved sons.”
“Sean was a global legend but, first and foremost, he was a patriotic and proud Scot," she said.
“He was a lifelong advocate of an independent Scotland and those of us who share that belief owe him a great debt of gratitude,” she added.