Sean Connery, the Scottish actor who rose to international fame in his role as James Bond, has died. He was 90.
His death was confirmed by his son Jason who said his father died peacefully in his sleep overnight in the Bahamas where he lived, having been “unwell for some time.”
“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,” he told the BBC.
Considered to be one of the best actors of his time, Connery celebrated his 90th birthday in August.
Although he made his big screen debut in 1957, his breakthrough role came when he played Bond in 1962's Dr. No.
The producers had initially looked to Cary Grant, but decided they wanted an actor who would commit to a series. The producers also realised they couldn’t afford a big-name star because United Artists had limited their film budget to $1 million a picture, so they started interviewing more obscure British performers.
Among them was Connery. Without a screen test, Albert Broccoli and Harry Saltzman chose the actor, citing his “dark, cruel good looks,” a perfect match for the way Fleming described Bond.
Connery continued as Bond in From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice and Diamonds Are Forever, often performing his own stunts.
Diamonds Are Forever came out in 1971, by which time Connery had grown weary of playing 007.
“I’d been an actor since I was 25, but the image the press put out was that I just fell into this tuxedo,” he once complained.
Throughout his career he won an Oscar, two Baftas and three Golden Globes.
He starred in Alfred Hitchcock film, Marnie, in 1964 and Sidney Lumet's The Hill in 1965. In 1974 he starred in Murder on the Orient Express, also directed by Lumet.
He received the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for The Untouchables in 1988. That following year, Connery starred in Steven Spielberg's Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, for which he received both Bafta and Golden Globe nominations.
In 2006, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute and it was during his acceptance of the award that the actor announced his retirement from acting. In 2012, he also received the Cecil B DeMille award for his work in cinema.
In a poll earlier this year, he was voted as the favourite actor to have portrayed 007.
Connery is survived by his wife, Micheline, brother Neil and sons Jason and Stefan.