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TakNe

Sir Thomas Sean Connery KBE (born 25 August 1930), more commonly known as Sean Connery, is a Scottish actor and producer who has won an Academy Award, two BAFTA Awards and three Golden Globes. He played Juan Sánchez Villa-Lobos Ramírez in Highlander (1986) and it's sequel Highlander 2 : The Quickening (1991). Sean is the older brother of Neil Connery, who is best-known for his role as Neil Niren MD in "Only When I Laugh".

He is best known for portraying the character James Bond, starring in seven Bond films between 1962 and 1983. In 1988, Connery won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in The Untouchables. His film career also includes such films as Marnie, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Hunt for Red October, Murder on the Orient Express, Dragonheart, and The Rock. Connery has been polled as "The Greatest Living Scot" and was knighted in July 2000. In 1989, he was proclaimed "Sexiest Man Alive" by People magazine, and in 1999, at age 69, he was voted "Sexiest Man of the Century".

Early lifeEdit

Thomas Sean Connery was born in Fountainbridge, Edinburgh to Euphemia "Effie" (née Maclean), a cleaning woman, and Joseph Connery, a factory worker and lorry driver.[8] Both his mother's parents were native Scottish Gaelic speakers from Fife and Uig on the Isle of Skye. His father was a Roman Catholic Scot of Irish descent with roots in County Wexford, while his mother was a Protestant. He has a younger brother, Neil (b. 1938). Connery claims he was called Sean, his middle name, long before becoming an actor, explaining that when he was young he had an Irish friend named Séamus and that those who knew them both had decided to call Connery by his middle name whenever both were present. His first job was as a milkman in Edinburgh with St. Cuthbert's Co-operative Society.

He then joined the Royal Navy during which time he opted for two tattoos that are described on his official website as "unlike many tattoos, his were not frivolous - his tattoos reflect two of his lifelong commitments: his family and Scotland. After six decades, his tattoos still reflect those two ideas: One tattoo is a tribute to his parents and reads "Mum and Dad," and the other is self-explanatory, "Scotland Forever."&nbsp Connery was later discharged from the navy on medical grounds because of a duodenal ulcer. Afterwards, he returned to the co-op, then worked as, among other things, a lorry driver, a labourer, an artist's model for the Edinburgh College of Art and a coffin polisher.

Acting Career pre-BondEdit

Looking to pick up some extra money, he helped out backstage at the King's Theatre in late 1951. He became interested in the proceedings, and a career was launched. He also took up bodybuilding as a hobby. While his official website claims he was third in the 1950 Mr. Universe contest, most sources place him in the 1953 competition, either third in the Junior class or failing to place in the Tall Man classification. One of the other competitors mentioned that auditions were being held for a production of South Pacific; Connery landed a small part.

He was also a keen footballer, having played for Bonnyrigg Rose in his younger days. He was offered a trial with East Fife. While on tour with South Pacific, Connery played in a football match against a local team that Matt Busby, manager of Manchester United, happened to be scouting. According to reports, Busby offered Connery a contract worth £25 a week immediately after the game. Connery admits that he was tempted to accept, but he recalls, "I realised that a top-class footballer could be over the hill by the age of 30, and I was already 23. I decided to become an actor and it turned out to be one of my more intelligent moves".&nbsp One of his major early film parts was in Another Time, Another Place (1958), he then landed a leading role in the film Darby O'Gill and the Little People (1959). He also had a prominent television role in Rudolph Cartier's 1961 production of Anna Karenina for BBC Television, in which he co-starred with Claire Bloom.

The Bond Years (1962-1971) and (1983)Edit

Connery's breakthrough came in the role of secret agent James Bond. He played the character in the first five Bond films: Dr. No (1962), From Russia with Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965), and You Only Live Twice (1967) -- then appeared again as Bond in Diamonds Are Forever (1971) and Never Say Never Again (1983). All seven films were commercially successful. James Bond's creator, Ian Fleming, originally doubted the casting, saying, "He's not what I envisioned of James Bond looks" and "I’m looking for Commander Bond and not an overgrown stunt-man," adding that Connery (muscular, 6' 2", and a Scot) was unrefined. However, Fleming's girlfriend told him Connery had the requisite sexual charisma. Fleming changed his mind after the successful Dr. No premiere; he was so impressed, he created a half-Scottish, half-Swiss heritage for the literary James Bond in the later novels.

In 2005, From Russia with Love was adapted by Electronic Arts into a video game, titled James Bond 007: From Russia with Love, which featured all-new voice work by Connery as well as his likeness, and those of several of the film's supporting cast. While making the Bond films, Connery also starred in other acclaimed films such as Alfred Hitchcock's Marnie (1964).

Acting Career post-BondEdit

Apart from The Man Who Would Be King and The Wind and the Lion, both released in 1975, most of Connery's successes in the next decade were as part of ensemble casts in films such as Murder on the Orient Express (1974) with Vanessa Redgrave and John Gielgud and A Bridge Too Far (1977) co-starring Dirk Bogarde and Laurence Olivier. In 1981, Sean Connery appeared in the film Time Bandits as Agamemnon. After his experience with Never Say Never Again in 1983 and the following court case, Connery became unhappy with the major studios and for two years did not make any films. Following the successful European production The Name of the Rose (1986), for which he won a BAFTA award, Connery's interest in more commercial material was revived.

Sean Connery as Ramirez in Highlander.

Sean Connery as Ramirez in Highlander (1986).

That same year, he played Ramirez in Highlander which showcased his ability to play older mentors to younger leads, which would become a recurring role in many of his later films. He and co-star Christopher Lambert got on extremely well during filming, he reprised the role 5 years later in Highlander 2 : The Quickening (even though Ramirez was killed off in the first). Originally he was never going to appear in the sequel, but Lambert threatened to walk out of the film if Connery's character didn't return.

In 1987, his acclaimed performance as a hard-nosed Irish born cop in The Untouchables earned him the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, his sole nomination throughout his career. Subsequent box-office hits included Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), in which he played the title character's father, The Hunt for Red October (1990) (where he was reportedly called in at two weeks' notice), The Russia House (1990), The Rock (1996), and Entrapment (1999). Both Last Crusade and The Rock alluded to his James Bond days. Steven Spielberg and George Lucas wanted "the father of Indiana Jones" (although Connery is only 12 years older than Ford) to be Connery since Bond directly inspired the Indiana Jones series, while his character in The Rock, John Patrick Mason, was a British secret service agent imprisoned since the 1960s. During his career, Connery's films have included several box office and critical disappointments such as First Knight (1995), The Avengers (1998), and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003), but he also received positive reviews, including his performance in Finding Forrester (2000). He also later received a Crystal Globe for outstanding artistic contribution to world cinema.

Semi-RetirementEdit

Connery at the 2008 Edinburgh International Film Festival Connery stated in interviews for the film (included on the DVD release) that he was offered a role in The Lord of the Rings series, declining it due to "not understanding the script." CNN reported that the actor was offered up to 15% of the worldwide box office receipts to play Gandalf, which had he accepted, could have earned him as much as $400 million for the trilogy. In July 2005, it was reported that he had decided to retire from film-making, following disillusionment with the "idiots now in Hollywood". At the Tartan Day celebrations in New York in March 2006, Connery again confirmed his retirement from acting, and stated that he is now writing a history book. On 7 June 2007, he denied rumours that he would appear in the fourth Indiana Jones film, stating that "retirement is just too much damned fun". On 25 August 2008, his 78th birthday, Connery unveiled his autobiography Being a Scot, co-written with Murray Grigor.

Connery has returned to voice acting in recent years, playing the title character in the animated short, Sir Billi the Vet and in 2005 he recorded voiceovers for a new video game version of his Bond film, From Russia with Love. In an interview, which is on the game disc, Connery stated that he was very happy that the producers of the game (EA Games) had approached him to voice Bond, and stated that he hoped to do another one sometime in the near future. In 2010, he reprised his role as the title character in the animated film Sir Billi, serving also as executive producer.

Personal lifeEdit

Connery was married to actress Diane Cilento from 1962 to 1973. They had a son, actor Jason Connery. Connery has been married to Moroccan French painter Micheline Roquebrune (born 1929) since 1975. A keen golfer, he owned the Domaine de Terre Blanche in the South of France for twenty years (from 1979) where he planned to build his dream golf course on the 300 hectares of land but the dream was not realised until he sold it to German billionaire Dietmar Hopp in 1999.

External linksEdit

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