One of Edinburgh’s own men has passed away after seven decades of service to the people. Sir Sean Connery, aged ninety, passed away in his sleep on Halloween. A man who immortalised the phrase generation after generation came to love, the first one to utter the words: “Bond. James Bond.”
Beloved by millions for the work he did on screen, Connery will always be remembered for his brilliant contributions to the world of cinema. One of his most prominent was being the first person to bring to life the role of James Bond in the classic films of the 1960s.
Born to a working family in Fountainbridge in Edinburgh, Sean Connery was a native to our city. He made his way to stardom through years of hard work and determination, forging his own path in life. From where he started out, by delivering milk, to bricklaying, to modelling for artists, to eventually becoming an adored actor and a world-wide sensation as the years went by.
His first major film credit was in 1957 when he featured in a British gangster film called No Road Back. He was originally not wanted for the James Bond role, but from the minute he assumed the character, there was no going back.
Connery’s portrayal of the illustrious 007 enamoured millions. Suave and charismatic, his face became synonymous with the character. The author of the books, Ian Fleming, even created a Scottish background for James Bond in his subsequent books due to being enraptured by the way in which Connery played him.
He quit playing Bond for a while after becoming increasingly frustrated by the plot lines, but he eventually returned to the role. He was also known for other roles: he acted in films such as The Untouchables, Highlander and The Rock, and in the Indiana Jones series, but no role would be as memorable as his 007.
The man known since adolescence as ‘Big Tam’ was also a big supporter of Scottish independence, although he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth at Holyrood Palace in 2000. He had the words ‘Scotland Forever’ tattooed on his forearm as a reminder of his love for his nation. When the Scottish Parliament opened in 1999, Sir Sean was there along with his wife celebrating with the nation.
First minister Nicola Sturgeon commented on the actor’s passing and remarked that Scotland mourns “one of her best loved sons”. Connery was also good friends with Alex Salmond, former first minister, who dubbed Sir Sean “the world’s greatest Scot”.
Though several allegations of his actions towards women cast a shadow over his personal life, Sir Sean Connery’s imprint on the cinematic world is undeniable. His portrayal of James Bond, though dated in terms of the way in which his character treated women, will always be remembered.
A man with an unmistakable presence and a proud Scot above all, ‘Big Tam’ will continue to live on through his wife and sons and through this nation as a whole.
Image: skeeze via Pixabay