Sean Connery, first James Bond and global star, dies aged 90

Legendary Scottish star Sean Connery, who became a global sensation as the first James Bond and featured in a string of cult hits in his five-decade-long career, has died. He was 90.

According to BBC, the actor passed away overnight in his sleep while in the Bahamas. He had been unwell for quite some time.

In the career spanning half a century, the actor featured in many critically-acclaimed and commercial blockbusters such as “The Hunt for Red October”, “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”, “Murder on the Orient Express” and “The Rock”.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon mourned the veteran star’s death, saying that the country has lost “one of her best loved sons”.

“Sean will be remembered best as James Bond – the classic 007 – but his roles were many & varied. He was a global legend but, first and foremost, a patriotic and proud Scot – his towering presence at the opening of @ScotParl in 1999 showed his love for the country of his birth,” she tweeted.

Connery was born on August 25, 1930, to a Catholic factory worker and a Protestant domestic cleaner.

He left school at the age 13 with no qualifications and delivered milk, polished coffins and laid bricks, before joining the Royal Navy. But he was invalided out of the service with stomach ulcers only three years later.

He initially made a living by doing odd-jobs like driving trucks, working as a lifeguard and posing as a model at the Edinburgh College of Art. The actor spent his spare time bodybuilding.

It was in 1956 that Connery landed his first acting job for BBC production of “Requiem for a Heavyweight”. Soon after, he made his film debut with “No Road Back”. The following year, he appeared in films like “Hell Drivers”, “Action of the Tiger” and “Time Lock”.

A major breakthrough in his career came when Connery, a relatively unknown actor, was cast as James Bond after an interview with producers Albert Broccoli and Harry Saltzman.

It is said that author Ian Fleming was not fully convinced that Connery can pull off the part. However, the actor’s charismatic portrayal of the spy won over the critics and for many franchise fans, he is still the best James Bond.

He first played the role of James Bond in 1962’s “Dr No”, which he followed up with “From Russia with Love” (1963), “Goldfinger” (1964), “Thunderball” (1965), “You Only Live Twice”(1967), “Diamonds Are Forever” (1971) and “Never Say Never Again”(1983).

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