Sean Connery died

I found this out from a tweet that Matthew sent me, one made by Larry the Cat, the Official Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office. It shows the actor with a kitten.

Connery was 90. The obituary from Variety is here.

He was the best James Bond—by far.

40 Comments

  1. Randall Schenck
    Posted October 31, 2020 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    He was a great person and actor. The one I’ll always remember once you get passed Bond was The Hunt For Red October.

    • Blue
      Posted October 31, 2020 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      I differ, Mr Schenck. Truly ” great men ”
      live out their entire lives, ordinary ones
      or famous ones, withOUT .ever.ever. having
      Any of Us Others find them accused of,
      let alone, actually abusing or otherwise
      having been IN ANY WAY violent with others,
      in particular, with women and / or with
      girls.

      A great man = case in point: my father.
      Suddenly dead ( massive cardiac arrest )
      at age 72. And for ALL of his 72 years
      and to and with everyone he encountered,
      family members or otherwise, … … k i n d.
      All who knew him ? They ALL agree with me.
      That ? That IS a great man.

      Blue

      • Posted October 31, 2020 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

        As a fellow Scot, I sadly have to say that he seemed to be rather similar to his most famous character in his attitude to women. Nonetheless, he defined James Bond for me, and having read the books as a teenager, he seemed just right for the part. As I grow older, I’m less comfortable with the original Bond.

        He clearly decided early in his career that authentic accents weren’t his forte, but in an odd way I liked him for that. The one I remember was his part in The Untouchables.

      • Blue
        Posted October 31, 2020 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

        = a misogynist who acted.
        like a bagazillion others.
        that’s all. Blue

        http://www.looper.com/246825/the-untold-truth-of-sean-connery and, for ages, beaucoup other sources.

        “”” Violence against women

        Sean Connery was a sex symbol, the kind of man many wouldn’t be surprised to learn has a long list of ex-wives and jilted lovers. In fact, he only had one ex-wife, Diane Cilento, and was married to his second wife, Micheline Rocquebrune, since 1975. Rocquebrune is an accomplished painter who favors portraiture in bright hues. Her long marriage to Connery, though it seemed amicable enough (even despite her taking the fall in their tax fraud scandal), wasn’t always the perfect pairing, however. The man best known for portraying the chauvinistic Bond had some misogyny problems of his own, including a very public romantic affair with pop star Lynsey de Paul, a woman 18 years his junior. (De Paul only spoke publicly about her affair with Connery after he made an off-handed remark about how he thought that it was acceptable to hit women.) Still, Rocquebrune remained with Connery to the end.

        It’s a bit ironic that Sean Connery had an affair with Lynsey de Paul, who spent her later years promoting and advocating women’s self-defense, and was herself a survivor of domestic abuse from childhood. Connery’s first wife, Diane Cilento, confessed to dealing with abuse, both physical and emotional, from the Scottish actor during their marriage in her autobiography. Though Connery vehemently denied hitting her during their marriage, he did admit in an interview with Playboy that he didn’t necessarily think there was anything wrong with hitting a woman — not exactly an encouraging stance if you don’t want to seem like an abuser. This is perhaps the most disappointing aspect of Connery’s career — that he was both one of the sexiest men alive as well as one who casually advocated violence against women. He was certainly a product of the times in which he grew up — a time when movies were comfortable selling women as interchangeable sex objects in white male fantasies like the Bond films. “””

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted October 31, 2020 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

        There is also an interview with Barbara Walters where he talks about it being ok to hit a woman if she just won’t stop bothering you.

        • Filippo
          Posted November 1, 2020 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

          “There is also an interview with Barbara Walters where he talks about it being ok to hit a woman if she just won’t stop bothering you.”

          Don’t agree with his sentiment, but, Barbara Walters herself would be a good test of that. (Mouthiness)^3. Just prior to the Dubya inauguration, NBC, for whom she was commentating, showed an image of the kitchen of the Bushes’ then new house in Crawford, TX. The name of the Bushes’ d*g was also mentioned. Of course, viewers were “blessed” with her precious opinions about each. Is that why NBC hired her, as if her opinions about such matters should matter one bloody whit? Why wouldn’t she be equally inclined to on-air enlighten viewers with her opinions regarding her affair with a married U.S. senator?

  2. Posted October 31, 2020 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    A great actor!

  3. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted October 31, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    My wife still thinks Sean Connery’s real name was James Bond. 🙂

    (To be fair, I think she does know the reality, just she finds ‘James Bond’ easier to remember…)

    cr

  4. Historian
    Posted October 31, 2020 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    All the other Bonds were cheap frauds. Connery was the one and only “true” Bond as Charlton Heston was the one and only “true” Moses. 😊

    • Barry Lyons
      Posted October 31, 2020 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      My favorite Bond was Sean Connery — until Daniel Craig came along. As great as Connery was, I think the “suave and debonair” approach (continued with Roger Moore, though Pierce Brosnan was better at this) missed Fleming’s ideal character traits for Bond: fierce, cold-hearted, and thuggish. Or to quote Ian Fleming, James Bond is “a blunt instrument.” So my ideal James Bond is a character who should be threatening and scary — and Daniel Craig captured that essence beautifully (past tense because the forthcoming Bond movie will be Craig’s last).

      • Posted October 31, 2020 at 11:00 am | Permalink

        Yes, but the books aren’t the definitive limning of Bond’s character. If you want the screen Bond to be like the book Bond, that’s one thing, but there was something immensely appealing about the sophisticated champagne-swilling onscreen Bond

        I could never figure out how he could afford fine dining, Baccarat, and expensive suits on a British government salary, though.

        • GBJames
          Posted October 31, 2020 at 11:06 am | Permalink

          I always assumed he was independently wealthy and did the spy thing as a hobby.

      • Derek Freyberg
        Posted October 31, 2020 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

        Daniel Craig reminds me too much of Vladimir Putin ever to be a plausible Bond, though he’s a good actor.

      • Filippo
        Posted November 1, 2020 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

        ” . . . until Daniel Craig came along . . . .”

        I concur. IIRC, Connery highly sang Craig’s praises as Bond.

      • revelator60
        Posted November 2, 2020 at 12:05 am | Permalink

        Connery and Craig were playing the versions of Bond demanded by the times. The 60s wanted the suave playboy Bond, the 2000s wanted the flawed antihero Bond.

        I would actually say Timothy Dalton came the closest to playing Fleming’s Bond, who was not as thuggish as Craig. The book Bond is a more sensitive, almost-chivalric and vulnerable character than most of the movie versions (Fleming’s “blunt instrument” line is belied by the books, where Bond has growing difficulties killing in cold blood).

        In any case, like all later Bonds, Craig is working in Connery’s shadow and taking inspiration from him. And as an overall screen presence, Connery was not only greater than Craig but up there with the classic movie stars of the 30s and 40s.

    • Posted October 31, 2020 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      Connery was certainly the most famous, essential Bond. However somehow the most archetypical “true” Bond to me was George Lazenby.

      • Doug
        Posted October 31, 2020 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

        How many here have seen the FIRST James Bond? American [!] actor Barry Nelson played him in a live TV version of “Casino Royale” in 1954. The villain was the great Peter Lorre!

        It’s available on Youtube. It’s not the Bond we’re used to, but it’s fun.

  5. kraeuterbutter
    Posted October 31, 2020 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6D1nK7q2i8I

    RIP, Sir Thomas Sean Connery

  6. Posted October 31, 2020 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Agree that he was the best Bond by the proverbial country mile. He was also good as Indiana’s father in the Indiana Jones movies.

  7. DrBrydon
    Posted October 31, 2020 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Thanks for all the memories, Sean!

  8. Posted October 31, 2020 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    2020 just keeps on giving…

    I’ll try to watch Dr No tonight in celebration of the man; it’s the first Bond movie and Connery’s début. Also, he was an Edinburgh boy and famously a milkman here. I wonder if anyone’s still alive who remembers him from those days? Edinburgh’s greatest milkman, RIP.

  9. Posted October 31, 2020 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    I watched Outland last night…

    The news has left me shaken but not stirred.

    • Mark R.
      Posted October 31, 2020 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

      That was a good sci fi flick. He did some good ones…Highlander was another…and who could forget Zardoz!
      https://twitter.com/jay_jaffe/status/1322582091285090304?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Etweet

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted October 31, 2020 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

        His role opposite good buddy Michael Caine in The Man Who Would Be King was my favorite — well, that, and the hard-on Irish Chicago cop he played in Mr. De Palma’s The Untouchables, of course.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmZbCwmOC6I

        • Mark R.
          Posted October 31, 2020 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

          Yeah, loved both those flicks. Man, he was in a lot of good movies.

      • Doug
        Posted October 31, 2020 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

        That photo in the red diaper makes him look like Borat.

      • revelator60
        Posted November 1, 2020 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

        Zardoz is insane…but in a good way. It has too many ideas to know what to do with them, but that is refreshing contrast to a majority of movies, which have no ideas at all. It’s also beautifully filmed by John Boorman.

    • Posted October 31, 2020 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

      😀

  10. Stephen Pilotte
    Posted October 31, 2020 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    I read somewhere that he hated the Bond character so much he would’ve liked to strangle him ! I remember him in the 1975 film The Man Who Would Be King with Michael Caine.

  11. Mark R.
    Posted October 31, 2020 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    This sucks, though at 90, it’s not a surprise and I’m glad he lived a long life. Since readers are listing their favorite SC movies, I’ll add Finding Forrester. I’ll also agree he was the best Bond…followed by Craig.

  12. Derek Freyberg
    Posted October 31, 2020 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    I liked the Bond movies as a teenager, but for me one of the great things about Connery was his later movies, several of which have been mentioned by previous commenters, plus The Rock, not a great movie, but with Connery still looking decidedly dangerous in his mid-60’s.

  13. James Walker
    Posted October 31, 2020 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    When I spent my sabbatical in Edinburgh in 2006, I rented a flat in Fountainbridge, where Connery came from. Of course by then it was more gentrified.

    For me he will always be THE James Bond

  14. GBJames
    Posted October 31, 2020 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    Does nobody remember Time Bandits?

    • Doug
      Posted October 31, 2020 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

      A classic!

      • GBJames
        Posted October 31, 2020 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

        Indeed!

  15. Robert van Bakel
    Posted October 31, 2020 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    When you’re that wealthy tax avoidance is at least unbecoming, at worst vile.

  16. rickflick
    Posted November 1, 2020 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    Connery was a fine actor and portrayed fantastic characters very well. Good looking…wonderful voice. However, I do remember feeling embarrassed watching Bond films in the ’60s. The films were aimed at a 15 year old male audience primarily. I felt at the time I was watching the fantasy life of a boy. But, lets allow that he represented a charming fictional masculine form who entertained millions.

  17. revelator60
    Posted November 2, 2020 at 12:21 am | Permalink

    “Nonprofessionals just didn’t realize what superb high-comedy acting that Bond role was. It was like what they used to say about Cary Grant. ‘Oh,’ they’d say, ‘he’s just got charm.’ Well, first of all, charm is actually not all that easy a quality to come by. And what they overlooked in both Cary Grant and Sean was their enormous skill.” — Sidney Lumet on Sean Connery.

    Sean Connery was one of the last of the larger-than-life movie stars, the iconic line-up including Bogart, Cooper, Grant, and Gable. Onscreen Connery had the sort of charisma and presence associated with the heroes of history and legend. That’s why he could so convincingly play Agamemnon, Robin Hood, King Arthur, Hotspur, James Bond, Macbeth, and Richard the Lionheart, and why he seemed so at home in those roles.

    I think Connery did his greatest work in the 1970s, when he fully emerged from Bond’s shadow. The greatest evidence of Connery’s acting prowess is “The Offence” (1973), with his most challenging and least glamorous role, that of a grubby, burnt-out small-town detective. Many actors shrink and grow drab in such down-to-earth, exhausting parts, but Connery stayed riveting.

    The greatest display of Connery’s ability to embody legendary yet very human characters is his “mythic trilogy” of “The Wind and the Lion” (1975), “The Man Who Would Be King” (1975), and “Robin and Marian” (1976). All of his characters in these films are flawed, flesh and blood men; Connery’s earthiness never lets us forget this. But these characters also attain a form of greatness, conveyed by Connery’s charisma and command of the screen.

    “Charisma” is arguably a form of self-confidence arising from a person’s sense of his own merit. That sense is without self-consciousness and unforced. Regardless of what an actor is like in private life, if he can publicly project this sense of being at home with himself, and thus seem able to express a character’s finest qualities without strain or pretense, then he embodies charisma onscreen.

    Projecting charisma and self-confidence made Connery’s Bond one of the greatest fantasy heroes of the age. And after he left the role Connery redirected his ability to project self-acceptance and confidence into portrayals of legendary/mythic characters that were also deeply human. I don’t think any other actor of our time so deftly managed this. That’s why he will be greatly missed as a giant of the screen.


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