Sean was born as Thomas Sean Connery in Fountainbridge Scotland on August 25, 1930. His parents were honest, hardworking people, but were also very poor. His father was a truck-driver. At an early age, Sean displayed keen athletic abilities, and even had professional soccer potential.
Sean joined the Royal Navy, but a distinct distaste for authority, led his elsewhere. Officially, he left it because of having ulcers. A frustrated, though determined young man, he attempted to drown his anger in weight lifting, and he was Scotland’s representative to the 1953 Mr. Universe contest, finishing the third one. He also worked as a though laborer, lifeguard and model for art classes. He also had a job in the chorus of the touring company of South Pacific.
Sean eventually drifted into acting, heavily encouraged by an American named Robert Henderson. Gradually he started in stage productions. His first tv appearance was in 1956.
After wading through several low-key, cameo roles in mediocre films, Sean landed a respectable role in Disney’s “Darby O’Gill and the Little People” (1959). Then, after a few more forgettable films, came “The Longest Day” (1962), which starred countless famous actors, offering little screen time for our charming Scot.
Having dropped out of school at 13, he spent much of his free time in libraries as he traveled about performing in plays. Connery beat out many far bigger (and more expensive) names to play Ian Fleming’s superspy James Bond in “Dr. No” (1962), which made him a major 60s icon. He leavened he inherent violence of the character with his unflappably cool sophistication and humor. However, Sean would quickly grow disillusioned with the public’s inability to differentiate between him and Bond. During this time, Sean was struggling with his first marriage to Diane Cilento, who was growing increasingly estranged. Eventually, they divorced.
Connery periodically played a wider range of roles in other features, such as Alfred Hitchcock’s “Marnie” (1964); “A Fine Madness” (1966) and “The Molly Maguires” (1970), but most were box-office duds. He did some of his best work with director Sidney Lumet: “The Hill” (1965), as a convict in a military prison; “The Anderson Tapes” (1972), as an ex-con masterminding; “The Offence” (1973), as a London detective who beats a suspect to death; “Murder on the Orient Express” (1974), as part of the all-star ensemble; and Family Business (1989), in which he portrays the proud patriarch of a criminal clan, with Dustin Hoffman and Matthew Broderick.
Sean left the role of James Bond after “You Only Live Twice” (1967). The role was filled by newcomer, George Lazenby, an Australian model. However, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Lazenby’s only film as Bond, was a financial failure by Bondian standards, and producers Broccoli and Saltzman were determined to get Sean back at all costs. This led to “Diamonds Are Forever” (1971), with one of the most lucrative contracts in film history. Sean’s old friend (and one of Ian Fleming’s first picks as Bond) Roger Moore would take over the helm of Her Majesty’s favorite errand boy, for a whopping seven films, over the next twelve years.
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