In July 1993, there was a rumor in newsrooms around the world that Sean Connery was dead. A Japanese newspaper even goes so far as to publish it. ” This information seems to me greatly exaggerated », Replies the actor with humor when he finally agrees to deny it. ” The closer we are to the grave, the more relaxed we are He liked to say.
The BBC finally announced the news of his death on Friday, October 31, 2020. Sean Connery was 90 years old.
The first son of Euphemia MacLean, a pure Scottish woman, and Joseph Connery, half Irish half Scottish, Thomas (the future Sean), was born on August 25, 1930 in Edinburgh. The couple occupy a modest two-room apartment and, according to legend, the baby in the drawer of a dresser.
When, eight years later, comes into the world Neil, a second son, Thomas becomes a milk delivery boy, before dropping out of school at 13, doing odd jobs and indulging in his passion for milk. soccer. At 17, his head full of dreams of exotic ports and the open sea, he joined the Royal Navy. But discipline and a concern for health got the better of his vocation as a sailor. He became in turn a mason, a truck driver and even a coffin varnisher, narrowly missed the title of Mr. Universe in London and took the opportunity to pass, without conviction, an audition at the Royal Theater.
From Thomas to Sean and from Sean to James
Retained for South Pacific, a musical presented throughout England, he then begins his metamorphosis: Thomas becomes Sean, tries to lose his Scottish accent and immerses himself in books to acquire a culture that he completely lacks. He will refine his taste for literature and art with Diane Cilento, an Australian actress, whom he married at the age of 32, mother of his son Jason. He multiplied the roles in the theater, television and cinema, but only really gained notoriety with James Bond, invented by Ian Fleming. To play his secret agent, the writer dreamed of Cary Grant, too old and too expensive. For his part, Sean Connery, hardly enthusiastic about the idea of a series of films which would deprive him of his freedom, does not force his talent to convince the producers. However, he seduces them: ” There is something in his animal way of walking which is very much that of Fleming’s hero, explained one of them, Albert R. Broccoli. The difference between him and other young actors is the same as between a photograph and a film. When Connery starts to move, he lives. “
His meter 90, his bodybuilder silhouette, his natural elegance and his charisma do the rest. A handsome, casual and rich hero, of action, pretty girls, palaces and racing cars: the public asks for more, especially as the actor infused the humor that was often sorely lacking in James Bond of paper.
From 1962 with James Bond vs. Dr. No to 1967 with We only live twice, Sean Connery puts on the 007 tuxedo five times, assures us that he will not be taken back there again and goes back to Diamonds are forever in 1971 and Never never again in 1983. Other actors, including the very British Roger Moore will take over without ever eclipsing him.
Between two sets of Bond adventures, Sean Connery plays for Alfred Hitchcock (No spring for Marnie) and Sidney Lumet (The Hill of Lost Men), which allows him to compose more subtle scores. He imposes his talent in all registers. Despite some failures (Shalako, Zardoz, Meteor), it is often found at the box office with movies like The crime of the Orient Express, the superb Man who wanted to be king by John Huston, The Rose and the Arrow whose poster he shares with the incomparable Audrey Hepburn, The Name of the Rose adapted from the famous novel by Umberto Eco, Highlander, The Incorruptibles (which earned him an Oscar), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, High-flying…
Casualness and detachment
The actor is not afraid of aging, refuses most of the time to hide his baldness under hairpieces and assumes his age with serenity – ” I love that we see the story of a life on a face “. It takes him well: American magazines dedicate him to the past 60 years ” sexiest man on the planet “. Actor in sixty films, Sean Connery does not run after notoriety: what John Huston summed up in an unstoppable formula: ” There are only two actors who are not interested in fame: the bitch Lassie and Sean Connery “. Nor after work: ” When I read a script that I like, I sign, otherwise, I play golf He liked to joke. The former 007 had indeed discovered a passion for the greens, crisscrossed golf courses around the world with a predilection for Marbella in Spain and the Caribbean. This sport made him meet his second wife, the French Micheline Roquebrune with whom he ended his life. Without returning to Scotland, Sean Connery had nevertheless ardently defended its independence, declaring in the press in 2014 that ” as a Scotsman and lover of Scotland and the arts, i think the opportunity for independence is too good to be missed. »A mission, paradoxical and unprecedented, for the spy in the service of his majesty?