Sean Connery, the Best Bond: "Nobody Did It Better"

Herbie J Pilato

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[The Classic TV Preservation Society]

Others may have tried to replace him, but he was irreplaceable.

He was both a "man's man," and a "ladies' man," as those terms were once defined in eras gone by.

He was also a renaissance man, an Oscar-winning movie star, a husband, a father, a brother, a son, and a Scot.

His name was Sean Connery, he was born on August 25th in 1930 in the small working-class town of Fountainbridge, Ireland. He was also the first to play British secret agent James Bond 007 on the big screen, and for many, "no one did it better."

That includes actors George Lazenby and Roger Moore, who took over the Bond role in 1972, followed down the road by Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel Craig.

Connery also starred in feature films such as Robin and Marian, The Name of the Rose, The Hunt for Red October, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (playing Harrison Ford's father), and The Rock (portraying opposite Nicolas Cage as what some have defined as an older-James-Bond-type).

According to Biography.com, in the 1950s, Connery was cast in numerous U.K. motion pictures and TV shows in the U.K. In 1962, he was cast as Bond in Dr. No, the first movie to feature Ian Fleming's famed adventurous character. Connery continued playing that part in a series of sequels, including Goldfinger and Thunderball, earning him millions of fans and millions of dollars.

The actor regularly in film thereafter, and in 1988 won his Academy Award as a supporting actor for director Brian Di Palma's The Untouchables. His final film, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, did not do so well with the critics or the audience, and he retired from acting shortly thereafter.

Around that same time, his first wife, former actress Diane Cilento, wrote a scathing memoir, in which she accused the actor of abusive behavior. That book may have contributed to his retreat from public life.

Connery spent his remaining years in the Bahamas, with his second spouse, Micheline Roquebrune to whom he was married from 1975 to his demise in 2020. He loved Roguerbrune dearly, as well as her children from a previous marriage, as well as Jason Connery, his son with Cilento.

Sean Connery dedicated his life to many charitable organizations and loved the simple pleasures of life, including playing golf, his favorite sport.

Connery's love for that game began while filming the Bond film Goldfinger, in which his 007 character plays golf with the archvillain of the movie's title. After that, Connery was hooked. As he revealed in his autobiography Being a Scot (which was co-authored by Murray Grigor):

"I began to take lessons on a course near the Pinewood film studios, and was immediately hooked on the game. Soon it would nearly take over my life. I began to see golf as a metaphor for living, for in golf you are basically on your own, competing against yourself and always trying to do better. If you cheat, you will be the loser, because you are cheating yourself."

Connery succumbed to pneumonia, and atrial fibrillation on October 31, 2020. He spent his remaining years in the Bahamas with his second spouse, Micheline Roquebrune to whom he was married from 1975 to his demise in 2020. He loved Roguerbrune dearly, along with her children from a previous marriage, and Jason Connery, his son with Cilento.

According to SlashFilm.com, Connery once concluded, “Everything I've done has had to be accomplished in my own cycle, my own time, on my own behalf, and with my own sweat. But if people hadn't liked what I was doing, I'd probably be delivering milk today—and I never forget that.”

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Herbie J Pilato is the author of several books about pop culture including THE 12 BEST SECRETS OF CHRISTMAS: A TREASURE HOUSE OF DECEMBER MEMORIES REVEALED, MARY: THE MARY TYLER MOORE STORY, TWITCH UPON A STAR, GLAMOUR, GIDGETS AND THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, DASHING, DARING AND DEBONAIR, and NBC & ME: MY LIFE AS A PAGE IN A BOOK, among others. He's also a TV writer/producer, and has worked for Reelz, Bravo, E!, TLC, and hosted THEN AGAIN WITH HERBIE J PILATO, the hit classic TV talk show (which premiered on Amazon Prime in 2019).

Los Angeles, CA
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