For class, we had to write an obituary for any person we liked. I chose Sean Connery who is NOT dead, just in case you’re wondering. I decided that since he smoked since he was nine and has had cancer twice, this 79 year old should die from windsurfing. He is, after all, Bond.
Sir Thomas Sean Connery, known to the world by his 007 stardom and an acting career that astounded the movie industry for decades, was found dead outside his Bahamas home Wednesday. He was 79.
He was rushed to Princess Margaret Hospital in Nassau where attempts to revive him were unsuccessful. He was declared dead at 8:06 p.m. Local authorities report that his death was a result of a windsurfing accident. However, no additional information has been released at this time.
The international community has already begun grieving for the beloved Scottish actor. He will be remembered most for his film career, from international man of mystery to stoic mentor. When presenting Connery with the American Film Institute’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006, co-star Harrison Ford put it best: “John Wayne gave us the old west. James Stewart gave us our town. You gave us the world.”
Connery was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, Aug. 25, 1930. He began his renowned acting career in the 1950s. At the time, he was an avid soccer player and was even offered a contract with Manchester United, but turned it down for a role in the play “South Pacific.”
“I realized that a top-class footballer could be over the hill by the age of 30, and I was already 23. I decided to become an actor, and it turned out to be one of my more intelligent moves,” said Connery in an interview with Mud and Glory, a Scottish soccer magazine.
It wasn’t until 1962 that he landed the role that would make him a legend. He was cast as secret agent James Bond, a part that would earn him international acclaim and solidify him as a “ladies’ man.” He starred in seven commercially successful Bond films, ending with “Never Say Never Again” in 1983. The fame of the role stuck with him his entire career and beyond. According to The Guardian, when asked at a press conference how long Connery thought he’d be identified with the international man of mystery, he was all too correct when he said, “It’s with me till I go in the box.”
His break into the mainstream led to several critically acclaimed films throughout the 1960s, 70s, and 80s including Hitchcock’s “Marnie,” “Murder on the Orient Express,” “The Man Who Would Be King,” “The Wind and the Lion” and “A Bridge Too Far.” His role in “The Untouchables” earned him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. In an interview with biographer Douglas Thompson, when asked about his change from dashing secret agent to playing older characters, Connery said “I think the fact that one’s hair disappeared early made it easier.”
Even so, Connery maintained his status as a sex symbol. He was voted People’s “Sexiest Man Alive” in 1989. Upon hearing the news, he joked, “Well, you don’t find many sexy dead people now do you?”
Connery continued to star in blockbuster hits, including “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” “The Hunt for Red October,” “The Rock” and “Entrapment.”
However, Connery had a rocky relationship with Hollywood that led to his retirement. After several disappointing films, he turned down a role in “Lord of the Rings” because he “didn’t understand the script.” CNN reported he may have lost out on an estimated $400 million. This led to his decision to star in “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen,” another script he admitted to not understanding, which turned out to be a box office flop.
“I get fed up dealing with idiots. There is a widening gap between those who know about movies and those who green-light movies,” Connery said to a London Times journalist. He officially retired from movie-making shortly afterward in 2005.
Throughout his life, Connery was a proud Scotsman who worked tirelessly for his homeland. Before acting, he enlisted in the Royal Navy where he acquired his tattoos: one in honor of his parents reading “Mum and Dad,” and another with patriotic sentiment reading “Scotland Forever.” He donated huge sums of money to the Scottish Nationalist Party and even came out of retirement to lend his voice to the party’s advertisements. The party oversaw the instatement of Scotland’s own parliament in 1998.
Sadly, Connery never again lived in his home country. He was often criticized for supporting Scotland so fervently while living in the Bahamas, but he explained when he told reporters that he vowed not to return to his homeland until it is independent during a 2008 press conference for “Being a Scot,” his autobiography. “Scotland should always stand alone, always.”
Still, Connery’s relationship with Great Britain was not a bitter one. In July 2000, Connery was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to Film Drama. He told BBC News, “It’s one of the proudest days of my life.”
Connery is survived by his second wife of 35 years, French painter Micheline Roquebrune; his son, actor Jason Connery, and one grandson, Dashiell Quinn Connery. He is also survived by his brother, Neil Connery.