The Advertiser Thursday, August 13, 2020 21 PAST TIMES looks at the career of the film star with a licence to thrill S EAN CONNERY worked as a bricklayer, a lorry driver, a milkman and a coffin polisher before creating movie history by introducing himself with the words “Bond, James Bond”. It it said 007 creator Ian Fleming always imagined his British agent as a Cary Grant-type figure and thought Scottish actor Sean was too “unrefined” to be cast in the 1962 film Dr No, but he later changed his mind and even changed Bond’s personal history to include a Scottish background writing that the agent’s father originally came from Glencoe in Scotland. Sean ended up playing Bond in seven movies and was 53 when he finally said goodbye to 007. “I’m an actor. It’s not brain surgery. If I do my job right, people won’t ask for their money back,” he said. He was born Thomas Sean Connery in Fountainbridge, Edinburgh, 90 years ago on August 25. His mother Euphemia was a cleaner, his father Joseph a factory worker and lorry driver. He also has a younger brother called Neil. The future film star joined the Royal Navy when he was 16 and left with a legacy of two small tattoos on his right arm – “Mum and Dad” and “Scotland Forever”. A series of odd jobs followed and he even worked as a nude model for Edinburgh art students for a time. He started bodybuilding when he was 18 and was a Mr Universe contestant. A talent for sports also led to the legendary Matt Busby offering him a football contract for £25 a week, but he turned it down explaining: “I realised 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.” He made his stage debut in 1953 in the chorus of musical South Pacific and other early acting roles saw him appearing on TV in Dixon of Dock Green in 1956 and tackling in The Name of the Rose, captained a nuclear submarine in The Hunt for Red October and appeared as King Agamemnon in the Time Bandits. He was also the voice of fire-breathing Draco in the 1998 film Dragonheart. “Perhaps I’m not a good actor, but I would be even worse at doing anything else,” he once said. Sean has called being knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 2000 as “one of the greatest days of my life” but he decided to step back from acting and retire in 2003 after filming The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. The proud Scot even gave Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon a few tips when it came to public speaking. She said: “I’ve never had a voice coach, but I am about to name drop horrendously here, I did once get some advice on how to project my voice from Sean Connery, which was lovely. It’s all about where you breathe. That’s my claim to fame.” Turning 90 is unlikely to bother the film favourite who has said: “Some age, others mature.” He knows his name will forever be linked to 007 and the movies that brought him international recognition but he has pointed out: “There’s one major difference between James Bond and me. He is Shakespeare as Hotspur in the BBC’s Age of Kings in 1960. His first film role came playing a gangster called Spike in the 1957 movie No Road Back, but his breakthrough came in 1962 with Dr No and he went on to play the famous secret agent in From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, Diamonds Are Forever and Never Say Never Again. “The person who plays Bond has to be dangerous. If there isn’t a sense of threat, you can’t be cool,” he said. Other landmark roles included appearing in Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller Marnie in 1962. His co-star Tippi Hedren later admitted Sean had been her first celebrity crush and said: “He was just fabulous, a consummate actor with a great sense of humour.” The Man Who Would Be King in 1975 saw him working with life-long friend Sir Michael Caine. “If you were his friend in these early days you didn’t raise the subject of Bond,” said Michael. “He was, and is, a much better actor than just playing James Bond, but he became synonymous with Bond.” His acting talent was acknowledged by his peers when he won an Oscar in 1988 for The Untouchables, beating fellow nominees like Morgan Freeman and Denzel Washington to the award. He’s also been Harrison Ford’s able to sort out problems!”
© PressReader. All rights reserved.