The one and only Sir Sean Connery was announced to have passed away at the age of 90 today, causing the internet to erupt with messages of mourning and respect towards the legendary actor. As well as the numerous beloved movies he made throughout his career, including The Rock, The Untouchables and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Connery will be best remembered as the very first actor to play James Bond on the big screen, and the favorite of many.
The current incumbent of the role of 007 is, of course, Daniel Craig, who has spoken many times about how much of an inspiration Connery has been for his own take on Ian Fleming’s super spy. And following the news of the actor’s death, Craig released a statement paying tribute to the Hollywood legend via Variety. The sixth performer to play Bond praised Connery’s “wit and charm” and enormous influence on modern filmmaking, saying:
“It is with such sadness that I heard of the passing of one of the true greats of cinema. Sir Sean Connery will be remembered as Bond and so much more. He defined an era and a style. The wit and charm he portrayed on screen could be measured in mega watts; he helped create the modern blockbuster. He will continue to influence actors and film-makers alike for years to come. My thoughts are with his family and loved ones. Wherever he is, I hope there is a golf course.”
Connery was first cast as Bond for 1962’s Dr. No, and a worldwide sensation was born. He continued to play the character four more times until he stepped away, leaving George Lazenby to replace him in 1969. Following Lazenby departing after just one movie, Connery was coaxed back to appear in 1971’s Diamonds Are Forever. This was to be his final official turn as 007, though he did reprise the role in the unofficial (i.e. not made by EON Productions) Never Say Never Again in 1983.
Sir Roger Moore, who passed away in 2017, succeeded Connery in 1973, with Timothy Dalton replacing him in 1987. Pierce Brosnan then took over in 1995 before Craig was cast in 2006. He currently stands as the longest-serving James Bond but will soon vacate the gig with No Time to Die, which is confirmed to be his final turn in the role and is scheduled to hit theaters next April. But the whole journey couldn’t have started without Sean Connery.