Throughout his career, Sean Connery was forced to battle against accusations that his acting abilities failed to match his undeniable movie star charisma. Despite featuring in a series of classics including Dr. No, From Russia with Love, Goldfinger, The Man Who Would Be King, A Bridge Too Far, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Hunt for Red October and The Rock among others, he constantly faced criticism for essentially playing himself in the majority of his highest profile roles.
However, Connery had a 100% success rate at the Academy Awards, picking up the trophy for Best Supporting Actor in his one and only nomination for Brian De Palma’s The Untouchables. In one of the rare times he tried to disguise his signature Scottish burr, which he admittedly failed pretty badly at given that his Irish accent is often ranked as one of the worst ever committed to film, Connery won widespread acclaim for his turn as the tough as nails Jim Malone.
His co-star in the film, Kevin Costner, recently paid tribute to him following the screen legend’s recent passing at the age of 90, and lavished praise on the his no-frills approach to the industry and his lasting legacy in Hollywood.
“I, like the rest of the world, was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Sean Connery. Sean was a crafted actor who was enormously proud of his body of work, particularly his work on stage. And although he was a very no-nonsense person, he was incredibly inclusive with me professionally and personally. He was the biggest star that I ever worked with and I will be forever grateful to be linked with him on film. Sean Connery was a man’s man who had an amazing career.”
The Untouchables boasted a star-studded ensemble that included Costner, Andy Garcia and Robert De Niro, but it was Sean Connery who outshone them all with a firebrand performance that relied on his natural intensity. Say what you will about his capabilities to create fully textured, complex and three-dimensional characters, but it can’t be denied that when he was firing on all cylinders, there were very few actors capable of commanding the audience’s attention and dominating the frame in quite the same way as Connery.