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Not so much an actor as a force of nature, tall, burly Scottish actor Sir Thomas Sean Connery (born August 25, 1930 in Edinburgh, Scotland) made his career as the first actor to play James Bond on the big screen, one of many in a long line of lead roles that he would play over the course of his career. A former milkman, brick layer, truck driver and body builder (back in the days when that meant 'big and athletic' rather than 'steroid-fuelled and vein-covered') notable for his impressive body hair, effortless masculinity and unique variation on the Scottish accent, Connery's sex-symbol status has proved surprisingly durable despite the ravages of time, the early onset of baldness (he wore a toupee to play Bond - and reputedly wanted to go without for Never Say Never Again), and occasional press stories of misogyny on his part notwithstanding.
Although the Bond films made him a star, after some less than impressive acting ventures, Connery eventually tired of the role and the pressure the franchise put on him, and made not one but two attempts to leave the franchise (barring his return for the unofficial Never Say Never Again), which reportedly angered Bond producer Albert "Cubby" R. Broccoli. Connery continued on, often playing tough guys and the occasional Lovable Rogue. For a time his career was in a rut due to headlining a string of flops, which eventually led to reinventing himself as a Cool Old Guy type, and spent the latter half of his career playing The Mentor to younger heroes, such as Kevin Costner's street smart teacher in The Untouchables for which Connery won an Oscar.
Also played Henry Jones Sr., father of Henry "Indiana" Jones Jr. in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Steven Spielberg and George Lucas had wanted to outdo the James Bond films; therefore, James Bond was both metaphorically and literally Indiana Jones's father. Clearly, Badass is genetic.
After starring as Allan Quartermain in the... some would say polarizing The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen movie, Connery retired from acting. Some suggest that these facts are related, that the film was so terrible that he just gave up. He has steadfastly refused to come out of retirement, including refusing a cameo in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. To date only exceptions have been a Role Reprise for the 2005 Licensed Game 007: From Russia with Love and the voice of the title character in the low-budged Scottish animated film Sir Billi (the less said of which, the better).
A major supporter of Scottish independence (though the fact that he hasn't actually lived there for 50 years tends to undermine this a little). Particularly famous for Not Even Bothering with the Accent.
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He is currently noted for being parodied on Saturday Night Live's Celebrity Jeopardy recurring sketch, thanks to long-time cast member Darrell Hammond, and is considered a highlight to said recurring sketch (though in the earlier Celebrity Jeopardy sketches, that honor went to Norm MacDonald as Burt Reynolds).
Connery was married to the late Australian actress Diane Cilento from 1962 to 1973, and had one son with her, actor Jason Connery. The marriage did not end well, to put it nicely. Following this failed marriage and her own faltering career as an actress, Cilento said some very nasty things about Connery in her later years, claims and accusations that Connery himself vehemently denied.
Since 1975 Connery has been married to Micheline Roquebrune.
Also notable for trying to shoot you in every video store in the world.
There is even a website for things Sean Connery should say.
He has won an AFI Life Achievement Award, with tributes from Mike Myers (whose James Bond films helped inspire Austin Powers), his later James Bond incarnation Pierce Brosnan, Harrison Ford (his onscreen son), and James Earl Jones.
Sean Connery is also notable for the "Rule of Sean Connery," something that he (and few other people) have been able to accomplish in their lifetimes.
Films starring Sean Connery include:
- Hell Drivers (1957) - Johnny Kates; a small appearance, however, one of the most notable ones in a film full of Retroactive Recognition.)
- Darby O'Gill and the Little People (1959) - Michael McBride; this Disney studio classic is where Broccoli discovered Connery.)
- The Longest Day (1962) - Pvt. Flanagan
- James Bond - Commander James Bond, 007
- Marnie (1964) - Mark Rutland
- The Hill (1965) - Joe Roberts
- The Molly Maguires (1970) - Jack Kehoe
- The Anderson Tapes (1971) - Duke Anderson
- Zardoz (1974) - Zed
- Murder on the Orient Express (1974) - Colonel Arbuthnot
- The Man Who Would Be King (1975) - Daniel Dravot
- The Wind and the Lion (1975) - Mulai Ahmed er Raisuni
- Robin and Marian (1976) - Robin Hood
- A Bridge Too Far (1977) - Maj. Gen. Roy Urquhart
- The Great Train Robbery (1979) - Edward Pierce
- Meteor (1979) - Dr Paul Bradley
- Time Bandits (1981) - King Agamemnon
- Outland (1981) - Marshal William T. O'Niel
- Highlander (1986) - Juan Sanchez Villa-Lobos Ramirez
- The Name of the Rose (1986) - William of Baskerville
- The Untouchables (1987) - Jimmy Malone; Academy Award winner for Best Supporting Actor
- The Presidio (1988) - Lt. Col. Alan Caldwell
- Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) - Dr. Henry Jones, Sr.
- Family Business (1989) - Jessie McMullen
- The Hunt for Red October (1990) - Capt. Marko Ramius
- The Russia House (1990) - Barley Blair
- Highlander II: The Quickening (1991) - Juan Sanchez Villa-Lobos Ramirez
- Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991) - King Richard the Lionhearted (uncredited)
- Medicine Man (1992) - Dr. Robert Campbell
- Rising Sun (1993) - Capt. John Connor
- First Knight (1995) - King Arthur
- The Rock (1996) - Capt. John Patrick Mason
- Dragonheart (1996) - Draco (voice)
- The Avengers (1998) (1998) - Sir August de Wynter
- Entrapment (1999) - Robert MacDougal
- Finding Forrester (2000) - William Forrester
- The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003) - Allan Quatermain
- 007: From Russia with Love (2005) - James Bond (voice)
- The Thief and the Cobbler : The Recobbled Cut (2006) - Provides the otherwise mute Tack's sole line, "I love you," cut from the studio-mandated released versions, in which Tack is under a different actor.
- Sir Billi (2013) - Sir Billi (voice)
Tropes applicable to Sean Connery:
- Ability over Appearance: Connery was cast as James Bond due to the aggressiveness he brought to the role. However, the working-class Connery knew next to nothing about the finer things Bond was supposed to be an expert in so Terence Young, Dr. No's director, dragged Connery to tailors and restaurants all over London to give the actor a crash course in how to be a gentleman.
- Badass Beard / Badass Mustache: Alternated between these in his post-Bond career.
- Chronically Killed Actor: got into this in his later career (Draco, Arthur, Allan Qartermain).
- No Stunt Double: You know that long scene from The Great Train Robbery where Edward Pierce was hopping from train car to train car? Connery did that himself. Yeah.
- Playing Against Type: Often cast as tough cunning heroes (and later wise mentors), Connery goes in the opposite direction with Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade where he plays a bumbling, tweedy, mildly absent minded professor not prepared for his son's more adventurous escapades. And he is absolutely HILARIOUS in the film.
- Prematurely Bald: Sean lost his hair at age 21. He wore a toupee in his James Bond flicks.
- Trope Namer: For Sean Connery Is About to Shoot You and Rule of Sean Connery.
- What Could Have Been:
- He has turned down both the roles of Gandalf in Peter Jackson's adaptation of The Lord of the Rings and the role of Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter film series. Madnessh!
- He also turned down the role of the Architect in The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions. He said that both the Matrix and Lord of the Rings scripts made absolutely no sense to him when he read them. This gets weirder when you consider the film he did instead was The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
- Ian Fleming, the creator of the James Bond character which made Connery famous, reportedly disliked Connery being chosen for the role at first because he happened to be a big, stocky Scottish guy with a rough and rugged face as opposed to the more refined look Fleming imagined for the character. Fleming later changed his mind after actually seeing Connery in action and, before he died, he even retconned Bond's origin to give him Scottish heritage (possibly just to make sure the cinematic and literary incarnations would match since he undoubtedly realized that the films would reach more people than the books).
- He was also considered for the voice of Cassim in Aladdin and the King of Thieves, though the role ended up being played by John Rhys-Davies.
- Was considered for the voice of Professor Hale in Pokémon 3, but turned it down (by which point the producers decided that celebrity voices would distract from the appeal of the franchise's world-building).
- Kincade in Skyfall was written as a Remake Cameo for Connery, but it was decided that Connery's presence would have been too distracting, and it didn't seem right to make a Bond movie without Connery being Bond. Kincade calling Daniel Craigs Bond a jumped-up little shit is even more hilarious if you imagine Connery saying it.