Sean Connery, the Oscar-winning Scottish actor who first brought James Bond to the big screen, died on Saturday at the age of 90. Over a career that spanned six decades, Connery also co-starred in films like Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Untouchables, The Hunt for Red October and The Rock.
His box office popularity now cemented thanks to the 007 franchise, Connery took on roles that were in sharp contrast of the debonair spy, including the cult 1974 sci-fi film Zardoz, the celebrated Murder on the Orient Express, and 1977’s A Bridge Too Far.
Following Connery’s turn as a Chicago police officer alongside Kevin Costner’s Eliot Ness in The Untouchables — a role that resulted in an Academy Award win for Best Supporting Actor—the Scottish actor soon became one of the Hollywood’s most potent scene-stealing sidekicks, able to hold his own while sharing the screen with the likes of Harrison Ford (as Indiana Jones’ father in The Last Crusade), Alec Baldwin (The Hunt for Red October) and Nicolas Cage (The Rock).
Connery’s last big-screen appearance was playing Allan Quatermain in the 2003 adaptation of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen; soon after, Connery—who turned down the role of Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings trilogy—admitted he was likely finished with acting, fed up with the “idiots now making films in Hollywood.”
Actor Hugh Jackman tweeted Saturday, “I grew up idolizing Sean Connery. A legend on screen, and off. Rest In Peace.”
Current James Bond actor Daniel Craig said in a statement Saturday, “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.”