Sean Connery was born August 25th, 1930 in Edinburgh Scotland, as Thomas Sean Connery. A school drop-out at age 13, Connery spent much of his teen years in libraries, reading and living out his dream acting on stage. By the time he had made it into his twenties, he was a model, body builder and chorus singer in many TV and movie roles. In 1957, he made his motion picture debut in `Action of a Tiger`, as a little known actor.
In 1959, he also composed one of his own numbers for the movie `Darby O Gill and the Little People`, which also featured his unknown singing talents.
By 1960, the search to find the actor to play James Bond had been started by Albert R. Broccoli, Harry Saltzman and Ian Fleming. Depending on who you talk to, it was either Saltzman or Broccoli`s wife, Daniella or Jaqueline who discovered Connery on a trip to the local cinema.
Phone calls were made and eventually they got Connery to a meeting. In the meeting, the two producers simply asked Connery to do a screen test. Connnery, married to his first wife at the time and without steady work made a bold stance. “I`ll be 007 without a screen test!” And that was that. Considering the competition to play Bond(which included Roger Moore, Patrick Macnee, Cary Grant and even David Niven), the move could have been taken as career suicide.
But, fortunately for Connery, the two producers, and Fleming agreed to sign him. The convincing factor was, however Terrence Young, who was the man who Connery should have thanked for the role. Shooting for Dr. No took place in Fleming`s home country of Jamaica in early 1962. Connery made $125,000.00 US for the part. The shoot was challenging, but nothing compared to the famous scene between 007 and a tarantula; Sean Connery is arachniphobic. He did the close-ups of his face on a sheet of glass, and the look of fear was very real.
Almost back to back, Connery, and the producers stamped out two more Bond pics: From Russia With Love and Goldfinger. In 1963, Connery was busy at work in non-Bond projects, including Alfred Hitchcock`s “Marnie”.
But by 1964 when Goldfinger opened, Bond was all the rage. He quickly donned the suit and Walther PPK of 007 once again in the UA released/Kevin McClory produced Thunderball. Thunderball made an enormous amount of money, but he felt that he was going to soon be type-cast as a spy/secret agent, and in 1967, quit the role.
Once he had shed the role of 007, he reunited with Bond girl, Honor Blackman for `Shalako`, a film about European aristocrats. In 1969, the year of George Lazenby`s only Bond movie, he didn`t have a movie released, and was spending more time towards his favorite passion, golf. As everyone remembers, his classic golf match from Goldfinger was the starting line for Connery with the game. He currently still plays the sport, even winning pro-ams with professional senior players.
But, in 1970 when audiences didn`t respond well to a Connery-less 007 movie, UA threw money his way to have him play Bond at least once more. He finally agreed with a clause that UA would have to finance two non-Bond films to get him back for Diamonds Are Forever.
But, with the end of Bond, came the end of his first marriage. His wife was publicly humilated when reports of her husband being seen with many of his leading ladies. He had a son, Jason with his first wife. Later in the seventies, Sean remarried, to the woman he is with today.
Connery finally shed all doubt about him playing 007 in 1974 when he played Col. Arbuthnot in the screen version of Agathia Christie`s `Murder on the Orient Express.`. He also impressed audiences in `The Man Who Would Be King` In 1976, he returned to another famous action hero, this time as Robin Hood in `Robin and Marian`, which reunited him with another Bond star, Robert Shaw. Now, totally non-involved with the role of Bond, he began to get roles like that of `Pierce` in Micheal Chricton`s `Great Train Robbery`, where he was a stylish British thief involved in the world`s first train robbery.
In 1983, he made an unremarkable return to Bond in the Warner Bros/Kevin McClory renegade movie, `Never Say Never Again`. When the movie failed, he vowed never again to play Bond.
Other roles in movies like `Family Business`, `Rising Sun`, `Dragonheart`, `The Russia House`, and others would follow, but in 1988, Connery finally got the respect of his peers when he won an Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for his work as a Chicago police officer in `The Untouchables`. Many thought that Connery would finally turn towards serious dramatic work, but now in the last ten years, he has done anything but that. He played Harrison Ford`s father in the third Indiana Jones movie. Steven Spielberg has since said about the movie: “When casting Indy`s father, we all thought that only one man on Earth could play him, correctly, James Bond!”
In the 1990`s he has slowed his pace down, but when he does make a movie, they are action/adventure films. This started with the `Bond-esque` adventure movie `The Rock`(where he played a Britsh Spy locked up on Alcatraz during the 60`s), and the recent `Avengers`. In the last few years, Connery has turned his hand towards producing stage plays and earlier in 1998, won a Tony award for a play he and his wife produced.
After over forty years in the business, Thomas Sean Connery will probably go down in movie history with the likes of John Wayne, Burt Lancaster, Cary Grant, Orson Welles and many others, for a fine career. Probably the most ironic thing about Connery was in 1992, he was voted the World`s Sexiest Man, something he recieved at age 62, not something that would have been fitting nearly thirty years earlier.