Sean Connery, the whiskey-voiced son of Scotland who brought James Bond to the screen for the first time and went on to lead a long and celebrated acting career, died on Saturday (October 31). He was 90.
The BBC reported that the actor passed peacefully in his sleep after being "unwell for some time," according to his son, Jason Connery. "We are all working at understanding this huge event as it only happened so recently," he said. "A sad day for all who knew and loved my dad and a sad loss for all people around the world who enjoyed the wonderful gift he had as an actor."
Born Thomas Sean Connery on August 25, 1930, his challenging childhood in the slums of Edinburgh influenced much of his life, and he would later donate the $1 million he made from Diamonds Are Forever to the Scottish International Education Trust, which helps Scots from similarly impoverished backgrounds receive educations. His first film role was in the B-movie Action of the Tiger in 1957, followed by Tarzan's Greatest Adventure and Disney's Darby O'Gill and the Little People in 1959.
Connery embodied the character of James Bond — tall and suave, with a hidden temper. In 1962, he brought the novelist Ian Fleming's iconic secret agent to life with Dr. No, becoming a best-selling star throughout Great Britain and the United States with From Russia With Love the following year, Goldfinger in 1964, and 1965's Thunderball. He left the role after 1967's You Only Live Twice, later to reprise it in 1971 with Diamonds Are Forever and, once more, in 1983's Never Say Never Again.