Sir Sean Connery, the Enduring Face of James Bond, Has Died

Connery in one of his greatest looks, and finest performances as James Bond in Goldfinger.
Connery in one of his greatest looks, and finest performances as James Bond in Goldfinger.
Image: United Artists

Sir Sean Connery, star of stage and screen and the legendary actor who catapulted Ian Fleming’s spyfi novel hero into a movie and pop-cultural icon, has passed away at 90.

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Connery’s career on stage and on-camera has spanned decades, iconic turns like the beloved Henry Jones Sr. in Indiana Jones, Highlander’s Juan Sánchez-Villalobos Ramírez, Marko Ramius in The Hunt for Red October, or Zed in Zardoz. There was also his camper side in genre, playing infamously cheesy turns in the likes of the reboot of the other British spyfi legend, The Avengers, and memorable parts in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Time Bandits, and Dragonheart. But none will be forever seared into the hearts and minds of generations of pop culture as his role in turning James Bond into a global movie legend.

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Playing the suave 007 across seven films in two decades, Connery set the gold standard for every actor in his wake to take on the role—who only had the chance to do so because his charming, effortlessly stylish action hero transformed Bond into one of the 20th century’s greatest movie stars. For many, there is still no other person burned into their minds when you think of “Bond, James Bond,” a line itself so perfectly delivered by Connery in the opening moments of Dr. No that it almost felt like destiny.

Even with his passing, his impact on Bond and the spy thriller as we know it will remain indelible.

The BBC reports that the actor passed away in his sleep after a long period of illness at the age of 90. Our thoughts are with his family.


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James is a News Editor at io9. He wants pictures. Pictures of Spider-Man!

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DISCUSSION


He was a great James Bond, but I really love his marvelous ad-lib in the third Indiana Jones movie.

“She talks in her sleep”