Scottish actor Sean Connery passed away peacefully in his sleep in the Bahamas, BBC News reports. His son confirmed the sad news saying that Connery had been “unwell for some time.” He was 90 years old.
Connery is best-known as the first James Bond—a fictional British Secret Service agent—on a movie franchise of the same name.
He played the role seven times in the following 007 films: Dr. No (1962), From Russia with Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967), Diamonds are Forever (1971), and Never Say Never Again (1983).
But did you know that apart from being the first James Bond, he was also the first man to kiss another man on TV? This was a time when being gay was illegal in the UK, too!
Anyway, the show was a 1960 BBC production of the Jean Anouilh play titled Colombe and Sean Connery, who was reportedly 29 years old, kissed actor Richard Pasco. Pasco played the role of his brother who he believed was having an affair with his wife and Connery kisses him in an attempt to find out what his wife sees in his brother.
Dick Fiddy, TV consultant at the British Film Institute, said of the kiss, “…it might have been accepted because of the context and because it was a television version of a classic play by a great French dramatist.” He added, “It was, we are pretty sure, the first male-to-male kiss on TV.”
BBC won’t show two men kissing each other again until EastEnders and 27 years later at that.
Connery hailed from humble beginnings. Reportedly, he was born on August 25, 1930, in Fountainbridge, Scotland to Joe, a truck driver, and Euphamia, a laundress. He said of his life in Fountainbridge, “We were very poor, but I never knew how poor because that’s how everyone was there.”
Before becoming an actor, Connery was in the Royal Navy for three years (he was said to have been discharged early on account of stomach ulcers). He then became a bodybuilder and he even competed in the 1953 Mr. Universe as Scotland’s representative. For more photos during his Mr. Universe competition, click here.
When he was 69 years old, Sir Sean Connery was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II at Holyrood Palace in 2000 for services to film drama. In 1999, he was presented with the Kennedy Center Honor by President Bill Clinton for his “lifetime contribution to arts and culture.” He received the Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Film Institute (AFI) in 2006 as well. For the complete list of his awards, click here.
Meanwhile, Daniel Craig, who currently plays the role of James Bond, said about Sean Connery’s passing in a statement:
“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.”
Craig added, “The wit and charm he portrayed on screen could be measured in megawatts; 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.”
How infinitely sad to hear the news Sir Sean Connery has passed away. He and Roger were friends for many decades and Roger always maintained Sean was the best ever James Bond. RIP— Sir Roger Moore (Legacy) (@sirrogermoore) October 31, 2020
Every day on set with #SeanConnery was an object lesson in how to act on screen. But all that charisma and power- that was utterly unique to Sean . RIP that great man , that great actor . https://t.co/W8MQrFYlJ0— Sam Neill (@TwoPaddocks) October 31, 2020
What are your favorite Sean Connery films, guys?
Apart from James Bond series, mine are the following: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) where he played the role of Professor Henry Jones, the Scottish father of Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) who is also a professor of medieval studies at Princeton University; First Knight (1995), he was King Arthur in this film; Entrapment (1999); The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003); and The Rock (1996).