The passing last weekend of Sean Connery, who became known to everyone throughout the world for his role as James Bond in the 1960s films, was a sad event for all of us who grew up mesmerized by his performances.
Although many other actors have played the role over the years in the subsequent Bond movies, none came even close to epitomizing the charm, strength, and sense of humor that Connery brought to the role. (We have enjoyed the most recent Bond films starring Daniel Craig, though his Bond is of an entirely different sort than Connery’s.)
Sean Connery’s performances in those iconic films have stood the test of time. They are every bit as much fun and enjoyable to watch, no matter how many times we see them, principally because of Sean Connery.
Beyond his Bond roles, Connery starred in countless other outstanding films over the next 40 years and earned an Academy Award. Off-camera he also was a larger-than-life figure. He was well-respected and beloved among his peers and was an outstanding professional actor in every sense of the word.
He overcame his hard-scrabble background as a youth growing up in Scotland through hard work and determination and never forgot where he came from.
Although he was named People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive — at the age of 59 — his off-screen persona was hardly the raconteur he portrayed as Bond. Sean Connery was married to the same woman (his second wife) for 45 years, quite a feat in the movie business.
We came across a quote from his wife, Micheline Roquebrune, which in our view epitomizes the ideal that all men — real men — should strive for:
“He was a model of a man,” she said.
Her words bring to mind the lines of Marc Antony from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar when Antony eulogizes Caesar:
His life was gentle, and the elements
So mixed in him that Nature might stand up
And say to all the world, “This was a man.”
Sean Connery brought fun and joy to hundreds of millions of people for generations.
May he rest in peace.