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Beyond James Bond: Meet the Sean Connery That You Didn’t Know


People are asked their names all the time, but so few of them have had the impact that Sean Connery had back in 1962 when he first identified himself as “Bond. James Bond.” Instantly, filmgoers were aware that they were in the “presence” of a genuine movie star, whose charisma was electric from the start. And Sean didn’t disappoint, not only as secret agent 007, but in a wide variety of performances in movies that spanned four decades.

Creating a character as powerful as James Bond took real talent, but so did overcoming the image that had propelled him and the movie business through the 1960s. Sean could have done the easy thing and just stayed with the role that made him a star, but, instead, he realized that he needed to prove to the world that there was more to him than 007. And it was, admittedly, a really rough road at first, with many of his non-Bond films flopping. At first. But he persevered and, little by little, it began to change. In a way, you could compare it to The Beatles going their separate ways, with John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr having to, in a sense, do it all over again. They managed to do so, and so did Sean.

There is a great moment during the 1988 Academy Awards, when Mr. Connery is called to the stage to accept the gold. The audience is on its feet, applauding wildly, and Sean is beaming in a way that we’ve seldom seen him do. He is absolutely delighted, and it’s not just because he’s won, but more because all of those years of hard work, of turning in one fine performance after another, was being appreciated by his peers.

Sean was born August 25, 1930 in Fountainbridge in Edinburgh, Scotland. But that’s only the start of the now 87-year-old actor’s story. Click through to find out all about Sean’s movies, the career he’s had outside of James Bond, and surprising details about his life you might not have known, until now.

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