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James Bond - Sean Connery

Sean Connery
James Bond first came to the big screen in 1962's Dr. No.  Sean Connery was selected to play Agent 007, beating out Cary Grant, Rex Harrison, Trevor Howard, Patrick McGoohan and Roger Moore despite being "Not exactly what I envisioned," according to Bond creator Ian Fleming.
 

Connery was born in Scotland on August 25, 1930.  He grew up the poor son of a truck driver, and after being released from the Royal Navy due to ulcers, he held a variety of jobs.  In 1953 he was selected to represent Scotland in the Mr. Universe contest, finishing third.  This led to a job in the chorous with the touring company of South Pacific, which led to several other stage productions.  He made his television debut in 1956, and signed a movie deal with MGM in the late 50's.

Sean Connery as 007After the success of Dr. No, Connery made three more Bond films in the next five years.  Tired of being identified as Bond, he quit the role after You Only Live Twice in order to spend more time with his family and on the golf course.  He was replaced in On Her Majesty's Secret Service by model and commercial actor George Lazenby.  When Lazenby announced he would not do any more Bond films (taking what he admits today was bad advice), Connery was lured back for Diamonds Are Forever in 1971.

A falling out with producer Albert "Cubby" Broccoli led Connery to hang up the Bond role again, until 1983 when a 52-year old Connery decided to make Never Say Never Again--the only "unofficial" Bond movie.  The non-Broccoli produced film was released to compete with Roger Moore's Octopussy--a competition it is generally regarded to have lost. 

In addition to playing Bond, Connery has acted in numerous other movies and received several prestigious awards, including winning an Oscar and a Golden Globe for his role in the 1987 movie The Untouchables, being named People's Sexiest Man Alive in 1989 and Sexiest Man of the Century in 1999, and being knighted by Queen Elizabeth in July, 2000, despite being denied two years earlier for political reasons.

Today Connery lives in Marbella, Spain, with his wife Micheline Roquebrune, whom he married in 1975.  He has one son, Jason, from a previous marriage to Diane Cilento.  Ironically, Jason Connery starred as Ian Fleming in Spymaker, a film about the life of the creator of Agent 007.

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