Not an Englishman, but a Scotsman: Remembering Sean Connery

Story posted November 6, 2020 in Arts & Entertainment by Colton Pleslusky.

Sean Connery died in his sleep on Oct. 31, 2020 at the age of 90. He was in his home in Nassau, Bahamas.

Though there was no disclosure on the cause of his death, his son Jason stated that Connery had been unwell for some time. His wife, Micheline Roquebrune, later said he had dementia during his final years.

Sir Thomas Sean Connery was born in Scotland on Aug. 25, 1930. His mother was Euphemia “Effie” McBain, a cleaning woman, and his father was Joseph Connery, a factory worker and lorry driver. He was named Thomas after his grandfather.

Connery explained that Sean is his middle name, and that he had a friend named Seamus that prompted their group to call him Sean whenever they two were together.

At the age of 16, in 1946, Connery enlisted in the Royal Navy. It was during his service that he acquired two tattoos: one in honor of his parents and the other honoring Scotland. He was assigned to the HMS Formidable but was later discharged from the navy on medical grounds. He was 19 at the time.

Connery went through a modeling stint where artist Richard Demarco, a student at the time that painted several early pictures of Connery, said that he was “very straight, slightly shy, too, too beautiful for words, a virtual Adonis.”

He began bodybuilding at the age of 18 but was later deterred when he realized that Americans would frequently beat him due to sheer muscle size and would refuse to participate in athletic activities that could make them lose muscle mass.

Connery was also a keen footballer and was even noticed by Matt Busby, the manager of Manchester United. Busby was impressed and offered Connery a contract immediately. Connery has stated that he was very tempted but recalls that “a top-class footballer could be over the hill by the age of 30, and I was already 23.” With that thought in mind, Connery decided to become an actor and regards it as one of his more “intelligent moves.”

Connery’s breakthrough in acting came with the role of James Bond, a role he took on from 1962-1971 and once more in 1983 before hanging up the role. All seven films made in that time were commercially successful, and Connery’s James Bond was selected as the third-greatest action hero in cinema history by the American Film Institute.

His success would later culminate into a multitude of titles such as “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,”” The Hunt for Red October,” “First Night” and many other esteemed films. Connery also turned down the role of Gandalf in “The Lord of the Rings” films as well as the Architect in “The Matrix.”

His last film was “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen,” which he considered an absolute failure. He famously butted heads with the movie's director Stephen Norrington and found so much stress in the experience that he decided to retire. He later stated that he was disenchanted with the “idiots now making films in Hollywood.”

He refused to leave retirement, even for Spielberg’s “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” stating how much fun he was having in retirement.

He was married to Diane Cilento, an Australian actress and writer, from 1962 to 1973. With her, he had his son Jason Connery, who followed his path as an actor. Connery married Micheline Roquebrune in 1975.

Connery was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II on July 5, 2000, an act that had been delayed several years due to his political views. As a member of the Scottish National Party, Connery helped campaign for Scottish independence from the United Kingdom and provided financial support to the party until Parliament prohibited overseas funding of political activities.

Connery is mourned by many of his family and past co-workers, including Nicolas Cage, Robert De Niro, Alec Baldwin, George Lucas, Harrison Ford, Pierce Brosnan and many more.

Bond producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli stated that Connery “revolutionized the world with his gritty and witty portrayal of the sexy and charismatic secret agent. He is undoubtedly largely responsible for the success of the film series and we shall be forever grateful to him.”

Sir Thomas Sean Connery’s legendary acting will not soon be forgotten.

 

Colton Pleslusky is a junior majoring in telecommunications. To contact him, email csp5289@psu.edu

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Colton Pleslusky

Junior / Telecommunications

Colton S. Pleslusky is a junior from Aliquippa, Pennsylvania majoring in telecommunications at Penn State. He is a director and writer for the CommRadio arts & entertainment department as well as a co-host for the This is the Way Weekly podcast. He is a co-host for the Nittany Record Club alongside David Fortunato and Jade Campos. He is the arts and entertainment anchor for PSN News. To contact him, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).