Sean Connery - James Bond 007


Connery's role in the Disney film Darby O'Gill And the Little People brought him to the attention of Bond producers Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman. Abandoning plans to cast a major star as 007, they interviewed the relatively unknown Connery, and came away impressed with his forceful demeanor and "cat-like" grace. Over the objections of United Artists, who felt Connery was not sufficiently marketable, and even Ian Fleming, who felt he was too unrefined, they cast the young Scot as Bond in 1962's Dr. No. 

The rest, as they say, is history. 

Under the tutelage of director Terence Young, Connery was soon wearing Saville Row suits and drinking Dom Perignon with the best of the bluebloods. Yet throughout his tenure as Bond, he maintained an earthy masculinity that forced audiences worldwide to reconsider their stereotypes of the British male. 

Connery's Bond was a revelation to audiences who were used to straight-shooting, clean-living heroes. His raw machismo and ruthlessness won over fans of Fleming's novels, while his canny infusion of wry humor helped sell the character to even wider audiences. To millions of moviegoers around the world, Sean Connery was James Bond. 

That, ultimately, was the problem as far as Connery was concerned. Typecast as Bond, but lacking any real creative control over the series, or what he felt would be ample financial compensation, Connery soon tired of the public's unceasing demands on his time and privacy. 

He left the role after You Only Live Twice in 1967. 
After George Lazenby's single outing in On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Connery was enticed back into the shoulder holster for 1971's Diamonds Are Forever with the promise of a fee in excess of one million dollars. He donated that to a Scottish educational trust that continues to this day.