Sean Connery Is 80 Today!

by Armand Vaquer

Bond, James Bond turns 80 today.

No, not the Ian Fleming character, but the original movie James Bond, Sean Connery.

Described as a "man's man," Connery created the movie James Bond template that has endured the ups and downs of the movies and successor actors including Roger Moore, George Lazenby, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and, currently, Daniel Craig. (Bond 23's production is being held up due to financial problems of MGM.)

My parents took me to see a double-bill of 1962's Dr. No and 1963's From Russia With Love (both starring Connery) and I've been hooked ever since. When it was announced that Goldfinger was about to be released, I already knew what to expect and looked forward to seeing it.

I have most of the Ian Fleming Bond novels (I hit the jackpot one day at a used book store).

It is generally conceded that Connery's Goldfinger (1964) is the best of the Bond movies. I think he hit his stride in that one although the aforementioned Dr. No and From Russia With Love were good movies.

Connery's last Eon Productions Bond movie was Diamonds Are Forever (1971). It had its moments, but it showed that the series was beginning to get into the silliness of the Roger Moore (who took over in the next film, Live and Let Die in 1973) years. He then went on to distinguish himself in other films such as The Man Who Would Be King, The Untouchables (he won a supporting actor Academy Award for that one), amongst others.

Connery's last outing as Agent 007 was in the independently-produced Never Say Never Again in 1982. In that movie, he showed that he still had the Bond touch.

Akiko Wakabayashi, who co-starred with Connery in 1967's You Only Live Twice (set in Japan), said in a G-FAN interview (by yours truly and Brett Homenick) of Connery, "James Bond in the movie is a ladies' man, but Sean-san is a warm-hearted honest man. He has a clear vision as an actor. He can be stubborn from time to time, but he is a real man with a bit of old-fashioned taste."

Connery says his acting days are over (almost sounds like one of his final lines in Never Say Never Again). He is enjoying his retirement. Perhaps, if the right project and role should surface, he could be persuaded to make a comeback. Never say never!

Happy Birthday, Sean Connery!

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