Connery’s career on stage and on-camera has spanned decades, iconic turns like the beloved Henry Jones Sr. in Indiana Jones, Highlander’s Juan Sánchez-Villalobos Ramírez, Marko Ramius in The Hunt for Red October, or Zed in Zardoz. But none will be forever seared into the hearts and minds of generations of pop culture as his role in turning James Bond into a global movie legend.
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Playing the suave 007 across seven films in two decades, Connery set the gold standard for every actor in his wake to take on the role — who only had the chance to do so because his charming, effortlessly stylish action hero transformed Bond into one of the 20th century’s greatest movie stars. For many, there is still no other person burned into their minds when you think of “Bond, James Bond,” a line itself so perfectly delivered by Connery in the opening moments of Dr. No that it almost felt like destiny.
Even with his passing, his impact on Bond and the spy thriller as we know it will remain indelible.
The BBC reports that the actor passed away in his sleep after a long period of illness at the age of 90. Our thoughts are with his family.