James Bond (Sean Connery)
James Bond played by (Sir) Sean Connery
Born in Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland on 25th August 1930
Starred In Dr No (1962), From Russia With Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967) and Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
When the producers Albert R. 'Cubby' Broccoli and Harry Saltzman looked for someone to play the character of James Bond, they had to find someone who could portray his suave, sophisticated and witty characteristics. After a couple of possibilities they eventually settled on Sean Connery. Although his background was the complete opposite of the character he was going to portray, Broccoli, his wife and Saltzman all came to the conclusion that Sean Connery was the correct choice. This established himself in the film industry as James Bond, a reputation that would continue until You Only Live Twice in 1967.
After George Lazenby's departure from the role after On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Connery was approached to return once more for Diamonds Are Forever. He agreed a deal for a salary of $1,250,000 US, 10% of the films gross, $145,000 for every week the film ran over schedule, financial backing to produce two films, one in which Connery could direct. This entered him into the Guinness Book of Records for the highest paid actor of the time. He would then go onto give his entire salary to the Scottish International Education Trust.
While Connery was offered the astronomical sum (at the time) of $5.5 million to appear once more in Live and Let Die, he turned it down wanting to move on. He would however make one final appearance as Bond over 12 years later in the unofficial Never Say Never Again, although Roger Moore was the official Bond in Octopussy at this time.
Thomas Sean Connery started out life working in a number of professions; milkman, the Navy, brick-laying and even working for an undertaker. After a period as a model, and then in the cast of the musical South Pacific, Connery was cast in a few bit parts and small films. He remained an relative unknown in the film world until he was cast as James Bond in Dr No in 1962.
Sean Connery's James Bond is one of sophistication, charm and wit. He is full of confidence, calm under pressure and is one with the ladies. From his first appearance in Dr No, he is awaken by singing from Honey Ryder. When he investigates, he notices a beautiful woman emerging from the sea collecting shells. When she asks if he is looking for shells, he calmly replies, "No, I'm just looking". Similarly in Goldfinger when Bond is about to be rather painfully cut down the middle by Auric Goldfinger and his laser, he still manages to reply with a witticism.
Connery's way of playing James Bond does have a 'dark side' as well however. During his fight with Capungo in the film, Bond throws him into a bath full of water. Before he can grab Bond's gun hung up on the wall, 007 throws an electric lamp into the bath. He then calmly walks out the room commenting "Shocking, positively shocking". Another example is in Dr No when Professor R. J. Dent shoots what he thinks is Bond in bed. After realising he has been fooled, Bond decides to interrogate the professor. After learning all he knows, he takes pleasure in shooting Dent three times with a silencer.
While some fans exclaim that Connery's Bond is still the best, it's natural that since Connery was the first Bond, he is the one that any newcomer is compared against. §