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Sean Connery 8/31
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Sean Connery Profile

Rising from humble working class roots in his native Scotland, Sean Connery soared to international stardom in the 1960s as the original James Bond, the ubersuave British secret agent created by author Ian Fleming. During the three decades following Bond's debut, Connery showed that he had more to offer than tuxedos and shaken (not stirred) martinis. Over the years Connery has proven to be one of Hollywood's most enduring talents, adapting to a wide variety of genres with ease and enjoying a longevity rarely seen in Hollywood.

Born into a blue collar family in Scotland, Connery spent his youth working at menial jobs, leaving school early to work full time to help provide for his family. At sixteen, he enlisted in the Royal Navy, in which he served for three years. Upon returning home, Connery took a variety of jobs including bricklayer, coffin polisher and lifeguard-nothing hinting at his life to come as a movie star.

During his spare time, Connery worked on his physique through bodybuilding, one of his favorite hobbies. In 1950 he entered the Mr. Universe competition, placing a respectable third. Eventually, this attention led to modeling jobs and small parts in television and theatrical production including Action of the Tiger (1957) and Hell Drivers (1957). In the late 1950s Connery got his big break when he was cast opposite Lana Turner in Another Time, Another Place (1958) and in the Walt Disney production of Darby O'Gill and the Little People (1959).

In 1962 Connery skyrocketed to fame when he landed the role of secret agent 007 in Dr. No. Exuding cool sophistication and a wry sense of humor, Connery as James Bond was an instant hit with audiences. Over the next decade he made five more Bond films, with an occasional break to flex his acting muscle in melodramas such as Woman of Straw (1964) with Gina Lollobrigida, Alfred Hitchcock's stylish thriller Marnie (1964), Sidney Lumet's wartime prison tale The Hill (1965), and the offbeat romantic comedy A Fine Madness (1966) with Joanne Woodward.

Taking a long break from his Bond alter ego during the 1970s, Connery branched out in several diverse films including the star-studded Agatha Christie whodunnit Murder on the Orient Express (1974) and two epic adventures, The Wind and the Lion (1975) and The Man Who Would be King (1975). In 1976 Connery played an aging Robin Hood opposite Audrey Hepburn's Lady Marian in the romantic gem Robin and Marian. In 1979 he starred in the charming adventure The Great Train Robbery opposite Donald Sutherland and Lesley-Anne Down.

After a twelve year absence from the series, Connery thrilled audiences in 1983 by donning his tuxedo again for his seventh and final outing as James Bond in Never Say Never Again at the age of 53. In 1987, Connery co-starred in the box office hit The Untouchables, winning an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actor for his role as Malone, an aging street smart Chicago cop who helps Eliot Ness nab Al Capone. It was a key career move that kept him in demand and catapulted Connery into the next phase of his still vibrant career. Like a fine wine, Connery was one actor who only got better with age.

In an inspired casting move, Connery scored blockbuster success again in 1989 playing Indiana Jones' father in Steven Spielberg's Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. His twinkling sense of humor and chemistry with Harrison Ford delighted filmgoers, making it the second biggest money maker of 1989. The year also brought him the unique honor of being named People magazine's Sexiest Man Alive at age 59.

Connery kicked off the 1990s with two big thrillers: The Hunt for Red October (1990) and The Russia House (1990), starring opposite Michelle Pfeiffer. He worked steadily throughout the decade, and even though many of the films failed to command the box office, Connery gave class to any production in which he appeared.

On July 5, 2000 Connery was bestowed the honor of knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II, adding the title "Sir" to his name. Connery described it as one of the proudest days of his life.

Following his last film The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen in 2003, Sean Connery announced his retirement from acting. He dispelled rumors in June 2007 that he was going to appear in Steven Spielberg's fourth Indiana Jones installment saying that retirement was just "too damned much fun."

by Andrea Passafiume
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