He was the first performer of Agent 007 in the James Bond film saga, but not only that. Scottish actor Sean Connery, who died at the age of 90 on the night of Friday October 30 to Saturday October 31, surrounded by family members while in Nassau, Bahamas, has enjoyed a long career crowned with numerous awards including an Oscar, two Bafta and three Golden Globes. Franceinfo looks back on the outstanding roles of the famous comedian, who leaves behind about sixty films.
1The famous James Bond of the 1960s
In total, Sean Connery has played Agent 007 on six occasions: in James Bond vs. Doctor No in 1962; With love from Russia in 1963; Goldfinger in 1964; Operation Thunder in 1965; We only live twice in 1967 and Diamonds are forever in 1971. Not to mention that in 1983, he played James Bond again in a remake ofOperation Thunder, entitled Never never again directed by Irvin Keshner and considered an unofficial film in the secret agent saga. “He was and will always be remembered as the original James Bond whose indelible entry into cinema history began when he uttered those unforgettable words ‘My name is Bond … James Bond'”, paid tribute to him in a press release by the producers of the saga, Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli.
2Rich publisher in Alfred Hitchcock film
Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Sean Connery tried to get out of the image of Agent 007 with a few important films, starting with No spring for Marnie, released in 1964. He’s another sacred movie monster, Alfred Hitchcock, who gives him a chance. In this thriller inspired by a novel by Winston Graham, Sean Connery plays Mark Rutland, a wealthy publisher who nothing and no one can resist. The indifference and coldness of Marnie, a young kleptomaniac and frigid secretary, played by the disturbing Tippie Hedren, first provokes her pride. Before he really falls in love.
3A rebellious “exterminator” in a sci-fi movie
But it is with Zardoz, released in 1974, that Sean Connery will prove that he can play roles other than that of James Bond. In fact, in this science fiction film by John Boorman, he plays the character of Zed, a role diametrically opposed to Agent 007. The plot takes place in 2293, in an apocalyptic future, within a society divided into several castes which worship without limits to the god Zardoz. Zed is one of the Brutes, he is an Exterminator who must enslave other humans. But he is not like the others and decides to enter the Eternals, thus defying the god Zardoz.
For the purposes of this role, Sean Connery, like his partner Charlotte Rampling, don amazing costumes and agree to endure long hours of makeup. Some consider the film as a “nanar”, others praise on the contrary its “kitsch” side.
The chic, the elegance, the Scottish phlegm. Sean Connery, the class. Obviously.
But we shouldn’t forget Zardoz eh, my favorite kitsch. pic.twitter.com/JSRCxPJjkD
– Jérôme Guedj (@JeromeGuedj) October 31, 2020
4A monk in the cult film “The Name of the Rose”
At the end of the 1970s, the actor experienced a less flourishing period, where successes were rarer. But he made up for it in the 1980s, notably with a notable supporting role in Highlander, in 1985, and, the year after, for the one he embodies in The Name of the Rose, feature film by French director Jean-Jacques Annaud, adapted from the novel by Italian Umberto Eco. This time he takes on the main role of Guillaume de Baskerville, the Franciscan monk who leads the investigation after the mysterious death of his fellows.
In an interview with France-Evening, on February 20, 2016, Jean-Jacques Annaud recounts that Umberto Eco was “a little irritated at the beginning of the choice of Sean Connery “, before qualifying his character as “magnificent”, after seeing the result on the big screen. This role earned Sean Connery the Bafta for Best Actor in 1988.
5A seasoned old cop in “The Untouchables”
The same year, Sean Connery, back in favor on the front of the stage, won the most prestigious small statuette in cinema: an Oscar. He is rewarded for his supporting role in The Incorruptibles, a masterpiece by Brian De Palma. The film traces a part of the life of Al Capone, played by a great Robert de Niro, who reigns in absolute master over the illegal alcohol network in Chicago, during the prohibition of the 1930s. Agent Eliot Ness (Kevin Costner), who has the underworld leader in his sights, recruits three trusted men. Together the four “incorruptible” go to war against Al Capone’s gang. Among them, Jimmy Malone, a old cop who knows the mob world well, played by Sean Connery, who also won a Golden Globe for this role in 1988.