Playing the
iconic secret agent James Bond brought one of the greatest ever British actors,
Sean Connery, who died Saturday at the age of 90, worldwide recognition and

The Oscar
winner holds a special place in the annuls of cinema history for his multiple
appearances as the smooth, suave spy. Connery was immortalised after becoming
the first to utter the iconic “Bond, James Bond” and he went on to star in six
official Bond films.

portrayed the iconic spy in 1962’s ‘Dr. No’, his favourite ‘From Russia with Love’
1963, ‘Goldfinger’ in 1964, ‘Thunderball’ in 1965, ‘You Only Live Twice’ in 1967
and ‘Diamonds are Forever’ in 1971.

He also
starred in the 1983 unofficial Bond movie ‘Never Say Never’ and was named the
People Magazine’s sexiest man in 1989, prior to his 60th birthday.

Born Thomas
Sean Connery on August 25, 1930 to a working-class Scottish family in the Fountainbridge
area of Edinburgh, Connery was the elder among two boys. His father was a truck
driver by profession while his mother worked in a factory.

childhood was less than auspicious, but when I was young we didn’t know we
lacked anything because we had nothing to compare it to and there’s a freedom
in that,” AFP quoted Connery as saying while receiving the 36th
American Film Institute Life Achievement Award in 2006.

“I got my break,
big break, when I was five years old and it’s taken me more than 70 years to
realise it. You see, at five, I learned to read. It’s that simple and it’s that

Also Read:Walk down the memory lane with some of Sean Connery’s classic roles

A fierce
Scotsman, he financially backed the Scottish National Party (SNP), which has
long called for Scotland’s separation from the United Kingdom.

He left
school at 13 and started his working life as a milkman before joining the Royal
Navy at 16. He was discharged after three years due to a stomach ulcer.

His two
tattoos, acquired while serving, read “Mum and Dad” and
“Scotland Forever”.

Connery returned to Edinburgh and worked as a
bricklayer, lifeguard, and coffin polisher, among other manual jobs.

bodybuilding hobby led him to enter the Mr Universe competition, where a fellow
competitor urged him to audition for acting parts.

He got bit-parts for years
before his big break in a film melodrama, “Another Time, Another
Place” (1958), and then went on to win the Bond role.

Connery’s 007
portrayal helped him land a role in director Alfred Hitchcock’s 1964 thriller
“Marnie”. However, he spent much of his post-Bond film career in
ensemble casts.

He played in ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ (1974), ‘The Man Who Would Be King’ (1975), ‘Robin and Marian’ (1976) and ‘Highlander’ (1986), before a memorable performance as the
eponymous hero’s father in ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade’ (1989).

Connery won the 1988 best supporting actor Oscar for his portrayal of
street-wise policeman Jim Malone in ‘The Untouchables’.

are seven genuine movie stars in the world today, and Sean is one of
them,” director Steven Spielberg said at the time.

In the 1990s, Connery
produced many of the films he starred in, appearing in ‘The Hunt for Red
October’ (1990) as a Russian submarine commander, ‘Rising Sun’ (1993) alongside Wesley Snipes, action film ‘The Rock’ (1996) and ‘Entrapment’ (1999) with Catherine Zeta-Jones.

He announced his
retirement after ‘The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen’ (2003).

Wearing full Highland dress, including a tartan kilt, Connery was
knighted in July 2000 by Queen Elizabeth II at Edinburgh’s Holyrood

“It’s one of the proudest days of my life,” the newly-dubbed
Sir Sean told reporters.

Among his other honours, he was awarded the freedom of
the city of Edinburgh, an honorary doctorate of letters from the University of
St Andrews, and France’s Legion d’Honneur.

He won Britain’s 1988 best actor
BAFTA for his portrayal of Franciscan friar William of Baskerville in the film
adaptation of Umberto Eco’s ‘The Name of the Rose’. 

Connery also
received a BAFTA lifetime achievement award in 1998 for his contribution to
world cinema.

In 2003, film magazine Empire put him top of their bad accents
list for keeping his Scottish tones, whatever the role.

Despite his love of
Scotland, SNP supporter Connery was a tax exile for decades in Marbella, Spain,
and in the Bahamas.

He was infuriated in 2000 when new rules prevented
non-domiciles from donating to British political parties.

“I was paying 98
percent tax. I was making all this money and making movies and I had
nothing,” he once said, when asked why he quit his homeland.

marriage to second wife Micheline Roquebrune, a French artist, came in 1975 not
long after he divorced Australian actress Diane Cilento with whom he had a son
in 1963, Jason, who is an actor.

But although he denied Cilento’s claims that
he had beaten her in the past, he courted controversy by maintaining it was
justifiable in certain circumstances for a man to slap his wife.

Cilento blamed
his poor upbringing for their clashes but Connery saw his background as the key
to his acting success.

“My strength as an actor is that I’ve stayed close
to the core of myself, which has something to do with a voice, a music, a tune
that is very much tied up with my background,” he told The New York Times.