Sir Sean Connery

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His performances over the last decade had not been stable, one good film and several poor ones. But the next three years would place Connery again onto the filmatic map. In 1985 was ‘Highlander’ – a well directed and acted offering exploring Conor MacCloud – the man who couldn’t die without losing his head! He won the respect of his industry peers, who honored him with the British Film Academy award for ‘The Name of the Rose’ (1986) and an American Oscar for ‘The Untouchables’ (1987) (which also helped make a star of Kevin Costner). Costner then repaid the favour by casting Connery as Richard the Lionheart in ‘Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves’ (1991) where the Scot had the most highly publicised ‘surprise’ cameo of that year).

But it was ‘The Untouchables’ that made his a box office success again and his portrayal of an overweight Irish American cop seeking some redemption for his demons was just what Sean needed and he finally won his first American Academy Award for it.

It is this (poor) critics personal opinion that his best performance was as the academic priest in ‘Name of the Rose’, seeking to prove the (non) presence of the Devil in a Benedictine monastery. The film raised a number of socio-economic issues about the Catholics churches attitude to its ‘flock’ in the early 14th century. Playing alongside a terrifying F Murray Abraham and on-form Michael Lonsdale, the film also afforded the opportunity for Connerys beautiful and moving interaction with Christian Slater as his novice.

Although his mercurial temperament and occasionally overbearing nature is well known, Sean is nonetheless widely sought out by actors and directors who crave the thrill of working with him, among them Harrison Ford, Steven Spielberg, and George Lucas, who collaborated with Connery on Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), where the Sean played Jones' father. He served as executive producer on the film ‘Medicine Man’ (1992), and continued to take on greater behind-the-camera responsibilities on his films, serving as both star and executive producer on Rising Sun (1993), Just Cause (1995), and The Rock (1996). He graduated to full producer on Entrapment (1999), and, like a true Scot, he brought the project in under budget; the film was a massive commercial success and paired Connery in a credible onscreen romance with Catherine Zeta-Jones, a beauty 40 years his junior. He also received a unusual hipster accolade in Trainspotting (1996), in which one of the film's Gen-X dropouts (from Scotland, significantly enough) frequently discusses the relative merits of Connery's body of work.

Appearing as Allan Quartermain in 2003's comic-to-screen adaptation of ‘The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen’, the seventy-three year old screen legend proved that he still had stamina to spare and that despite his age he could still appear entirely believable as a comic-book superhero. A megastar through the 1990s and now the 21st century, Sean Connery commands one of moviedom's highest salaries; not so much for his own ego-massaging as for the good of his native Scotland, to which he continued to donate a sizable chunk of his earnings.

He has been a vocal supporter of Scottish nationalism, which, it was alleged, cost him a knighthood in 1998. This omission was made good in the 2000 New Year honours. His first marriage was to actress Diane Cilento, and their actor son, Jason Connery played Ian Fleming, James Bond's creator, in the telemovie Spymaker: ‘The Secret Life of lan Fleming’ (1990). He has lived in Spain for many years with his second wife, artist Micheline Roquebrune.

I have always hated that damn James Bond. I'd like to kill him.

Love may not make the world go round, but I must admit that it makes the ride worthwhile.


Suggested films to see:

The Untouchables (1988)
The Name of the Rose (1986)
A Bridge too far (1977)
Diamonds are forever (1971)









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