Famous Scots - Sir Sean Connery (1930 - )

Sean Connery

Regarded by some as the greatest president Scotland never had, Sean Connery was born in the Fountainbridge area of Edinburgh on 25 August, 1930. This was a poor area of the city and his father was a lorry driver and his mother earned a few shillings as a tea lady. Sean helped the family finances by working as a milk delivery boy from the age of 9 to 13. He left school at age 13 and became a brick layer, a bouncer and a French polisher before he joined the Merchant Navy. He was invalided out three years later because of stomach ulcers but it was during his spell as a seaman that he obtained his tattoos "Scotland Forever" on one arm and "Mum and Dad" on the other.

Keen on body building, he entered the Mr Universe contest in London in 1953 and came third. But that led to some small acting parts on stage and in films. Over the next five years he appeared in a number of minor roles. In the early 60s, after appearing in "The Longest Day" he turned down a role as Tarzan to appear in a spy movie instead. The title of that film was "Dr No". Between 1962 and 1971 he appeared in six Bond films (plus "Never Say Never Again" in 1983). He also appeared in "The Hill" and "Marnie" and a number of other films between the Bond roles.

Sean Connery married actress Diane Cilento and they had a son, Jason, in 1963. He subsequently married French-Moroccan painter Micheline Roquebrune in 1975.

After leaving the Bond series, his career seemed to falter, and he appeared in some films he would probably rather forget. There was a gap of a few years after playing Bond again in 1983 and then the number of roles exploded, appearing in ten films between 1986 and 1990, including "Highlander" and "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" and an Oscar winning performance as best supporting actor as a Chicago cop in "The Untouchables" in 1987.

In the 1990s his position as a mega star has advanced still further (he was once described by Steven Spielberg as "one of the seven true film stars") and he has also produced a number of films in which he has starred.

In 1991 was he was given a standing ovation when he was awarded the Freedom of Edinburgh in the Usher Hall but it was to be the end of 1999 before he was awarded the knighthood which many thought he had earned many years earlier. Over the years there has been talk of him selling his house in Marbella in Spain and moving to live in the land of his birth.

A longtime supporter of the Scottish National Party, he came to Scotland to participate in the election campaign for the Scottish Parliament in 1999.

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