Sean Connery: A Fan’s Goodbye
Some stars have an inexplicable charisma that makes them impossible to take your eyes off of when they are on screen. We just lost perhaps the greatest example of that and one of my personal favorite actors and I think the movie business is a lot worse for it. Join me in saying goodbye to Sean Connery.
A Legend Rises
Sean Connery was both an icon of the great age of the movie star and an action icon of the 80s and 90s, a man who would star in films from prestige films like The Man Who Would Be King to weird science fiction niche films like Zardoz but never once did he phone it in. He is a true professional in every movie he is in, and growing up he was definitely one of my idols.
I think it’s because those of us with Scottish heritage don’t have many guys to look up to. I only knew Connery and Scrooge McDuck as a kid (Scotty from Star Trek was played by a Canadian so don’t even think of bringing him up!), so maybe we clung to him with a little extra pride than most would think we should. He earned every ounce of respect we have for his career.
Bond, James Bond
Connery was a practical nobody when he became James Bond. He brought a sort of manly charisma to the role that few could deny caught the essence of the character. Connery made James Bond the man every man wants to be and every woman wants to be with (for the time period), in my opinion, he’s the reason the franchise took off to the heights it did. Sean Connery expressed hate for the role as time went on and broke off from it. This is something that could’ve hurt many careers but left a mark on the role still felt all these years later. Leaving Bond allowed him to show off his acting chops, eventually winning an Oscar for the Untouchables.
I first saw him in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade when I was just a kid. I didn’t get the joke of him being timid when he was played by this big action star of years past, to me he was just Henry Jones Sr. Then my dad introduced me to the original Bond films and I understood who he was. Now the idea of Sean Connery as this nervous old man really makes me smile. I have seen many of his films and think he deserves as much praise and adoration as he receives, maybe even more. Somehow he can speak in a Scottish accent as a Russian, Englishman, Irishman, even a Spaniard and you buy him in the role. That’s just the X factor nobody can explain that some people have.
He kept up well with the times, making action movies in the ’90s well into his ’60s and even voicing James Bond in the From Russia with Love game. He made a couple of poor script choices late in his career which sadly led to his retirement and I think it’s a shame. We almost had him as Gandalf and as great as Ian McKellen was I would’ve loved to see Connery in the role. It would’ve been a great cap to his career.
He meant a lot to me as an actor, a favorite of my father and grandfather, both of whom I idolized growing up, and made me feel closer to them in a weird way that we shared the love of his films. Some of the ones that I loved the most are of course his Bond roles and Indiana Jones dad but also films like Time Bandits and Outlander, weird films most big stars would’ve rejected but that he saw the value in and made special in his own way. Even the bad movies he made, like Avengers and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, made better with his presence.
There are few famous people whose deaths make me feel anything but this one makes me a bit sad. Another of my childhood heroes is gone. Thankfully I can always revisit his films that I love so much. A true movie star, an idol of mine, and a true Scotsman that loved his country and his craft, I think we need to pour one out for the old bastard, he’d want it that way.
What is your favorite Sean Connery film or memory? Let us know in the comments below!