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Sean Connery, the iconic James Bond star, has died at the age of 90 in the Bahamas. “He died peacefully in his sleep surrounded by family,” his representative stated. The cause of Connery’s death was not shared, however, the Scotsman’s 57-year-old son, Jason, revealed his father had been “unwell for some time.” 

Sean’s second wife, Michelin Roquebrune, revealed that the actor suffered from dementia. “It was no life for him,” she shared. “It took its toll on him. He was not able to express himself latterly.” But Roquebrune was comforted by the fact that her husband died in his sleep. “It was just so peaceful. I was with him all the time, and he just slipped away,” the French-Moroccan artist said.

A private ceremony followed by a memorial will be planned once the coronavirus crisis ends.

Born in Scotland, young Connery grew up in one room of a tenement with a shared toilet and no hot water. He dropped out of school at the age of 13 and earned money polishing coffins, delivering milk, laying bricks, and being an art-school model. Stomach ulcers would get him released from the Royal Navy. Eventually, the charismatic young man worked at a local theater where he developed an interest in acting. Connery started on stage before working as a film extra and being cast in minor roles on British TV. By 1957, he was cast in leading roles.

Sean Connery was the first actor to portray 007 in the cinemas, bringing life to author Ian Fleming’s dashing yet cold-hearted secret agent. He became an international film icon with his Bond performances in Dr. No (1962), From Russia with Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967), Diamonds Are Forever (1971), and Never Say Never Again (1983). But he wasn’t licensed to kill in every movie he starred in. Connery’s other films include The Hunt for Red October, The Man Who Would Be King, Murder on the Orient Express, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. 

Also of note, Sean’s performance as an Irish cop in Brian de Palma’s The Untouchables earned him a best supporting actor Oscar in 1988. And later, his decades-long career was honored with a Cecil B. DeMille Award. Connery would retire in 2006, living in a gated community in the Bahamas.

Tributes are pouring in for the acting legend.

Fellow James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan referred to Connery as “my greatest James Bond,” writing: “You led the way for us all who followed in your iconic footsteps. Each man in his turn looked to you with reverence and admiration as we forged ahead with our interpretations of the role. You were mighty in every way, as an actor and as a man, and will remain so till the end of time.”

James Bond producers Micahel G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli released a statement: “He was and shall always be remembered as the original James Bond whose indelible entrance into cinema history began when he announced those unforgettable words—’The name’s Bond … James Bond.’”

In a statement posted to the official James Bond Twitter page, another fellow 007 actor Daniel Craig wrote: “He defined an era and a style. The wit and charm he portrayed on screen could be measured in megawatts; he helped create the modern blockbuster.”

Sean’s The Hunt for Red October co-star Sam Neill tweeted, “Every day on set with #SeanConnery was an object lesson in how to act on screen. But all that charisma and power—that was utterly unique to Sean.”

Sean Connery is survived by his son, Jason Connery, from his first marriage to actress Diane Cilento, and he’s survived by his second wife, Micheline Roquebrune, as well as his three stepchildren, Oliver, Micha, and Stephane.