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Sir Sean Connery biography

Actor, born Thomas Connery on August 25, 1930, in Fountainbridge, Edinburgh, Scotland, the son of a truck driver and charwoman. He has a brother, Neil, born in 1938. Connery dropped out of school at age fifteen to join the British Navy. Connery is best known for his portrayal of the suave, sophisticated British spy, James Bond, in the 1960s.

After Connery was discharged from British Navy due to ulcers, he worked at a series of odd jobs, including bricklayer, lifeguard, coffin polisher and artist's model. His avocation was bodybuilding, which helped him secure some swimsuit modeling jobs. In 1950, he appeared in the Mr. Universe contest, representing Scotland, and placed third.

His theater debut was in London in 1951, when he landed a part in the chorus of South Pacific. He continued his acting career in repertory theater. In 1954 he started acting in British TV, where he scored a success in the BBC's Requiem for a Heavyweight. The actor moved on to films, playing smaller roles and working up to supporting parts. Connery's first important movie role was in Another Time, Another Place (1958), with Lana Turner. He was also in the Titanic epic A Night To Remember (1958). An impossibly handsome Connery starred in the fanciful Disney production of Darby O'Gill and the Little People (1959). He also appeared in Tarzan's Greatest Adventure (1959) and The Longest Day (1962).

But Connery was still relatively unknown until he was cast as the dangerously suave and virile secret agent, James Bond, in a series of films based on the Ian Fleming adventure novels. He beat out Cary Grant, Rex Harrison, Trevor Howard, Patrick McGoohan, and Roger Moore for the part. The first Bond film was Dr. No (1962), followed by From Russia, With Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967), and Diamonds are Forever (1971).

After he wearied of playing Bond, Connery starred in a series of action films including The Wind and the Lion (1974), The Man Who Would Be King (1975), and The Great Train Robbery (1981). Drawing on his past experience as Bond, he was also effective in political intrigue films, such as The Next Man (1976), Cuba (1979), Hunt for Red October (1990) and The Russia House (1990). In The Offence (1973), he played a troubled police detective. In 1981, he returned as James Bond in Never Say Never Again (1981), but sadly, it paled in comparison to the earlier films.

It was the last of the James Bond series with Connery as the lead.

Connery won a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award and a Golden Globe for his portrayal of the Irish cop, Malone, in The Untouchables (1987), and was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award and a Golden Globe in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), playing Jones' father. Connery produced Medicine Man in 1992, and was executive producer and starred in Rising Sun (1993), Just Cause (1995) and The Rock (1996). He also produced and starred in Entrapment (1999), a film that involved him in an on-screen romance with Catherine Zeta-Jones, a woman 40 years younger than Connery. In 2000, he starred in Gus van Sant's Finding Forrester, as a reclusive writer who begins an unusual friendship with a gifted young African-American teenager. Connery was married for 12 years to actress Diane Cilento, between 1962 and 1973. The couple had one son, Jason, born in 1963. His current wife is the French-Moroccan painter, Micheline Roquebrune.

In July 2000, Connery was knighted in his hometown of Edinburgh by Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom.

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