James Bond producers ‘devastated’ over death of Sir Sean Connery
- Credit: PA
Sir Sean Connery has today been remembered as “the world’s greatest Scot, the last of the real Hollywood stars, the definitive Bond” following his death, aged 90.
Tributes have flooded in for the veteran star, who was the first actor to play 007 on the big screen in Dr No in 1962.
This was followed by From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice and Diamonds Are Forever.
Never Say Never Again was Connery’s last portrayal as the MI6 agent, after he returned to the role following Roger Moore’s portrayal.
In the 1983 film, Bond is sent to Suffolk’s famous Shrubland Hall to get back into shape after failing a fitness test. During his time there he is almost killed by SPECTRE assassin named Lippe.
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It is one of Suffolk’s most spectacular stately homes and was at one time an exclusive health resort.
Current owner Muhammad Farmer bought Shrubland Hall, to the north west of Ipswich, for more than £6m in 2009 and in 2014 reopened it as a luxury hotel under the name Shrubland Royale, but this was short lived.
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Sir Sean’s son Jason told the BBC his father died peacefully in his sleep overnight while in Nassau in the Bahamas, where much of Thunderball was filmed, having been “unwell for some time”.
Jason Connery said his father “had many of his family who could be in the Bahamas around him” when he died.
He said: “We are all working at understanding this huge event as it only happened so recently, even though my dad has been unwell for some time.
“A sad day for all who knew and loved my dad and a sad loss for all people around the world who enjoyed the wonderful gift he had as an actor.”
His five-decade career saw him win an Oscar, two Baftas and three Golden Globes.
Today Barbara Broccoli - the daughter of original Bond producer Albert R “Cubby” Broccoli - and Michael G Wilson said in a statement: “We are devastated by the news of the passing of Sir Sean Connery.
“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’ - he revolutionised the world with his gritty and witty portrayal of the sexy and charismatic secret agent.
“He is undoubtedly largely responsible for the success of the film series and we shall be forever grateful to him.”
Alex Salmond, former first minister of Scotland, who was close friends with Sir Sean, wrote on Twitter: “The world’s greatest Scot, the last of the real Hollywood stars, the definitive Bond.
“Sean Connery was all of these things but much more. He was also a staunch patriot, a deep thinker and outstanding human being.
“I have had the rare privilege of being his friend for more than 30 years and enjoyed every single moment of his company and talk.”
He added: “He was honest and brave and it has been one of the privileges of my life to count him as a friend.
“His sense of irony and humour were legendary as was his love of country.
“’Scotland Forever’ wasn’t just tattooed on his forearm but was imprinted on his soul.”