29th November 2020

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Sean Connery, Who Embodied James Bond and More, Dies at 90


Mr. Connery and Diane Cilento, an actress he had met when they played lovers in a television version of Eugene O’Neill’s “Anna Christie” in 1957, were married on Nov. 30, 1962. Their son, Jason, who would grow up to become an actor, was born six weeks later.

The marriage lasted, more or less, until Mr. Connery met Micheline Roquebrune, a French artist and obsessive golfer, at a golf tournament in Morocco in 1970. She was married, he was married, and they both won medals. After their marriage in 1975, they lived in Marbella, Spain, mostly to avoid British income taxes but partly because of Marbella’s 24 golf courses.

By the time he returned to the role of James Bond in “Never Say Never Again,” at Ms. Roquebrune’s suggestion, Mr. Connery was in financial trouble because his former accountant had put the money he earned from the Bond films into unsecured property investments. Mr. Connery sued and won a $4.1 million judgment for negligence in 1984, but told reporters, “I don’t foresee I’ll get any money.”

Almost from the time he left James Bond behind, Mr. Connery shifted from gorgeous young man to character star. “The reason Burt Lancaster had a longer, more varied career than Kirk Douglas was that he refused to allow himself to be limited,” Mr. Connery told The Times in 1987. “He was more ready to play less romantic parts, and was more experimental in his choice of roles. And that’s the way I’ve tried to be. I don’t mind being older or looking stupid.”

Often willing to take roles in bad pictures if the money was good enough, Mr. Connery was the voice of a computer-generated dragon in “Dragonheart” (1996) and a villain trying to unleash a weather catastrophe on London in the misfire film version of the cult British television series “The Avengers” (1998). But he had more than his share of late-career triumphs as well.

He relished his role as Harrison Ford’s eccentric father in “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” (1989) — even though Mr. Ford was only 12 years younger than he was. The next year he played a Russian nuclear submarine commander trying to defect to the United States in the film of Tom Clancy’s “Hunt for Red October” and a hard-drinking but naïve British publisher recruited by British intelligence in post-Cold War Russia in “The Russia House,” based on John le Carré’s novel.


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