RIP: The excellent movie Sean Connery's less known for
Thomas Sean Connery was born in the Fountainbridge area of Edinburgh on 25 August 1930, the son of a Catholic factory worker and a Protestant domestic cleaner.
His father's family had emigrated from Ireland in the 19th Century; his mother traced her line back to Gaelic speakers from the Isle of Skye.
The area had been in decline for years. Young Tommy Connery was brought up in one room of a tenement with a shared toilet and no hot water.
He left school at 13 with no qualifications and delivered milk, polished coffins and laid bricks, before joining the Royal Navy. Three years later, he was invalided out of the service with stomach ulcers. His arms by now had tattoos which proclaimed his passions: "Scotland forever" and "Mum & Dad".
In Edinburgh, he gained a reputation as "hard man" when six gang members tried to steal from his coat. When he stopped them, he was followed. Connery launched a one-man assault which the future Bond won hands down.
He scraped a living any way he could. He drove trucks, worked as a lifeguard and posed as a model at the Edinburgh College of Art. He spent his spare time bodybuilding.
I guess that bodybuilding probably boosted his chances to play James Bond. His first movie was in 1963, and you know the rest of the story.
Yes, he was my favorite James Bond, but it was the movie Hunt for Red October that always comes to mind when I think of Connery. I'm sure you remember the story of the Soviet submarine captain trying to defect to the West. It was a great book and fabulous movie.
I remember this movie so well because I watched it one Sunday night, loved it, went to bed, and then woke up with the story of the coup and arrest of Gorbachev in the USSR. Watching those Soviet Politburo members explaining the coup reminded me too much of the movie, especially when the official at the Kremlin got the news that the submarine was defecting.
RIP, Sean Connery. Loved you as Bond but will forever remember you as Soviet naval officer Marko Ramius!