The Scottish actor was best known for his portrayal of James Bond, being the first to bring the role to the big screen and appearing in seven of the spy thrillers.
Sir Sean died peacefully in his sleep in the Bahamas, having been “unwell for some time”, his son said. His acting career spanned five decades and he won an Oscar in 1988 for his role in The Untouchables.
“I was heartbroken to learn this morning of the passing of Sir Sean Connery. Our nation today mourns one of her most-loved son,” said Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. “Sean was a global legend but, first and foremost, he was a patriotic and proud Scot.”
Connery was raised in near poverty in the slums of Edinburgh and worked as a coffin polisher, milkman and lifeguard before his bodybuilding hobby helped launch an acting career that made him one of the world’s biggest stars.
“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,'” said producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli of EON Productions, which primarily produces the James Bond series, in a statement.
Both producers credited his “gritty and witty portrayal of the sexy and charismatic secret agent,” saying he was “undoubtedly largely responsible for the success of the film series.”