Sean Connery became a worldwide superstar through his acting. Not least because of his legendary performance as 007 in several of the James Bond films, including the series’ very first film.
The Scottish actor passed away in 2020, at age 90. The world mourned the loss of the actor, father, and grandfather. And mostly, his widow Micheline Roquebrune, to whom Connery was married for 45 years.
Connery’s life was truly magnificent, and it sure is pretty unique to stay married for 45 years, especially in the world of show business. This is all you need to know about Sean Connery’s life and love story with his wife.
On August 25, 1930, Sean Connery was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. His mother worked as a cleaning woman, and his father as a factory worker.
Connery grew up in what some would refer to as a “slum” in Edinburgh, Scotland. In his early adolescent years, he made the decision to drop out of school in order to assist the family financially. His father was a truck driver, while his mother was a housekeeper. Sean made one pound a week delivering milk from a nearby dairy.
“We were very poor,” he once said of his childhood. “But I never knew how poor because that’s how everyone was there.”
Connery joined the Royal Navy at the age of 17. Three years later, he was forced to go. Sean returned to Scotland and Edinburgh after developing a severe case of duodenal ulcers, which had plagued several males in his family’s generation.
After returning home, Sean Connery began working a variety of odd jobs, such as lifeguard, bricklayer, coal shoveler, and model at the Edinburgh Art School. Sean Connery decided to sleep at his place of employment because he was homeless and also worked as a polisher at a coffin manufacturer.
At that time, Connery didn’t go by “Sean” but by his real first name, Tom.
“He wasn’t Sean Connery then – we all knew him as Tom,” his old colleague Tommy Wark told The Scotsman in 2005. “I was on the joinery side, and he worked with two women from Craigmillar who did the polishing of the caskets.
Competed in ‘Mr. Universe’
“He came there to start work about 1950 and had nowhere to stay. I know he spent a few nights sleeping in a coffin just after he started,” Wark added.
After some time, Sean Connery managed to save some money for his other major passion. He succeeded in joining the Dunedin Weightlifting Club.
“It was not so much to be fit but to look good for the girls,” Connery said, per Biography.
Sure, the girls were impressed, but his gym buddies were as astounded. In fact, they chose to put Sean Connery forward for a Mr. Universe competition, which proved to be a pivotal turning point in his acting career.
He made the trip from Edinburgh to London in 1953 to attend the tournament. The judges were delighted when the 23-year-old introduced himself as “Mr. Scotland.”
Connery came in third place overall. But after that, something more significant than winning occurred. Local casting directors noticed Connery at the Mr. Universe contest and gave him a new kind of career.
He landed his first-ever job as a chorus spot in a London-based touring company, and soon after, Connery appeared in the musical South Pacific.
“I didn’t have a voice, couldn’t dance,” Sean Connery said of his performance. “But I could look good standing there.”
Sean Connery’s actual acting career began quickly after. When he was given a formal position inside the touring organization, he adopted the name Sean. Why? He was reminded of the movie cowboy “Shane” by this.
In movies and on television, he received bit parts. However, casting directors pushed him to undergo elocution training because of his difficult-to-understand harsh Scottish dialect.
Every actor dreams about getting their big breakthrough, but no one knows beforehand when it will appear.
Prior to his major break, Sean Connery had been acting in movies and television for roughly ten years. But it didn’t just make him incredibly well-known. In addition, the fact that he played James Bond himself in the first-ever James Bond movie, Dr. No, cemented his place in history for all time.
In the history of movies, many characters will live on in memory forever. Even among people who haven’t watched the movies, James Bond is one of the most well-known characters. Since Ian Fleming’s 1953 novel Casino Royale, which featured the eponymous secret agent for the first time, the fascination with 007 has continued unabated.
Ian Fleming reportedly took the name for his most famous character after coming across an ornithological book entitled Birds Of The West Indies. The author of said book? Yep, you guessed it … James Bond.
How Sean Connery got the role of James Bond
Fleming decided to borrow the name for his super spy – and the rest, as they say, is history.
“I wanted the simplest, dullest, plainest-sounding name I could think of. James Bond seemed perfect,” Flemming explained.
Fleming later published 12 James Bond novels. His creation is today regarded as one of the greatest blockbusters of all time. Sean Connery played 007 for six films, but seven people have played Bond in all. The Scottish actor, who played the first Bond, is credited with creating the modern James Bond.
So how did he get the part?
Harry Saltzman and Albert R. “Cubby” Broccoli, the producers, were looking for a James Bond actor after acquiring the rights to Ian Fleming’s well-known books. Several possibilities were mentioned, including Patrick McGoohan and Cary Grant, who had actually signed the contract but was later discarded.
Roger Moore was also an actor considered for the role of James Bond, but he would get the job later on.
At least a decade younger than other serious candidates, Sean Connery was one out of six thought of for the role of 007. He met the two producers at a restaurant, and once he left, Brocolli and Saltzman studied him through the window.
“He moved like a jungle cat,” Saltzman recalled.
tired of the Bond films
Additionally, Ian Fleming had a say in who would portray his cherished character. It didn’t take the author long to develop a strong admiration for Sean Connery. Because he greatly appreciated Sean Connery’s portrayal of James Bond, Fleming gave Bond a Scottish background in his 007 novel You Only Live Twice to match Connery.
Sean Connery went on to star in six other James Bond films and the 1983 stand-alone Bond movie Never Say Never Again.
Sean Connery and James Bond established “Beatlemania” in the same way that The Beatles did in the 1960s. The movies were obviously very well-liked, but they also elevated Sean Connery to superstar status, made him rich, and established him as a sex icon.
But making the same kind of movies over and over again can get old, as it did for Sean Connery.
“It was a case of phasing out and getting on to other things,” he told EW in 1995. “Also, they started getting into all this space stuff. They kept upping the physical hardware. I mean, that car going through the alley on its side in Diamonds Are Forever — it just got to be too much.”
“Sean is rather sanguine about it now,” fellow Bond actor Roger Moore said. “But I think there was a time when he was bored of being Bond. You do five or six of these things, and people put a tag on you. It can get rather limiting.”
films, Academy Award
Sean was excellent as James Bond, but it was obvious that he was concerned about being stereotyped. Up order to fill in the gaps between the Bond movies, he took on numerous other jobs, such as playing the lead in Alfred Hitchcock’s psychological thriller Marnie.
James Bond was only a small portion of Sean Connery’s career. The Scottish actor’s role as the first James Bond, however, is what will make him most famous.
His other roles include those in The Hunt for Red October, Indiana Jones, The Rock, and The Untouchables, the latter of which brought him an Oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role.
Besides having a massive career in front of the camera, Sean Connery was a husband and father.
In Hollywood, seeing marriages go down the drain and end in divorce is relatively common, but that was far from reality in Connery’s case.
In fact, Sean Connery was married to his second wife, Micheline Roquebrune, for 45 years until he died in 2020.
wife, marriage, children, family, divorce
In 1970, the James Bond star visited Morocco for a golf tournament. At that point, Connery was married to his first wife, Diane Cilento. The couple had a son named Jason Connery, born in 1963.
Micheline Roquebrune had been married twice before, but as she visited the golf tournament, she had no clue that Sean Connery was a major Hollywood celebrity.
“I saw this man from the back, and of course, he had a fine physique, but that first day I didn’t know who he was or anything about him,” she told The Sun in 2011, recalling their first meeting. “Then I dreamed I saw this man. I was in his arms. And I thought, ‘At last, peace.’ The next day I went back to the tournament, and that was that!”
“Micheline is an amazing woman. She is the love of my life,” Sean Connery added.
Micheline and Sean hit it off right away. In 1973, he divorced his first wife, and in 1975, they married.
In the early days of their romance, however, speaking with each other wasn’t easy. Micheline – working as a painter – was fluent in French and Spanish and could understand Arabic. But unfortunately, Connery could only speak English. So instead, they had to use body language.
cause of death, net worth, alleged affair
Moving to the Bahamas, Sean Connery and his wife lived there for 45 years.
While the couple was still married, ConConnery reportedly maintained affairs concurrently. Nery is rumored to have had affairs while they were married.
Connery allegedly had an affair with singer Lynsey de Paul in 1989, and she claimed he gave her his number and pursued her obstinately.
“In the early days, it was difficult for us to see each other,” he once revealed in an interview. “She was still living in North Africa with her children.”
Sean Connery passed away at the age of 90 at Lyford Cay, Bahamas, on October 31, 2020. He died in his sleep after a protracted battle with dementia.
After the tragic news, his wife, Micheline Roquebrune, paid an emotional tribute to her ‘gorgeous model of a man’.
“He was gorgeous, and we had a wonderful life together,” she said. “He was a model of a man. It is going to be very hard without him, I know that. But it could not last forever, and he went peacefully.”
According to his death certificate, Connery died from heart failure due to pneumonia and old age. His dementia also took a toll on him during his final years.
”It was no life for him. He was not able to express himself latterly. At least he died in his sleep and it was just so peaceful. I was with him all the time and he just slipped away. It was what he wanted.
Micheline Roquebrune was by his side until the end.
She said: “At least he died in his sleep, and it was just so peaceful. I was with him all the time, and he just slipped away. It was what he wanted. He got his final wish to slip away without any fuss.”
Sean Connery was a Scotsman his entire life, even after passing away in his Bahamas home. He has been praised as a national treasure and is still one of the biggest celebrities to come out of Scotland; his estimated net worth is over $350 million.
After his passing, Connery returned to his homeland following his last wish.
“We are going to bring Sean back to Scotland – that was his final wish,” his wife Micheline Roquebrun added: “He wanted his ashes to be scattered in the Bahamas and also in his homeland.”
Rest in peace, Sean Connery. Please, share this article with friends and family on Facebook if you also enjoyed him in the James Bond films!