Hollywood is paying tribute to the late Sean Connery. The actor was the original James Bond and starred in 7 of the franchise's installments, starting with 1962's Dr. No and ending with 1983's Never Say Never Again. The Scottish actor died in his sleep at the age of 90, according to his family. No cause of death was revealed, but it is believed that Connery had been ill for quite some time.
Sean Connery wasn't just the first actor to portray James Bond, but he is often regarded as the best. According to Bond producers, "He revolutionized 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." The franchise will always be linked to Connery, the man who made "those unforgettable words 'The name's Bond... James Bond,'" iconic. You can read what current Bond star Daniel Craig had to say below.
"Sir Sean Connery will be remembered as Bond and so much more. He defined an era and a style. The wit and charm he portrayed on screen could be measured in megawatts; he helped create the modern blockbuster. He will continue to influence actors and film-makers alike for years to come. My thoughts are with his family and loved ones. Wherever he is, I hope there is a golf course."
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says she is "heartbroken" over the news of Sean Connery's death. "Our nation today mourns one of her best loved sons," she said. "Sean was born into a working class Edinburgh family and through talent and sheer hard work, became a film icon and one of the world's most accomplished actors." Director Edgar Wright had this to say.
"It says something for the extraordinary charisma of this Edinburgh lad to have created the most iconic character in film & then, rather than be typecast by it, become equally famous for just being Sean Connery. A real screen legend; oft imitated (by all!) but never equaled."
Hugh Jackman said, "I grew up idolizing Sean Connery. A legend on screen, and off. Rest In Peace." Sam Neill, who starred alongside Connery in The Hunt for Red October says, "Every day on set with Sean Connery was an object lesson in how to act on screen. But all that charisma and power- that was utterly unique to Sean. RIP that great man, that great actor." The U.K. Ministry of Defense also took some time out of the day to pay tribute and reveal that Connery wasn't just an award-winning actor. "RIP Sean Connery. Before he played James Bond, he served his country as a young man in the Royal Navy onboard HMS Formidable."
The family of Roger Moore, who also played James Bind, released a statement on social media. "How infinitely sad to hear the news Sir Sean Connery has passed away," read the statement. "He and Roger were friends for many decades and Roger always maintained Sean was the best ever James Bond. RIP." Sean Connery was also an avid soccer player and fan. FIFA even offered him up a contract to play professionally, but he turned it down to act fulltime. The world is now paying tribute to one of the greatest actors of all time. Variety was one of the first outlets to report on Sean Connery's death.