Sean Connery was remembered on Saturday by fellow James Bond actors and franchise producers as “one of the real greats in cinema,” who most embodied the fictional spy character James Bond.
For James Bond fans and those who knew him, Mr. Connery, who died at the age of 90, was considered one of the best actors to play the role in “Dr. No ”(1962),“ From Russia with Love ”(1963),“ Goldfinger ”(1964),“ Thunderball ”(1965),“ You Only Live Twice ”(1967),“ Diamonds Are Forever ”(1971) and“ Never say never again ”(1983).
Only four actors who played James Bond – also known as Agent 007 – in films are alive today: George Lazenby, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel Craig.
David Niven, who played James Bond in the satirical spy film “Casino Royale” (1967), died in 1983. Roger Moore, who played James Bond for more than a decade, beginning with “Live and Let Die” (1973) and ending with ” A View to a Kill “(1985), died in 2017.
Mr. Craig, who has played James Bond since 2006, said in a statement on the 007 website on Saturday that Mr. Connery “defines an era and style” with his films.
Recognition…Carlo Allegri / Reuters
“The wit and charm it displayed on the screen could be measured in megawatts. He helped shape the modern blockbuster, ”said Craig. “He will continue to influence actors and filmmakers alike in the years to come. My thoughts are with his family and loved ones. Wherever it is, I hope there is a golf course. “
Mr. Lazenby, who played James Bond in “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” (1969), said on Instagram Saturday that Mr. Connery had inspired him.
“I’ve met Sean a few times and was glad he put his seal of approval on my Bond movie, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” said Lazenby.
“But for me the most important thing was that his work went well beyond Bond: into charity, family, politics and golf,” added Lazenby. “A man after my own heart. A great actor, a great man and an underrated artist have left us. “
A few weeks ago, Mr. Lazenby wished Mr. Connery “all the best” on his 90th birthday and called him “the greatest Bond of all time”.
“Sean has always been the man to me,” wrote Mr. Lazenby. “I followed in his footsteps – I had to look and dress like Sean Connery – I went to his hairdresser and tailor. I wasn’t scared when I chose the role – he was the guy who inspired me to never hesitate. “
Mr. Dalton, whose first James Bond film was The Living Daylights (1987), said in a statement: “Sean was a wonderful presence. A great leader. “
On Twitter on Saturday, Robert Carlyle, the James Bond villain Renard in “The World Is Not Enough” (1999), called Mr. Connery “a trailblazer, a true legend and a gentleman”.
Producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli said on the 007 website that Mr. Connery “revolutionized the world with his gritty and hilarious portrayal of the sexy and charismatic secret agent”.
“He was and will always be remembered as the original James Bond, whose indelible entry into cinema history began when he announced those unforgettable words – ‘The name is Bond … James Bond’,” they said in the statement.
Mr. Connery’s death marks the third James Bond-related franchise death since September.
Diana Rigg, who died at the age of 82, played the daughter of a crime boss in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, the only James Bond film in which Mr. Lazenby played the lead role. “Goldfinger” actress Margaret Nolan died in October at the age of 76.