Sean Connery — calling him “Sir Sean” was reportedly a sure way to get him to leave the room — died last weekend at the age of 90. Connery was a film legend, who worked in over 60 movies — many in the leading role — whose unique combination of smoldering intensity and silky smoothness came to define suave. (His private life was another story, but such is the gap between image and reality that makes the film industry what it is.)
That persona was evident in his earliest screen appearances but it emerged and crystallized when he became James Bond, British secret agent 007. Connery played Bond in seven Bond films, starting with “Dr. No” in 1962. The role grated, however, and fearing that it would define him, Connery said in 1967 while filming “You Only Live Twice” that he was moving on. He was lured back, first to make “Diamonds are Forever” in 1971 and then 12 years later for “Never Say Never Again,” whose title mocked his intent to move beyond Bond.