A biography. Based on the German book
by Siegfried Tesche
Order the German book from
Article added in December
In 1962, Sean Connery created the
James Bond-myth with the shooting of the film Dr.
No. He not only remains the best Bond ever, but also the male
sex symbol. Furthermore, he is still one of the most popular actors in the movie
business. The biography of the nationalist Scotsman by Siegfried Tesche provides
extensive information, especially on all films with Connery, starting with
1957's No Road Back. Tesche also gives
some insight into the actor's private life and in his relation to politics -
Connery fights for Scottish independence.
Thomas (Sean) Connery was born in
Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1930, as the son of a truck driver whose ancestors had
come from Ireland. In the street in which the Connery's lived, there was no hot
water. At the age of nine, Sean began to deliver milk before he went to school.
In 1944, Sean quit school in order to work in a dairy on a regular basis. In an
interview in 1999, he said about his experiences with women as a milkman that
shortly after the war, when men were still away from home, it had been very
interesting. In 1946, he enrolled himself in the Navy for twelve years because
he wanted to see the world. But he was only on duty in huts in
Portsmouth. After three years of service, he was discharged with a stomach
ulcer and received a small pension.
For some time, he drove horse
carriages. Considered an invalid veteran, he got the right to go on a training
program. He wanted to become a furniture polisher. For 18 months, he worked in
this job, but besides this, he began to exercise as a body builder and a weight
lifter. In 1950, on the advice of a friend, he inscribed in the Dunedin Amateur Weight
Lifting Club. At the Edinburgh School of Art in Lauriston he posed as a
model. He also tried to start a career as a sportsman. He worked as a cement
mixer and a bricklayer on building sites and as bouncer in a club. Connery
spent the summer as a swimming pool attendant and life-saver at the Scottish Portobello.
At the age of twenty, he became a football (soccer) professional. Unfortunately,
at that time, there was not much money to make and, therefore, he also had a
small job at the printing house of the Edinburgh Evening News where, on a
daily basis, he melted lead and produced printing plates. During this period, he
continued to train his body. In 1953, he participated in the Mr. Universe
Competition at the London Scala Theatre where he made it to third place in the tall men's class,
the category for men over 1,80 m (Connery measures 1,89 m).
Still in 1953, Connery,
accidentally, found his way into acting. When he participated in the Mr.
Universe Competition in London, he was looking for a new job. According to
Sean, he got an offer from Manchester United but, at 22, he found himself too
old to play football. Somebody told him that people were to be hired for
the choir of the musical South Pacific. Connery got the job and,
from June 1953 on, he played for the following three months at the London
Theatre in Drury Lane. He sang in the choir of There is Nothing like a Dame
and toured for 14 months through England and Scotland. There, he also
played the role of lieutenant Buzz Adams.
The American actor Robert Henderson,
a colleague from the choir who later became a theatre director, mentioned Ibsen and his
towards Connery. Immediately, Sean went to a library and
began to read his works. According to Henderson, in contrast to a lot of young
men who want to become stars but are bone idle, Connery worked hard to improve
his acting. Sean himself considers the years of 1951 to 1956 as his learning
period in which he educated himself. Connery states that Henderson
also gave him the advice to quit football and suggested a list of books to
read. During one year on tour, Connery spent a lot of time in the public
libraries of the different places he went to. He was fascinated by the theatre,
this world of spirit and intellect, which was so different from what he knew. In
those times, he changed his first name from Thomas into Sean. In his youth, he
had often been called Tammy or, because of
his height, Big Tam. In 1956 and 1957, Connery had a series of smaller and
bigger appearances in television and big screen films, among them are Requiem for a Heavyweight, No Road
back and Operation Tiger. In 1957, the 20th
Century Fox took him under contract.
Also in 1957, Sean Connery met
the actress Diane Cilento. She was born in 1933 in the Australian Brisbane.
They met on the set of the theatre play Anna Christie in Oxford.
Diane was the daughter of Sir Ralph West Cilento, an authority in the
field of tropical diseases and, at the same time, a lawyer. Her mother was
a gynaecologist. Diane had studied at the New York Academy of Dramatic Arts
and at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. In 1952, Cilento had
obtained her first role in a feature film. The same year, she made her
debut at the theatre. An impressive background for the working-class son
Sean. In 1960, Sean and Diane met again for the television movie based on Anna Christie.
They fell in love. Cilento was then still married to the Italian Andrea Volpe
with whom she had a daughter born in
Diane and Sean took lessons in
the technique of wordless communication and the adequate rhythm, based on
the concept of movement by the Hungarian dancer Rudolf von Laban with the
Swede Yat Malmgren, a former dancer of the Kurt Joos Ballet Ensemble.
Connery's distinctive way of walking and moving dates back to this time.
It is said that it fascinated the Bond producers Harry Saltzman and Albert R. Broccoli
to the point that it was decisive in their offering him the leading role of
On November 30, 1962, Cileno and
Connery married in Gibraltar. In Januay 1963, their son Jason was born in
Rome. The same year, Diane was nominated for an Oscar for her performance
Jones. In 1968, Cileno published her first novel, Manipulator,
after the Bond-author Ian Fleming had encouraged her to begin writing. The
book's cover was designed by Connery. Four years later, she published her second
novel, Hybrid. In 1973, Diane and Sean were divorced. It is said that
Sean's overloaded agenda had been a decisive factor in their separation. In
1985, Cilento married the English author Anthony Shaffer, with whom she lives
today on a big farm in Queensland, Australia, where she works for different
In 1962, Sean Connery had 58 days of
shooting for his first Bond,
No. Already in the following year,
when Dr. No was played in the cinemas, he started shooting for
Russia With Love. The same year, he
also played in Die Strohpuppe. In 1964, he shot
Goldfinger in London
and in Andermatt, Switzerland. In 1965, he was in front of the cameras for
In 1966 followed his last Bond,
Only Live Twice. In between, he shot
other films such as The Golden Rolls-Royce and Simson ist nicht zu schlagen.
After his career as the Bond
character, Connery successfully moved on and shot movies such as Shalako (1968),
(1971), Zardoz (1973), Meteor (1977), Outland (1980),
The Untouchables (1987), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1988), The Rock (1996)
and Entrapment (1999), to mention just a few.
In 1970, Connery met Micheline Boglio Roquebrune
at a golf tournament in Casablanca. Born in 1931, the French-Moroccan painter
had three children from a previous marriage. For Micheline, it was love at first
sight. She maintains that she did not know then that he was an actor. In 1975,
Sean and Micheline married in Gibraltar and then traveled to Casablanca for
their honeymoon. Connery's second wife is considered a skillful opposite number
in negotiations and has often negotiated Sean's contracts with studios and filed
lawsuits against producers and agents for him.
By the way, Sean Connery has a
brother, Neil, born in 1938. He has worked for years as a plasterer in Edinburgh.
In 1967, an Italian film producer learned about his existence and used him
in a catastrophically-bad movie. From time to time, Neil still takes small
parts and has guest appearances in cheap British productions such as The Body Stealers
or in the television series Taggart.
In the documentation Sean Connery's Edinburgh, he served as a light
double for his brother. He lives with his family outside Edinburgh.
New films (added on October 30, 2002): Finding Forrester, 2000 and The
League of Extraordinary Gentleman, 2003.
The information on this page is based on Siegfried Tesche's biography of Sean Connery,
published by the Henschel Verlag in 2000, 207 p. Order the book from
Amazon.de (in German). For more movie reviews: Film.
Dr. No., 1963. Order the DVD from
Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de
Goldfinger, 1964. Order the DVD from
Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de
From Russia With
Love, 1964. Order the DVD from
Thunderball, 1965. Order the DVD from
You Only Live
Twice, 1967. Order the DVD from
Forever, 1971. Order the DVD from
Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk
Never Say Never
Again, 1983. Order the DVD from