Sean Connery is synonymous with James Bond, the British secret agent dreamed up by Ian Fleming. However, for me, the first time I saw him in action was in a silly Disney movie called Darby O’Gill and the Little People. It was one of many genre films that the 90-year-old Scottish legend appeared in over his lengthy career of almost 100 films and TV appearances. In fact, his final live-action feature film performance was in (the much-maligned) adaptation of Alan Moore’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. From appearances in The Highlander and the strange, sexed-up 1970s sci-fi-fantasy film Zardoz, Connery was equally at home in strange little genre roles as he was as 007 or his more grounded dramatic roles.
While his turn as Bond is perhaps his most iconic and defining role, I will always think of him first as Henry Jones, Sr. The bookish, prim professor who dedicated his life to the search for the Holy Grail, he was the antithesis of a 1980s action hero in that role. The scene, embedded below, where he and Harrison Ford’s Indy were bound together, set a room on fire, and then escaped the Nazis is perhaps my favorite moment in the entire series. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is the non-Star Wars film I’ve seen the most in theaters. (In 1990, I went to a screening every day during its last week at the third-run theater a block from my home.)
Connery retired from acting, save for a few voice-only roles, in 2003. He flirted with returning for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, but ultimately said that his retirement was “too damned much fun.” Nonetheless, he left behind a legendary body of work movie fans will be familiar with for generations to come.
Sean Connery was 90 years old.
What’s your favorite role Connery played? Share your own memories, favorite films, and thoughts on his passing in the comments below.
Featured image via Lucasfilm
Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.