On this day in 1983, Sean Connery stars in Never Say Never Again as the British secret service agent James Bond, a role he last played in 1971. The film’s title referenced the fact that the Scottish-born actor had previously remarked that he would never play Agent 007 again.
Connery, who was born in Edinburgh on August 25, 1930, originated the role of James Bond in 1962’s Dr. No. The character was the creation of the British author and journalist Ian Fleming (1908-1964), who published his first Bond book, Casino Royale, in 1953.
Connery went on to play the debonair 007 in From Russia With Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965) and You Only Live Twice (1967). The Australian actor George Lazenby assumed the role of Bond for On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969), while Connery returned for Diamonds Are Forever (1971) and Never Say Never Again (1983), a film regarded as “unofficial” because it wasn’t produced by EON Productions, the company behind all the other Bond films in the series.
Roger Moore, a Brit, took over as Bond in 1973’s Live and Let Die, which he followed with The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), Moonraker (1979), For Your Eyes Only (1981), Octopussy (1983) and A View to a Kill (1985). The Welsh-born actor Timothy Dalton portrayed Bond in The Living Daylights (1987) and Licence to Kill (1989). Pierce Brosnan, born in Ireland, became the fifth man to play Bond, starring in Golden Eye (1995), Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) The World is Not Enough (1999) and Die Another Day (2002). In 2006, the British actor Daniel Craig made his debut as Bond in Casino Royale; he reprised the role in 2008’s Quantum of Solace.
In addition to the James Bond films, which are among the most lucrative franchise in movie history, Sean Connery has compiled a long list of other big-screen credits, including director John Huston’s The Man Who Would Be King (1975); Robin and Marian (1976) with Audrey Hepburn; The Name of the Rose (1986); The Untouchables (1987), for which he earned a Best Supporting Actor Oscar; the action hits Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) and The Hunt for Red October (1990); Entrapment (1999) with Catherine Zeta-Jones; and Finding Forrester (2000). Connery, who was voted People magazine’s “Sexiest Man of the Century” in 1999, was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000.