Sir Sean Connery, the Scottish actor known across the globe for his portrayal of James Bond, died Saturday at 90.
He was the first to bring the role to the big screen and appeared in seven of the spy thrillers.
His son, Jason, said the actor died peacefully in his sleep while in the Bahamas, having been “unwell for some time”.
The younger Connery said the actor “had many of his family who could be in the Bahamas around him” when he died overnight in Nassau.
“We are all working at understanding this huge event as it only happened so recently, even though my dad has been unwell for some time,” he said.
“A sad day for all who knew and loved my dad and a sad loss for all people around the world who enjoyed the wonderful gift he had as an actor.”
Sir Sean’s acting career spanned five decades, winning an Oscar in 1988 for his role in The Untouchables.
He also featured in The Hunt for Red October, Highlander, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and The Rock.
Though he made more than 60 films, winning an Academy Award for his supporting role as an incorruptible lawman on the trail of Al Capone in “The Untouchables” (1987), Connery was most closely affiliated with the debonair fictional British spy.
He introduced Bond and his trademark greeting in “Dr. No” (1962), which turned Connery into an international star. He would go on to play the womanising, dinner-suited, martini-quaffing spy, created by Ian Fleming, in “From Russia With Love” (1963), “Goldfinger” (1964), “Thunderball” (1965), “You Only Live Twice” (1967) and “Diamonds Are Forever” (1971). In 1983, Connery starred in one more Bond movie, “Never Say Never Again.”
He was largely regarded as being the best actor to have played 007 in the long-running franchise, often being named as such in polls.
He was knighted by the Queen at Holyrood Palace in 2000.
In August, he celebrated his 90th birthday.
Bond producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli said they were “devastated by the news”.
Sir Sean was a long-time supporter of Scottish independence, saying in interviews in the run-up to the 2014 referendum that he might return from his Bahamas home to live in Scotland if it voted to break away from the rest of the UK.
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “I was heartbroken to learn this morning of the passing of Sir Sean Connery. Our nation today mourns one of her best-loved sons.
“Sean was born into a working-class Edinburgh family and through talent and sheer hard work, became an international film icon and one of the world’s most accomplished actors.”
Thomas Sean Connery was born on August 25, 1930, in the working-class Fountainbridge district of western Edinburgh.
The elder of two boys, he first slept in a drawer in a traditional tight Scottish apartment called a tenement. His home was demolished decades ago, though there’s a plaque with his name on it at a new housing development there.