Sean Connery was remembered on Saturday by other James Bond actors and franchise producers as “one of the true greats of cinema” who most embodied the fictional spy character James Bond.
For James Bond fans and those who knew him, Mr. Connery, who died at 90 years old, was regarded as one of the best actors to embrace the role in “Dr. No” (1962), “From Russia With Love” (1963), “Goldfinger” (1964), “Thunderball” (1965), “You Only Live Twice” (1967), “Diamonds Are Forever” (1971) and “Never Say Never Again” (1983).
Only four actors who played James Bond in movies — also known as Agent 007 — are alive today: George Lazenby, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig.
David Niven, who played James Bond in the satirical spy film “Casino Royale” (1967), died in 1983. Roger Moore, who played James Bond for more than a decade, starting with “Live and Let Die” (1973) and ending with “A View to a Kill” (1985), died in 2017.
Mr. Craig, who has played James Bond since 2006, said in a statement on the 007 website Saturday that Mr. Connery “defined an era and a style” with his films.
“The wit and charm he portrayed onscreen could be measured in megawatts; he helped create the modern blockbuster,” Mr. Craig said. “He will continue to influence actors and filmmakers alike for years to come. My thoughts are with his family and loved ones. Wherever he is, I hope there is a golf course.”
Mr. Lazenby,who played James Bond in “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” (1969), said on Instagram on Saturday that Mr. Connery inspired him.
“I met Sean a couple of times and I was pleased he’d given my Bond film, ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,’ his seal of approval,” Mr. Lazenby said.
“But, to me, the most important thing was his work went far beyond Bond: into charity, into family, into politics and into golf,” Mr. Lazenby added. “A man after my own heart. A great actor, a great man and underappreciated artist has left us.”
Just weeks ago, Mr. Lazenby wished Mr. Connery “all the best” on his 90th birthday, calling him “the all-time greatest Bond.”
“Sean, for me, was always the man,” Mr. Lazenby wrote. “I walked in his footsteps — I had to look and dress like Sean Connery — I went to his barber’s and tailors. I had no fear when I went up for the role — he was the guy who inspired me to never hesitate.”
Mr. Dalton, whose first James Bond movie was “The Living Daylights” (1987), said in a statement: “Sean was a wonderful presence. A great leading man.”
On Twitter on Saturday, Robert Carlyle, the James Bond villain Renard in “The World Is Not Enough” (1999), called Mr. Connery “a trailblazer, a true legend and a gentleman.”
Producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli said on the 007 website that Mr. Connery revolutionized the world “with his gritty and witty portrayal of the sexy and charismatic secret agent.”
“He was and shall always be remembered as the original James Bond whose indelible entrance into cinema history began when he announced those unforgettable words — ‘The name’s Bond … James Bond,’” they said in the statement.
Mr. Connery’s death is the third James Bond-related franchise death since September.
Diana Rigg, who died at 82, played a crime boss’s daughter in “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” the only James Bond film to star Mr. Lazenby. In October, the “Goldfinger” actress Margaret Nolan died at 76.
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