Name at birth: Thomas Sean Connery
Sean Connery was the first actor to play superspy James Bond in feature films. Connery was a bodybuilder who turned to acting in his 20s, making his way into the movies in the mid-1950s. In 1962 he starred as James Bond in Dr. No, and by 1971 he had appeared in five more Bond movies, quitting the role that year after Diamonds Are Forever. Sean Connery managed to break free of the Bond stereotype in the 1970s, thanks to movies such as the 1975 adventures The Wind and the Lion (with Candice Bergen) and The Man Who Would Be King (with Michael Caine). During the 1980s and '90s he appeared in dozens of films, and won an Oscar for his supporting role as a grizzled Irish cop in The Untouchables (1987). Eternally hunky and no-nonsense, Connery continued to play the love interest to younger actresses such as Catherine Zeta-Jones (in 1999's Entrapment). He also returned to the role of Bond in Never Say Never Again (1983, with Kim Basinger). Sean Connery has taken few roles in the 21st century, although he did star in Finding Forrester (2000) and the action picture The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003). Connery was denied a knighthood by Britain in 1998 for his support of Scottish nationalism, but he was finally knighted in 2000 by Queen Elizabeth II.
According to his official site, Sean Connery enlisted in the Royal Navy at age 16, served for three years, and then worked as a “bricklayer, lifeguard, and coffin polisher” before getting into acting… Connery was People magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” for 1989… Connery has actually quit the role of Bond a few times. He starred in Dr. No (1962), From Russia With Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965) and You Only Live Twice (1967), then gave way to Australian model George Lazenby, who played Bond in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service in 1969. Connery again played Bond in Diamonds Are Forever (1971) and then with a wink as an older Bond in 1983’s Never Say Never Again.