EVEN with his thick, trademark eyebrows hidden by a pair of shades there is no mistaking the superstar smile of Sir Sean Connery.
But as he celebrates his 90th birthday today the man who James Bond fans say has never been bettered as 007 will be celebrating away from the glare of the cameras.
Not seen out in public for three years Connery has become a virtual recluse, determined to have nothing to do with showbusiness or the fictional spy who made him both rich and famous.
He rarely leaves a gated community in the Bahamas where he lives in splendid retirement with his second wife Micheline Roquebrune.
Once able to command eight figure fees for a movie role, the actor has given strict instructions to his agent to turn down all offers.
Instead he prefers to spend his days playing golf, which seems to have given him the unrefined joy that he never truly found making films.
The demanding actor grew frustrated by what he considered to be idiots in the industry.
He was said to have come close to blows with the director of his final movie, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, in 2002.
On the sun kissed island of New Providence, which is a tax haven, the British knight is able to relax and is treated like royalty by staff at the Lyford Cay community.
There he is able to escape the shadow of Bond, the character he came to loathe even though he has repeatedly been voted the greatest actor to play 007.
The last time he was spotted away from the Bahamas was in New York 2017 when he seen needing a walking stick.
Notoriously private, Connery wont tolerate any friends or family speaking about him publicly.
But one source told The Sun: These days Sir Sean lives a very quiet lifestyle and just potters around, no one troubles him.
Its all set up for him there, all his needs are covered in the Bahamas.
He doesnt venture out of Lyford Cay much and has people visit him instead. He has become a bit of a recluse.
The perfectly manicured lawns, luxury bungalow with its own pool and high-level security are a long way from Connerys working-class beginnings.
Born to a lorry driver Joseph and cleaner Effie in Edinburgh his early jobs included milkman, artists model and coffin polisher before he found a career on the stage in London.
His rugged good looks, an athletic chest from bodybuilding and an ability to use his fists in a movie called Darby OGill and the Little People caught the attention of American producer Cubby Broccoli.
Broccoli had the rights to Ian Flemings Bond character and even though the writer didnt think Connery was sophisticated enough to play an English Commander, the relatively unknown Scotsman won the role.
Made for just 1million, Dr No was a massive hit in 1962 and Connery enjoyed the initial success.
He said: The first two or three were fun. The cast made it fun. Jumping out of planes was entertaining, although it was tough on my hairpiece.
The budget on Thunderball was more than the first three combined, but that didnt stop Connerys life being put in danger.
A plexiglass screen that was supposed to protect him from sharks was not big enough and the actor had to swim for it when they came after him.
Kobal Collection - Rex Features
Connery hated all the attention which came with being the worlds most famous undercover agent.
People would say theres James Bond as he wandered down the street and he wanted to be known for being Sean Connery.
Fed up with the whole Bond thing he quit twice, first while making You Only Live Twice in 1967 and then after making Never Say Never Again in 1983.
His final outing as 007 was so troubled he refused to make a film for two years.
Martial artist turned actor Steven Seagal broke Connerys wrist choreographing a fight, while there were constant off screen legal and financial problems.
A Bafta for The Name of the Rose in 1986 and a best supporting actor Oscar for The Untouchables in 1988 changed his mind about the business.
Now, the ageing actor was feted for his acting skills rather than his looks.
Other 80s hits such as Highlander and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade proved he could be more than Bond, James Bond.
A string of forgettable flops in the 1990s, including First Knight and the much mocked The Avengers, soured things again.
He also grew tired of the constant legal battles with studios over his fees, often taking producers to court for underpaying him.
The final straw came making comic book movie The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen in 2002.
Plagued by disasters, including flooding in Prague ruining a 5million set, matters came to a head when British director Stephen Norrington stopped shooting for a day because a prop was wrong.
When Norrington heard rumours that Connery wanted him fired, he allegedly squared up to the actor saying I want you to punch me in the face.
Connery responded dont tempt me, and walked off the set.
Even though he earned 15million for the film, Connery had no interest in taking on any more roles, not even when a bigger cheque was dangled for the fourth Indiana Jones movie in 2008.
The actor later said about making The League: The experience had a great influence on me, it made me think about showbiz. I get fed up dealing with idiots.
After retiring he was often seen in New York, where he would visit his son Jason, 57.
Jason was the only child from his 11 year marriage to Australian actress Diane Cilento, who died in 2011.
Having dated a string of beautiful women including Bond girls Jill St John and Lana Wood, Connery settled down with French painter Micheline Roquebrune, 91, in 1975.
Their relationship has survived his roving eye, including a seven-month affair with British pop star Lynsey De Paul.
Kobal Collection - Shutterstock
Hulton Archive - Getty
Last year Connery and his wife were fortunate to escape the full force of Hurricane Dorian, which killed over 30 people when it struck the Bahamas.
They were about 90 miles from the worst hit area and took precautions to make sure their mansion was protected.
We were lucky compared to many others and the damage here was not great, he said. We had been prepared for the storm.
AFP - Getty
It would take more than a hurricane to shake Connery from his Caribbean contentment.
On the idyllic island he has swapped his Aston Martin for a golf buggy and Walther PPK for a golf club.
His home backs onto a five-star private club with its own golf course.
This is heaven for Connery who once said: The Oscar I was awarded for The Untouchables is a wonderful thing, but I can honestly say that Id rather have won the US Open Golf Tournament.
So, anyone wishing to see the actor back on screen will be disappointed.
As he has said: In the end, retirement is too damn much fun.
We pay for your stories and videos! Do you have a story or video for The Scottish Sun? Email us at email@example.com or call 0141 420 5300
Read the original here:
- Bahamas Will Only Allow Vaccine if it is Safe - Caribbean News - caribbeannationalweekly.com - December 8th, 2020
- Genting Malaysia's resort in the Bahamas to reopen on Dec 26 - The Edge Markets MY - December 8th, 2020
- Commission: UN vote signals new line of thinking for The Bahamas on marijuana - EyeWitness News - December 8th, 2020
- Sovereign default 'outside the realm' of fiscal possibility - Bahamas Tribune - December 8th, 2020
- Petition launched to protest Disney's plan for cruise destination in the Bahamas - NYCaribNews - December 8th, 2020
- Human Rights Bahamas calls for the release of Cameroon asylum seekers detained in The Bahamas - EyeWitness News - December 8th, 2020
- 30 more cases over three days Eye Witness News - EyeWitness News - December 8th, 2020
- New Facial Biometric Technology Will Make CBP Preclearance at LPIA more Efficient and Secure - US Embassy in The Bahamas - December 8th, 2020
- Governor warns on future tax increases - Bahamas Tribune - December 8th, 2020
- What will 750,000 buy in the Hamptons, Spain, Clontarf, London and the Bahamas? - The Irish Times - December 8th, 2020
- Initiative launched to improve entrepreneurial ecosystem and finance access - EyeWitness News - December 8th, 2020
- Government Of The Bahamas Statement On US Travel Advisory - PRNewswire - November 29th, 2020
- Too hard to get to The Bahamas - Bahamas Tribune - November 29th, 2020
- PM: Many will travel, but residents must protect The Bahamas - EyeWitness News - November 29th, 2020
- No clinical evidence of COVID reinfections in The Bahamas - EyeWitness News - November 29th, 2020
- Phoenix family's vacation to Bahamas cheaper than expected - AZFamily - November 29th, 2020
- US donates additional equipment towards COVID fight in The Bahamas - EyeWitness News - November 29th, 2020
- Foreign Affairs: Bahamas committed to equality Eye Witness News - EyeWitness News - November 29th, 2020
- PM: Govt needs these powers Eye Witness News - EyeWitness News - November 29th, 2020
- Bamboo Shack, Bethel Brothers Morticians join in on tablet donations - EyeWitness News - November 29th, 2020
- PM to meditate on new finance minister pick, decision by next week - EyeWitness News - November 29th, 2020
- DPM remains focused on work ahead Eye Witness News - EyeWitness News - November 29th, 2020
- What's New In The Islands Of The Bahamas This Winter - PRNewswire - November 24th, 2020
- INSIGHT: From persecution to prison to poverty a political refugee's five-year ordeal in The Bahamas - Bahamas Tribune - November 24th, 2020
- Joe Giudice Is Headed to the Bahamas in the New Year for Celebrity Boxing! - WSMV Nashville - November 24th, 2020
- US Donates Additional $20K to COVID Fight in The Bahamas - US Embassy in The Bahamas - November 24th, 2020
- Bahamas To Buy Off Hurricanes With Sand Dollars. - The St. Kitts-Nevis Observer - November 24th, 2020
- Limeade Bahamas provides breakfast for 400 in the Englerston community - EyeWitness News - November 24th, 2020
- BPC urged to stand down, warned of possible legal action - EyeWitness News - November 24th, 2020
- Forbes: We are not out of the second wave yet - EyeWitness News - November 24th, 2020
- Bahamas Paradise confirms the sale of Grand Celebration - Seatrade Cruise News - November 24th, 2020
- Grand Bahama cases double in two weeks Eye Witness News - EyeWitness News - November 24th, 2020
- The Bahamas gains a new fleet of national security drones - DroneDJ - November 24th, 2020
- PM affirms govt commitment to preschools, says Family Island preschools will receive same benefits as NP - EyeWitness News - November 24th, 2020
- BPC on track to spud exploratory well in six weeks - EyeWitness News - November 24th, 2020
- Former Sky Bahamas employees claim they are owed $740000 in back pay - EyeWitness News - November 24th, 2020
- Bahamas Professional Golf Association recognizes contributions of Albany Bahamas and Bakers Bay Golf and Ocean Club - EyeWitness News - November 24th, 2020
- WPT, MILLIONS Online, Russia and the Bahamas: Partypoker Releases Live and Online Schedule for 2021 - Pokerfuse - November 24th, 2020
- Baha Mar, The Leading Resort Destination In The Bahamas, Announces Its Reopening, Welcoming Back Guests Beginning December 17, 2020 - PRNewswire - November 7th, 2020
- CG to roll out covid-19 travel insurance in Bahamas - International Investment - November 7th, 2020
- Bahamas edged out by Turks and Caicos in popularity among American travelers in ranking - EyeWitness News - November 7th, 2020
- Smith: Outcome of US election has implications on The Bahamas' survival - EyeWitness News - November 7th, 2020
- Athletes aiming for Tokyo 2020 qualification receive funding from Bahamas NOC - Insidethegames.biz - November 7th, 2020
- Americans are Now Considering Bahamas Real Estate in The Midst of Uncertain Times - Yahoo Finance - November 7th, 2020
- GB off the beaten path? Is that all? - Bahamas Tribune - November 7th, 2020
- The Bahamas' Grand Hyatt Baha Mar to reopen in December - Yogonet International - November 7th, 2020
- The Bahamas Updated Their Visitor Guidelines a Day Before Opening to Travelers What to Know - FOX10 News - November 7th, 2020
- Atlantis employees to begin weekly COVID testing next week - EyeWitness News - November 7th, 2020
- Government signs agreement with ITU for national cybersecurity project - EyeWitness News - November 7th, 2020
- Church farm project aims to help people feed themselves - Bahamas Tribune - November 7th, 2020
- Govt. to expand testing protocols with SalivaDirect pilot program - EyeWitness News - November 7th, 2020
- UNDP and UWI post-disaster Bahamas Resilient Recovery Policy endorsed by Cabinet - EyeWitness News - November 7th, 2020
- Baleria Caribbean to Resume Passenger Sailings Between Port Everglades and the Bahamas - South Florida Caribbean News - October 27th, 2020
- Central Bank Digital Currency: The First Nationwide CBDC In The World Has Been Launched By The Bahamas - Forbes - October 27th, 2020
- SURGE: Bahamas records more than 1000 cases in less than two weeks - EyeWitness News - October 27th, 2020
- American Eagle ERJ145 Runs Off The Runway In The Bahamas - Simple Flying - October 27th, 2020
- Everything Fresh touts 'remarkable growth' in Bahamas - Loop News Jamaica - October 27th, 2020
- COVID Impacts Heavily on Government Business Says Bahamas - caribbeannationalweekly.com - October 27th, 2020
- Discover the Dreamy Islands of The Bahamas With a Yacht Charter - TravelPulse - October 27th, 2020
- St. Pete native to paddleboard more than 400 miles from Tampa Bay area to Bahamas - ABC Action News - October 27th, 2020
- Teacher tests positive at school in Grand Bahama - Bahamas Tribune - October 27th, 2020
- COVID has severely affected the tourism dependent economy says Bahamas - NYCaribNews - October 27th, 2020
- The Potential Impact Of COVID-19 On Leases In The Bahamas - Real Estate and Construction - Bahamas - Mondaq News Alerts - October 27th, 2020
- COVID-19: Force Majeure And Frustration Of Contracts - Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Bahamas - Mondaq News Alerts - October 27th, 2020
- Henfield: Worst could be yet to come - EyeWitness News - October 27th, 2020
- $500 million paid to reverse osmosis operators over last 20 years says Gibson - EyeWitness News - October 27th, 2020
- Long Island MP wants free COVID testing for Bahamians - EyeWitness News - October 27th, 2020
- Central Bank Of The Bahamas Launches The Sand Dollar - ValueWalk - October 27th, 2020
- Bishop Ellis says the target of his does not believe in God comment is a senior official not PM - EyeWitness News - October 27th, 2020
- Bahamas Government to review legalization of a hemp industry, and inject 250M for small business development - The Eleutheran - October 27th, 2020
- Man sentenced to three years in prison for stealing over $50000 in cash and items - EyeWitness News - October 27th, 2020
- Government doing all it can to push for early Cub Med opening - EyeWitness News - October 27th, 2020
- WSC obtains injunction against reverse osmosis operator over Eleuthera supply disruption - EyeWitness News - October 27th, 2020
- PAHO Director: If our health systems are not prepared, it is not the time to reopen - EyeWitness News - September 18th, 2020
- Bahamas New VIP Plan: Allow Tourists In, Then Lock Them Down. - The St. Kitts-Nevis Observer - September 18th, 2020
- Search Called Off for Missing Jamaicans and Haitians in Bahamas - caribbeannationalweekly.com - September 18th, 2020
- PAHO: Bahamas showing balance between reducing transmission and reopening - EyeWitness News - September 18th, 2020
- 'Fifth division Bahamas' faces uphill struggle to hit Singapore ambition - Bahamas Tribune - September 18th, 2020
- Back to the Bahamas: It's the people you remember most from life's adventures - Kingsport Times News - September 18th, 2020
- Divide and rule - Bahamas Tribune - September 18th, 2020