Happy 80th birthday, Sean Connery

As we type this, it’s Aug. 25 in Scotland, the land of Sean Connery’s birth. So here’s happy 80th birthday, Sir Sean, the first film James Bond.

Connery, of course, helped make 007 a phenomenon. There was that simple, yet powerful, introduction:

There were a number of memorable moments:

Of course, there were some critics:

But seriously, Terence Young, the first 007 film director, once said the three reasons the Bond films succeeded were, “Sean Connery, Sean Connery and Sean Connery.”

That may overlook Young’s own contributions (coaching diamond in the rough Connery about clothing and the right foods), Ken Adam’s sets (his sets make the modestly budgeted Dr. No look expensive) and John Barry’s music. But it was Connery that drew movie goers to theaters to see the film adapations of Ian Fleming’s novels. Fleming himself, initially not liking the casting, grew to appreciate Connery.

Connery had a fabulous film career that extended far beyond James Bond. Still, 007 remains the role that defines that career. And it’s Connery that first made Bond a film hero. Whether it be in action:

Or wooing the opposite sex:

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