Connery still most popular U.K. actor in U.S.

Sean Connery and David McCallum circa 1966

Party like it’s 1966: Sean Connery No. 1 most popular U.K. actor in U.S., David McCallum No. 4

Sean Connery, the original screen James Bond, is still the most popular U.K. actor in the U.S., according to an article in the Sunday Times.

Here’s an excerpt:

Connery, who played James Bond in seven films between 1962 and 1983, eclipses younger British actors including Colin Firth, Daniel Day-Lewis and even Daniel Craig, the current 007.

He is the most popular Briton to feature in the Q Score charts, which are based on opinion polls conducted in America every six months, asking 1,500 people how much they like stars and the extent to which they trust them.

The ARTICLE and full list is behind a paywall, meaning you have to register for the website to view it. But copies have circulated elsewhere on the Internet. Anyway, for readers of this blog, here are some other names of interest:

No. 4: David McCallum, who gained fame as Russian agent Illya Kuryakin in The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and is a supporting player on NCIS.

No. 6: Judi Dench, who played M in seven James Bond films from 1995 through 2012 and an Oscar winning actress.

No. 8: Daniel Craig, James Bond actor in three movies, 2006 to present and has said he’s signed to play 007 in two more movies. The next, the untitled Bond 24, is scheduled for fall 2015.

No. 12: Robert Carlyle, who played one of the villains in 1999’s The World Is Not Enough.

No. 21: Alan Cumming, character actor who played a secondary villain in 1995’s GoldenEye.

No. 24: Henry Cavill: most recent screen Superman in 2013’s Man of Steel and currently playing Napoleon Solo in a movie version of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Was also one of the finalists for the 007 role who lost out to Daniel Craig in 2005 for 2006’s Casino Royale.

No. 27: Jane Seymour: busy actress who played Solitaire in 1973’s Live And Let Die.

UPDATE (Oct. 28): This ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN isn’t behind a paywall and a has a full list of the top 20.

Sean Connery’s (sort of) return to Bondage

Sir Billi poster

Sir Billi poster

Sean Connery has interrupted his retirement to voice the title character in an animated story, Sir Billi, who engages in adventures not unlike those of James Bond, the role that made the Scotsman a star. The poster image even includes a familiar looking car.

Here’s the description from a press release.

Kaleidoscope Entertainment is delighted to announce Scotland’s first full-length animated feature film SIR BILLI, releasing in cinemas from 13 SEPTEMBER 2013 and DVD on 16 SEPTEMBER 2013.

An ageing, skateboarding veterinarian Sir Billi goes above and beyond the call of duty fighting villainous policemen and powerful lairds in a battle to save an illegal fugitive — Bessie Boo the beaver!

A heart-warming and action packed family movie where thrilling car chases, heroic skydiving and daring stunts from this octogenarian, fuelled with encounters with a hostile submarine, will keep you on the edge of your seat!

Voiced by Sir Sean Connery, everyone wants a grandpa like Sir Billi, the Guardian of the Highlands! With a star-studded cast including Alan Cumming (Spy Kids, The Smurfs 2, X-Men 2) Miriam Margolyes (Harry Potter, Mulan), Kieron Elliot (How to Train Your Dragon) and title track performed by Dame Shirley Bassey. Original score by Oscar nominee Patrick Doyle.

For the official Sir Billi Web site, CLICK HERE. To view Sir Billi’s page on the U.K. version of Amazon.com, CLICK HERE.

How to work 007’s creator into the 50th anniversary activities

In a response to one of our POSTS ABOUT THE OFFICIAL 007 TWITTER ACCOUNT, Dell Deaton of the James Bond Watches Blog pointed out that, as of Feb. 4 there had been 69 Tweets, with not one mentioning 007 creator Ian Fleming.

A certain author so far not mentioned on the 007 Twitter feed


We took a look AT THE 007 TWITTER FEED and it’s now up to 86 87 Tweets as of 11:30 p.m. ET on Feb. 11 without Ian Fleming being mentioned. Marc Forester, the Quantum of Solace director, is the subject of three Tweets. Albert R. Broccoli getting his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was referenced. So were birth dates of former production designer Ken Adam and supporting actors such as Gemma Arterton (Quantum of Solace) and Alan Cumming (GoldenEye).

Still, there’s a long time before the 23rd 007 film, Skyfall, premiers. So it’s not too late to include Bond creator Fleming. A few of the obvious ones:

Anniversaries of Fleming visiting Bond film sets or locations. Fleming was in Jamaica when Dr. No was being filmed and Istanbul for From Russia With Love. He talked to Sean Connery on the set of Dr. No and Goldfinger. We don’t have all those dates but given that From Russia With Love began filming in April 1963 and Goldfinger had principal photography start in the spring of 1964 (some second unit work was done earlier, already noted in a Jan. 20 Tweet), there are still opportunities to make note. That would be at least as worthy as Tweets about Robbie Coltrane starting two days of shooting on GoldenEye (Jan. 20), Quantum of Solace starting principal photography (Jan. 3) or a model of Atlantis being sunk as part of the filming for The Spy Who Loved Me (Jan. 13).

Might the anniversary of this meeting be worthy of mention on the 007 Twitter feed?

Happy birthday, Mr. Fleming:: May 28 will be the 104th anniversary of the author’s birth, another natural event to note among the historical Tweets.

Good-bye, Mr. Fleming: Fleming died Aug. 12, 1964, the month before Goldfinger had it’s U.K. premier. Again, a natural event to note among the historical Tweets.

The event that made it all possible: We don’t have the date, but the Bond film series would never have happened had Fleming not sold a six-month option for the Bond novels to Harry Saltzman. Without that deal, Albert R. Broccoli never forms Eon Productions with Saltzman. Perhaps the books are eventually made into films but not in the form we know them. Of course, that would also call on the official 007 Twitter account to acknowledge Saltzman and that the early films were not one-man Cubby Broccoli productions.