Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sir Sean Connery

Thomas Sean Connery was born in the Fountainbridge district of
Edinburgh, Scotland on August 25, 1930. He grew up impoverished.
The son of a truck-driver, he came from a background very different
from that of his most famous screen alter-ego.
After leaving school, he joined the Royal Navy, but was released
due to ulcers. He had many jobs, including laborer, lifeguard and
model for art classes. But it was his career as a bodybuilder that
led to his representing Scotland in the 1953 Mr. Universe contest,
in which he placed 3rd. This in turn led to a job in the chorus
with the touring company of South Pacific. He appeared in several
stage productions, and made his television debut in 1956. He signed
a movie contract with MGM in the late 1950's, which led to a string
of film roles.
He was cast as the first cinematic James Bond in Dr. No in 1962.
He won the role over Cary Grant, Rex Harrison, Trevor Howard, Patrick
McGoohan and Roger Moore, even though Ian Fleming was quoted as
saying, 'He is not exactly what I envisioned' ... as the fictional
British agent. However, the film was a success, which led to 3 more
Bond films in the next 5 years.
Tired of being identified only as 007, Connery quit the role after
'You Only Live Twice', in order to devote more time to his family
and to golf. The next Bond film starred George Lazenby, but Connery
was persuaded to return as Bond in 'Diamonds are Forever'. With that
role, he said he was finished as Bond, but he returned in 1983's
'Never Say Never Again', which was not an 'official' Bond film, as
it was produced by Kevin McClory instead of Eon. This film did not
help his relations with Bond producer Cubby Broccoli, with whom
Connery was feuding.
Connery has played many varied roles in films over the years,
working with directors such as Alfred Hitchcock, John Huston and
Brian De Palma. He won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
as well as the Golden Globe award in 1987, for his role as the Irish
cop Malone in 'The Untouchables'. He was also named People magazine's
'Sexiest Man Alive' in 1989.
Connery is an avid golfer (he learned the game for 1964's Goldfinger)
and in 1996 won the Lexus Challenge golf tournament with pro Hale Irwin.
In 1990, Connery received the British Academy of Film and Television
Arts (BAFTA) Lifetime Achievement Award. In 1995, he received the Cecil
B. DeMille Award for 'outstanding contribution to the entertainment field',
given by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
In 1997, he was honored with a Gala Tribute by the Film Society of
Lincoln Center in New York and in 1998, received a British Academy
Fellowship from BAFTA. He was honored by the Kennedy Center in 1999.
He became Sir Sean Connery in July 2000, received a knighthood from the
British government, despite being refused the honor 2 years previously
for political reasons. He has also received awards in France, including
the Legion d'Honeur, and the Commandeur des Arts and des Lettres.
He has been married twice. His first wife was actress Diane Cilento.
In an ironic twist, their son, actor Jason Connery, portrayed James Bond
creator Ian Fleming in the film 'Spymaker'. Sean has been married to
French artist Micheline Roquebrune since 1975.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

'The Elemental Fact'

'The elemental fact, present in our consciousness
every moment of our existence, is: I am life that
wills to live, in the midst of life that wills to
The essence of the humane spirit is: Preserve life,
promote life, help life to achieve its highest destiny.
The essence of Evil is: Destroy life, harm life,
hamper the development of life.' ~ Albert Schweitzer