The Fleming Factor
All seven of the James Bond movies starring Sean Connery were based on novels by 007's creator Ian Fleming, which makes them the real deal. Remarkably, the author at first opposed the casting of Connery, dismissing him as "an overgrown stuntman." But Fleming came around after the 1962 premiere of "Dr. No" and even gave Bond Scottish blood in later novels.
We mean that literally. Connery is handsome, no question. But he also looks the part of a man with a license to kill. By contrast Roger Moore, who took over the role in 1973, lacked the original's dangerous allure. As Moore himself later put it, referring to his own believability as a killer, "I look as though I might cheat at backgammon."
That Scottish Brogue
It's irresistible. Just listen to the way he pronounces Ms. Galore's first name in 1964's "Goldfinger."
In the new James Bond movie "Spectre," Daniel Craig is styled by Tom Ford. The original Bond is old-school ("My tailor, Savile Row") and his look is timeless. Whether he's dressed to the nines in an ivory dinner jacket or donning a suit with a subtle Prince of Wales check, as in this scene from "Goldfinger," Connery needs no help from fashion designers.
A Certain Something
Nor does Sean Connery need to dress to impress. Formal or casual, the former Mr. Universe contestant has that elusive quality: He's truly comfortable in his skin.
The Excitement of the '60s
Connery's Bond was part of the mid-'60s British Invasion: He broke box office records just as Beatlemania was taking hold in the U.S. Not that 007 was a fan. Drinking Dom Perignon '53 above 38 degrees, he tells one of the Bond Girls, is "as bad as listening to the Beatles without earmuffs." (Did we mention he was old-school?)
A Fine Balance
He's polished, but not too polished. A former truck driver and soccer player, Connery gives Bond's sophistication a rugged edge. He's cool enough to drive this Aston Martin, yet balls-out when it comes to making use of its pop-out gun barrels. (There's a reason the original car sold in 2010 for $4.6 million.)
"Shaken, not stirred." The man knows exactly what he wants. He exudes confidence.
Connery Stayed True to Form
He would never be answerable to Judi Dench. Granted, if there'd never been a Sean Connery, Daniel Craig would be the best James Bond. But Craig's recent hint that 007 is evolving to become "not as sexist" seems to miss the point.
There's Only One Original
Sean Connery was the first—simple as that. (No one—and we mean no one—counts Barry Nelson as the first James Bond, even though he played him in a 1954 TV version of "Casino Royale.")
The Backwoods Barbie who became a country-pop icon
Major stars whose performances landed on the cutting room floor
Long-running shows that went out with a bang
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Mannequins who came to life on the big screen
On screen, he was the epitome of elegance, but his real life didn’t match what you saw in the movies