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The death of Sir Sean Connery on Saturday has already been met by a wave of reactions across the Internet, including from other James Bonds and George Lucas. The latest tribute comes from Stephen King, though, who shared a photo of Connery in his first starring role as a boxer in the BBC’s Blood Money, but also acknowledged some of the divisive opinions about the actor.
Sean Connery in his first starring role, as a washed-up boxer. He was a fine actor and by most accounts a good guy. pic.twitter.com/q1kmxUrFGC
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) October 31, 2020
The “by most accounts” note presumably refers to the allegations made by his first wife, Diane Cilento, about his mental and physical abuse during their marriage. This controversy also extended to comments made by Connery within interviews where he alluded to being in support of hitting women, something that he later retracted. The responses on King’s post consequently include those complaining about the attention to this side of the actor’s past, and those highlighting it.
Outside of these debates, it’s clear that Connery made a significant contribution to movie history as the first James Bond, and is still the definitive version of the character for many fans. In addition, he provided strong supporting turns to genre classics throughout his career, including roles in The Untouchables, Highlander, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Hunt for Red October and many more. While his last on-screen appearance, in 2003’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, was not a success, he did lend his voice to parts in the 2010s.
In more recent years, Connery could have made a cameo as a gamekeeper in the Daniel Craig-starring Skyfall, a move that was ultimately passed over for the risk of distracting audiences at a crucial point in the film. Reactions like King’s, then, which both recognize Sir Sean Connery‘s many achievements, and allude to his more unpleasant views, are probably the best approach to take as we look back over his life.