Define irony and you'll find today it is synonymous with tragedy. At the age of 90 years old, Sir Sean Connery has passed, confirmed to have gone in his sleep. In 1962, he became the first James Bond and helped mold the pop culture world that we now today celebrate with abandonment as we dress as our favorite characters. But he was so much more.
While he played the character five times straight from 1962's Dr. No to 1967's You Only Live Twice (Followed by a return to the role in 1971's Diamonds Are Forever and the non-Eon sequel, 1983's Never Say Never Again), that was only a role he continued to took to bolster his career and allow him a chance to explore roles of endless variety. His most noted roles included Marnie (1964), The Hill (1965) Murder on the Orient Express (1974), The Man Who Would Be King (1975), A Bridge Too Far (1977), Highlander (1986), The Name of the Rose (1986), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), The Hunt for Red October (1990), Dragonheart (1996), The Rock (1996), and Finding Forrester (2000). He would also co-star in 1987's The Untouchables as Jimmy Malone, a role which would garner him the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. He would then be knighted in 2000 with his last on-screen role being as 2003's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. After that film's stressful production he chose to retire in 2006 (Which he confirmed when he received the American Film Institute's Lifetime Achievement Award on June 8, 2006). He was even quoted as saying in 2007, when denying rumors that he would appear in the fourth Indiana Jones film, that "retirement is just too much damned fun".
And so it went that he lived the last decade or so in a peaceful ease that many could only hope to achieve. For as much as he accomplished, he never overstayed his welcome. He was too stylish for such things. James Bond producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli released a statement today on his passing that said it all:
"He revolutionized the world with his gritty and witty portrayal of the sexy and charismatic secret agent. He is undoubtedly largely responsible for the success of the film series and we shall be forever grateful to him."
Connery is survived by his wife, Moroccan-French painter Micheline Roquebrune (Who he married in 1975) and his son Jason Connery (Who he had with his first wife Diane Cilento). Rest in peace, sir. And may your martinis in heaven always be shaken, not stirred.