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Nov 1, 2020
Sean Connery RIP
Men Wanted To Be Him / Women Wanted To Be With Him !!
For all you BobLee Buddies: If I asked you … What person – living or dead – would you like to “be” (“have been”) ? Your answers would be all over the place … athletes – entertainers – billionaires – astronauts – authors – religious leaders – politicians (??? Oops, YUCK. Lets forget that one) – rock stars – et al.
But if I gave you a list of ten names to stir your thoughts … and Sean Connery was on that list. Oh Yeah! No More Calls … We Have Our Winner!
Similarly for all you BobLee Babes: What famous person would you like to “be with”? … and Sean Connery was given as a possibility …. Yep!
Sean Connery died this past week at 90 … at his longtime home in Nassau The Bahamas.
His Wikipedia page goes into his early years as a milkman … a Scottish rugby player … a competitive bodybuilder … and a fledging actor on the British stage and films in the late 50s. Not unlike the early years of many to-become-very-famous actors such as Kevin Costner and Harrison Ford.
It was 1962 that he was picked by film producer “Cubby” Broccoli’s wife as “he’s the one” for the film Dr. No … over the initial objections of author Ian Fleming. Sean Connery was “too rugged” for Fleming’s vision of his British spy – James Bond – Fleming was overruled. During the filming of Dr. No Fleming’s image of his creation changed to fit the man in the role. In other words
… Was Sean Connery “James Bond” or was “James Bond” Sean Connery ?
Clark Gable WAS “Rhett Butler”. Clint Eastwood WAS “Dirty Harry”. It is impossible to imagine anyone else in those roles. You might think of other actors / character matches. Certainly 5-6 others have played James Bond over the 50+ years and each one has his fans … but Sean Connery WAS/IS “James Bond” assuming the history revisionists don’t get froggy. There might never have been an enduring 20+ “Bond movies” in the franchise without an unknown Scottish actor named Sean Connery back in 1962.
P.Coleman Buck – longtime “of counsel” for BobLeeSays LLC – emailed me this AM to see if I remembered he and I seeing Dr.No at Kinston’s Park Theater on a summer afternoon. Of course I do. It was a Rite of Passage of sorts.
Sitting several rows behind us in the almost vacant theater (it was a weekday) were four members of the local minor league baseball team – The Kinston Eagles. Tony Bartirome was one of the four. (NOTE: Harper Cooper … might you have been one of’em?). In “that scene” when Ursula Andress emerges from the Caribbean surf one of the ballplayers emitted “the F word”. If it wasn’t the first time I heard it, it was the first time I recall hearing it. Ergo – “a rite of passage”.
It is easy to say NOW that it was obvious that a “Star” and “a Character”were born with Dr. No. Back in 1962 it was simply a good action movie with a cool guy as the hero … a pretty damsel in distress … and a dastardly villain. All the catch phrases – “Bond, James Bond” – “… shaken not stirred” – … and supporting cast – Moneypenny – M – Q – “Bond girls” – et al were not yet part of cinema history.
Blondie’s mother would not allow her or her brothers to go see “James Bond movies” as they were deemed “too racy”. Blondie would be in college before she saw her first one … on TV in the mid 70s.
I’ve seen them all – hasn’t everyone? Goldfinger is still my personal favorite. Diamonds Are Forever is #2. Honor Blackman (who also passed away this year -Coincidence ??) is my favorite “Bond girl”. I have no clue what Quantum of Solace meant or was about ??? My 2nd favorite “Bond” is a tie between Daniel Craig – Pierce Brosnan and Timothy Dalton. I was never a Roger Moore fan … and George Lazenby is a trivia question.
Going thru Sean Connery’s filmography, I think I’ve seen most if not all of them. My personal “Not-Bonds” are The Man Who Would Be King – The Rock – and Entrapment.
The afore-mentioned Kevin Costner and Harrison Ford along with Redford, Stallone, Pacino, DiNiro and beefcakes “Arnold” and “The Rock” all qualify as World Famous Movie Stars, but – for my generation of “Boomers” – any short-list of World Famous Movie Stars without Sean Connery is as bogus as a CNN Election Poll.
Connery was married several times but for over the past 25 years to his widow. He was knighted – “Sir” Sean Connery – and received every “movie star” award including an Academy Award for The Untouchables. All of the personal endearing qualities we love in “James Bond” were – IMO – put there thru Sean Connery.
He only did six Bonds… growing tired of the role and fearing type-casting. He accepted the worldwide celebrity that came with his career but never “sought it”. He was able to escape into a bit of tropical island reclusiveness in his final 15+ years. Not a bad way to end an incredible life.
I am blessed with my Life as “an Internet Legend” with all you folks … and “in real life” with Blondie – Kid & Pastor Danny – and Scout, Ruthie and Baby Danny. BUT …
Being Sean Connery would be a pretty cool 2nd Choice!
UPDATE: My Most Unusual Dear Friend – ALBERT LONG – entered Heaven’s Pearly Gates at 9:41 Wednesday AM. As predicted … Danny Lotz, Clyde King and Billy Graham were indeed on-hand to welcome Albert to his Eternal Reward.
Albert Long and Sean Connery leaving us in the same week at roughly the same age – 89 and 90. What were those odds?
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