MI6 looks back to 1964 and the effect Sean Connery had on the movie business in Hollywood as Agent 007…

Time Tunnel: Connery Offbeat In Hollywood
20th April 2007

The year is 1964 and Sean Connery is sitting conformably on the pedestal that two successful Bond outings have placed under him. But with stardom comes expectation and ego. The third Bond outing, “Goldfinger” is about to start pre-production, but Sean Connery is reaching out to other areas of the film industry – including to the widely respected film legend: Alfred Hitchcock.

“He is a polite, amiable, tall, dark, and loose-hung Scot named Sean Connery,” Time Magazine reported. “In Hollywood, Connery is considered offbeat two or three times over.”

At this time Connery was in contention for a role in Hitchcock’s latest production “Marnie”, but egos clashed when Sir Sean requested the script before signing his contract: "Even Cary Grant doesn't ask to read a Hitchcock script," said Hitchcock's agent in London. "Well, I'm not Cary Grant," said Connery.

But with the ego and success comes other aspects to this fast rising star: “He picks up checks (something most actors consider against union rules), he has no personal press agent, and out of sheer disinterest, he turns down invitations that others might pay for: he was asked to help set the cornerstone of MCA's new skyscraper, but he shot a round of golf instead.”

Left: Sean Connery in his first of six official outings as 007, "Dr. No"

Like Bond, Connery begins to take interest in the pleasures and vices his world-famous character adopts: drinking, smoking, golf and womanising.

“Connery is now making more than $200,000 a go, and he has a contractual guarantee of one freelance role for every appearance as Bond,” Time tells the audience of 1964, “He will soon be doing Fleming's Goldfinger, and after that he will go to Ireland to be Sean O'Casey in a film biography planned by Director John Ford.”

But although Connery embraced the Hollywood attitude, he was reluctant to settle down in star-ville: "The canny Scot thinks of it as a nice place to visit. 'It's a very seductive atmosphere,' he says in his soft-skirring burr."

Even today Sean Connery is known for his Bond-like charisma, his temperamental attitudes and his off-beat reaction to stardom.

At age 77 Sir Sean's ways are still in fashion and the man is referred to as a legend of film and television. Seven outings as super-spy James Bond has much to answer for.

Right: Sean Connery as James Bond in From Russia With Love - a scene echoed in the 2006 movie Casino Royale.

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