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LONDON (AP) – Scottish actor Sean Connery, the first actor to play James Bond on film and for many fans the best, has died. He was 90.
Bond producers EON Productions confirmed his death, first reported by the BBC.
Producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli said they were “devastated by the news.” “He was and shall always be remembered as the original James Bond whose indelible entrance into cinema history began when he announced those unforgettable words – ‘The name’s Bond… James Bond,’” they said in a statement.
The producers said Connery’s “gritty and witty portrayal of the sexy and charismatic secret agent” was largely responsible for the success of the series.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she was “heartbroken” at the news. “Our nation today mourns one of her best loved sons,” she said.
In a varied career, Connery played James Bond seven times, starting with “Dr. No” in 1962. His portrayal defined the suave secret agent for a generation of fans.
He also had major roles in films including “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” “Highlander” and “The Hunt for Red October.” He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000 for services to film drama.