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Sean Connery's Birthday
“I am not an Englishman, I was never an Englishman, and I don't ever want to be one. I am a Scotsman! I was a Scotsman and I will always be one.”
~ Sean Connery (1930-2020)
Thomas Sean Connery was born at the Royal Maternity Hospital in Edinburgh, Scotland, on 25 August 1930; he was named after his paternal grandfather. Two of his paternal great-grandparents emigrated to Scotland from Wexford, Ireland in the mid-19th century, with his great-grandfather James Connery being an Irish Traveller. The remainder of his family was of Scottish descent, and his maternal great-grandparents were native Scottish Gaelic speakers from Fife and Uig on Skye. The first actor to portray fictional British secret agent 007, James Bond, Sean Connery's movie career spanned seven decades and included recognition in the form of an Academy Award, two BAFTA Awards (including the BAFTA Fellowship), and three Golden Globes! Connery, who usually wore the green and black hunting tartan kilt of his mother's MacLean Clan, now has his own tribute tartan, designed by family members with colours representing his favourite places - Scotland, the Mediterranean, and the Bahamas. 🏴 📽️ 🎞️
Sean Connery (25 August 1930 – 31 October 2020) began his distinguished career as an actor by chance.
Seeking to supplement his income in the early 1950s after a stint in the Royal Navy, during a bodybuilding competition held in London in 1953, one of the other competitors mentioned that auditions were being held for a production of South Pacific. Interested, Connery landed a small part as one of the Seabees chorus boys. By the time the production reached Edinburgh, he had been given the part of Marine Cpl. Hamilton Steeves and was understudying two of the juvenile leads.
From his official website at seanconnery.com:
"His humble beginnings, growing up in a working class neighborhood in Edinburgh, gave no indication of the achievements that were destined to come. Sean was born into a working class family in August of 1930. The oldest of two boys, he spent much of his youth working at menial jobs, just to get by. He left school at an early age and went to work fulltime.
At sixteen, he enlisted in the Royal Navy. Like many young men in the Navy, he opted for a tattoo. However, unlike many tattoos, his were not frivolous – his tattoos reflect two of his lifelong commitments: his family and Scotland. After six decades, his tattoos still reflect those two ideas: One tattoo is a tribute to his parents and reads “Mum and Dad,” and the other is self explanatory, “Scotland Forever.”
After three years of Naval service, a long bout with a stomach ulcer shortened his “naval career”. He returned to Edinburgh and seemed to settle into a life of hard work: bricklayer, lifeguard, and coffin polisher. Sean spent much of his free time bodybuilding, a pastime that eventually started his acting career. His hobby of bodybuilding culminated in a bid for the 1950 Mr. Universe title where he placed third."
For more on his long and varied career as an actor, click the colour portrait by Kostas.