‘One of the True Greats of Cinema’ - Daniel Craig leads tributes Sean Connery
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‘One of the True Greats of Cinema’ - Daniel Craig leads tributes Sean Connery

JAMES BOND actor Daniel Craig has paid tribute to Sean Connery as “one of the true greats of cinema” following the Scottish actor’s death at the age of 90.

Connery enjoyed an unrivalled career on the big screen, starring in films like The Rock, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and The Hunt For Red October among countless more.

Though he won an Oscar for his scene-stealing turn in Brian De Palma’s The Untouchables, Connery was undoubtedly best known for his stint as 007.

Connery starred in no fewer than seven James Bond films, becoming the archetype against which all subsequent actors taking on the role were measured – including Craig, himself.

“It is with such sadness that I heard of the passing of one of the true greats of cinema," Craig said in a statement.

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“Sir Sean Connery will be remembered as Bond and so much more. He defined an era and a style. The wit and charm he portrayed on screen could be measured in mega watts; he helped create the modern blockbuster.

"He will continue to influence actors and film-makers alike for years to come. My thoughts are with his family and loved ones. Wherever he is, I hope there is a golf course.”

In a separate statement, James Bond producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli paid their own respects describing Connery as an actor who will “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.’”

Social media was awash with tributes from other actors and noted celebrities.

Hugh Jackman wrote: “I grew up idolizing #SeanConnery. A legend on screen, and off. Rest In Peace.”

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Fellow Scot Robert Carlyle tweeted: “RIP Sir Sean Connery.. a trailblazer, a true legend and a gentleman.”

Star Trek icon George Takei was similarly effusive in his praise of the 90-year-old star.

“Sean Connery was a movie legend, even far into his golden years. Our strongest Bonds were formed by him, and he was Untouchable. He passed today at age 90, a suave hero to the end.”

Connery’s castmate on The Hunt For Red October, Sam Neill recalled his work with the Scot on the John McTiernan military thriller.

“Every day on set with #SeanConnery was an object lesson in how to act on screen. But all that charisma and power- that was utterly unique to Sean . RIP that great man , that great actor.”

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Former England international and Match of the Day host Gary Lineker also paid his respects on social media.

“Shaken and, on this occasion, stirred to hear that Sir Sean Connery has passed away. Had the pleasure of playing golf with him on a couple of occasions. A real character and for me, the best Bond. James Bond should be immortal. RIP.”

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, meanwhile, said she was “heartbroken” to learn of Connery’s death.

“Our nation today mourns one of her best loved sons,” she said.

“Sean was born into a working class Edinburgh family and through talent & sheer hard work, became an international film icon and one of the world's most accomplished actors."

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“Sean will be remembered best as James Bond - the classic 007 - but his roles were many & varied. He was a global legend but, first and foremost, a patriotic and proud Scot - his towering presence at the opening of @ScotParl in 1999 showed his love for the country of his birth."

“Sean was a lifelong advocate of an independent Scotland and those of us who share that belief owe him a great debt of gratitude."

“It was a privilege to have known Sean. When I last spoke to him it was clear even then that his health was failing - but the voice, the spirit and the passion that we all loved so well were still there. I will miss him. Scotland will miss him. The world will miss him.

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“My thoughts and condolences are with Micheline, their children and all the family. RIP Sir Sean Connery.”