Sadly, we said goodbye to Sean Connery in 2020, but his enduring legacy of great film work will always be with us, permitting us to get familiar with him whenever we wish. As a tribute to the man who became a legend, we take a retrospective look at some of his best roles.


The Young Sean

Arriving in the Great Depression, Thomas Sean Connery was born in Fountainbridge Edinburgh on 25th August 1930 and, as a boy, saw his country enter the 2nd World War. He joined the Royal Navy in 1946, and was stationed at Portsmouth where he trained at the naval gunnery school and in an anti-aircraft crew. By 18, and having reached 188cm, he already had an impressive physique honed through bodybuilding and he entered the Mr. Universe contest in 1950. His footballing skills also led to him being offered a contract by Matt Busby, manager of Manchester United, which he was tempted to accept. He is on record as saying, “I realised that a top-class footballer could be over the hill at 30 and I was already 23. I decided to become an actor and it turned out to be one of my more intelligent moves.”

Acting Up

The 1950s saw Connery becoming involved with the theatre, initially helping out backstage, before landing a part in South Pacific. Other roles followed and he became friends with Michael Caine, and began mixing with some of the periods A-listers: Shelley Winters, Lana Turner, Ian Bannen, Stanley Baker, Patrick McGoohan, Claire Bloom.

Success at Savor

Pablo is now a founding partner and the Executive Chef of Savor – a chic restaurant in the heart of San Pedro de Alcántara. Here, Pablo and his partners sought to bring sophistication to a town known for its passion for tradition.

The restaurant has an à-la-carte menu for those after a quick bite. Here, you will find tapas and media raciones of some of Savor’s most popular selections. These include the delicious patatas bravas (fried in tempura and served with ali-oli and sriracha foam). Also creamy croquetas filled with bellota ham and tomato mayonnaise.

For an extended encounter, we try one of the three tasting menus on offer. These vary slightly in price and the number of dishes offered. “The tasting experience begins with a sampling of different varieties of extra-virgin oil served with fresh bread. Made with ecological flour that has been pre-fermented for 20 hours, it bakes beautifully. This lends it a crisp exterior and a soft interior,” states the Chef. Delights that follow include award-winning tuna, cold soups and taste of the sea and/or taste of the land. All of which are as surprising in presentation as they are in taste.

A New Take

If you love new takes on classics, then Savor is an experience to be embraced. This year, the idea of ‘beach picnics’ was the inspiration for Pablo. If you have been in Málaga for any length of time, then you know that families often pack tortilla, gazpacho and breaded chicken for lunch on the beach. Pablo gives these treats a twist by serving his version of them on a transparent dish perched atop sand sourced from Tarifa.

“I like to surprise diners and I sometimes achieve this by using ingredients that form the basis of revered recipes in countries in Latin America. Fresh papaya, tubers like yams and yucas as well as other regional staples. The concept of world cuisine is infinite and I enjoy creating completely new dishes that are still reminiscent of well-loved recipes.”

James Bond – a License to Thrill

His big breakthrough came of course in the role of 007 which, despite his initial reluctance to sign up for a series, really defined him as the archetypal secret agent of the 60s. Debonair, suave and accomplished with enduring charm and slick dialogue, he was nevertheless rugged and more than capable of fighting his way out of a tight corner against even the toughest of villains.

The resulting Bond adventures, Dr. No, From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, Thunderball and You Only Live Twice became instant box-office smashes, starting a trend that would continue all the way down the line with their future successors. With his dashing good looks and dulcet Scottish tones, women loved him and Bond author Ian Flemming, despite initial scepticism, took to him and even wrote Connery’s heritage into the character, placing his father from Glencoe in the Scottish Highlands in the last of the above.

The demand for his portrayal of 007 was such that Connery reprised the role twice, in Diamonds are Forever in 1971 and Never Say Never Again in 1983. For many, he was the quintessential Bond who has never been eclipsed and although somewhat dated today, all seven of his films are eminently watchable at regular intervals. He really stamped his personality onto the character with regular viewer polls placing Connery’s contributions among the best of all time, with Goldfinger usually in poll position.
The latter outing (1964) saw him really coming of age, featuring a series of gadgets that would become a trademark of the series and the famous “Martini. Shaken, not stirred” line.

Other Roles of Sean Connery

His notoriety as Bond was such that achieving recognition for anything else must have been especially challenging, but that he did, having become tired of playing the British secret agent. He appeared in Hitchcock’s Marnie and Lumet’s The Hill in between his Bond escapades. Then, in 1975, he co-starred with Micheal Caine in Huston’s unmissable, The Man Who would Be King, which both actors regarded as their favourite film. Following from this, he was in The Wind and the Lion opposite Candice Bergen and Robin and Marian with Audrey Hepburn. He also shared sets with John Gielgud and Vanessa Redgrave in Murder on the Orient Express and Dick Bogarde and John Gielgud in A Bridge Too Far.

Success cemented, his acting prowess was rewarded with a BAFTA award for Best Actor in The Name of the Rose. He went on to shine in Highlander and The Untouchables, for which he won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. There followed many gems, including Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (Golden Globe and BAFTA for Best Supporting Actor), The Hunt for Red October, The Russia House, The Rock and Entrapment, so that Sean Connery became a household name and universally recognised face. He continued in many more starring roles, among them The Avengers, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Finding Forrester, before retiring in 2006.

Knighted by Queen Elisabeth in 2000, and with a string of awards and recognitions, he has also been voted the ‘Greatest Living Scot’ and the ’Sexiest Man Alive’. In Scotland he is a legend and although he will be greatly missed, such is his legacy of filmwork that we can enjoy his presence forever and a day. I intend to do just that, by rewatching some of his best performances soon.