Tributes have poured in for legendary James Bond actor Sir Sean Connery, following his death at the age of 90.
The Hollywood star, who appeared in seven 007 films, enjoyed a long career on the silver screen.
Homage has been paid from all walks of life to the Scot, who was considered one of the best in his business and a true icon.
Bond producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli said in a statement: “We are devastated by the news of the passing of Sir Sean Connery.
“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’ – he revolutionised the world with his gritty and witty portrayal of the sexy and charismatic secret agent.
‘He is undoubtedly largely responsible for the success of the film series and we shall be forever grateful to him.’Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, Bond producers
“He is undoubtedly largely responsible for the success of the film series and we shall be forever grateful to him.”
Sir Sean, born in Fountainbridge, Edinburgh, appeared in seven Bond films, including Goldfinger, Diamonds are Forever and Never Say Never Again.
His other films included Highlander, The Rock, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and The Hunt for Red October.
Sir Sean’s wife Micheline and sons Jason and Stephane confirmed he died peacefully in his sleep overnight at his home in the Bahamas.
Jason said his father “had many of his family who could be in the Bahamas around him” when he died.
He said: “We are all working at understanding this huge event as it only happened so recently, even though my dad has been unwell for some time.
“A sad day for all who knew and loved my dad and a sad loss for all people around the world who enjoyed the wonderful gift he had as an actor.”
Current Bond actor Daniel Craig said Sir Sean ‘defined an era and a style’ in a statement.
He said: “It is with such sadness that I heard of the passing of one of the true greats of cinema.
“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 filmmakers alike for years to come.
“My thoughts are with his family and loved ones. Wherever he is, I hope there is a golf course.”
Tributes were also paid to the Scottish independence supporter by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
She said: “I was heartbroken to learn this morning of the passing of Sir Sean Connery. Our nation today mourns one of her best loved sons.
“Sean was born into a working-class Edinburgh family and through talent and sheer hard work, became an international film icon and one of the world’s most accomplished actors.
“Sean will be remembered best as James Bond – the classic 007 – but his roles were many and varied. He was a global legend but, first and foremost, a patriotic and proud Scot – his towering presence at the opening of the Scottish Parliament and in 1999 showed his love for the country of his birth.”
She added: “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.”
Edinburgh’s Lord Provost Frank Ross said the city “has lost one of its most world-renowned sons.”
He said the local lad, who started out as a milkman’s apprentice, forged “a stellar acting career”.
The Lord Provost added: “An international audience favourite, he shot to global fame as the original – and arguably the best – James Bond, the role for which he will most be remembered.
“Sir Sean won a huge local fan base for putting Edinburgh firmly on the map and in 1991 he was awarded Freedom of the City, the most prestigious honour bestowed by the council.
“The day he accepted the award from Lord Provost at the Usher Hall was a huge occasion in the capital, with thousands lining the streets to catch a glimpse of him.
“On behalf of the city, I want to convey heartfelt sympathies and condolences to Sir Sean’s family and friends.”
Words were also shared by those he inspired, such as actor Hugh Jackman, who said: “I grew up idolising Sean Connery. A legend on screen, and off. Rest In Peace.”
Game Of Thrones star Liam Cunningham shared a photo of himself and Sir Sean, adding: “This man was really good to me. They say don’t meet your heroes. He exceeded all expectations. RIP Sean.”
Throughout his career, Sir Sean won a number of awards, including an Oscar for his role in The Untouchables.
He was knighted by the Queen at Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh in 2000.
Star Trek actor George Takei said describe him as “a movie legend, even far into his golden years.”
He added: “Our strongest Bonds were formed by him, and he was untouchable. He passed today at age 90, a suave hero to the end.”
Dame Shirley Bassey, who sung the themes to three Bond films including Goldfinger, said Sir Sean was “a wonderful person”.
She tweeted: “I’m incredibly saddened to hear of Sean’s passing. My thoughts are with his family. He was a wonderful person, a true gentleman and we will be forever connected by Bond.
“When we were younger I used to cheer Sean on from the sidelines whilst he played football in his team, The Showbiz 11! Well, I will always be there to cheer you on Sean! Forever in our hearts and may you rest in peace.”
Arnold Schwarzenegger added: “Sean Connery was a legend, one of the greatest actors of all time.
“He provided endless entertainment for all of us & inspiration for me.
“I’m not just saying that because he was a bodybuilder who placed in the Mr. Universe contest! He was an icon. My thoughts are with his family.”
Pinewood Studios, home of the Bond film franchise, said in a statement: “We are extremely saddened to hear of the passing of the legendary Sir Sean Connery.
“Memories of this outstanding actor and his unforgettable embodiment of superspy James Bond will forever be cherished at Pinewood.”
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