Sean Connery will forever be cinema's original James Bond. The actor – who died at the age of 90 – was the benchmark for all 007 actors to beat, with Pierce Brosnan, Roger Moore, and Timothy Dalton all being held against Connery's performance.
Throughout his life, Connery spoke to varying degrees about the Bonds that proceeded him. Perhaps his best-known comments concern Daniel Craig, who currently serves as the famous MI5 spy.
Connery was, it turned out, a big fan of Craig, calling the once-controversial choice for Bond (there was outrage that he had blonde hair) a “terrific choice” for the role.
"I think they're going back to a more realistic type of Bond movie as I don't think they could have gone much further with the special effects," he told MailOnline (opens in new tab) back in 2005. Asked whether he would ever not be associated with the role, Connery added: "It's not something that's ever likely to happen. It's with me until I go to the box."
Following the news of Connery's death, Craig paid tribute to the actor. “Sir Sean Connery will be remembered as Bond and so much more,” he said. “He defined an era and a style. The wit and charm he portrayed on screen could be measured in megawatts; 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.”
Connery first played James Bond in 1962's Dr. No, portraying the character again in 1963's From Russia with Love, and 1964's Goldfinger. After stepping down as Bond after 1971's Diamonds Are Forever, he would once again return to the role in the unofficial Bond movie Never Say Never Again – a titled that nodded to his initial reluctance to return as Bond.
After his final on-screen role in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Connery retired, though did make fleeting voice appearances, including returning as Bond in the video game From Russia with Love.