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Connery was the first 'official' actor to play Bond in films. Most consider him the best Bond ever. When Connery was chosen for the role for James Bond a lot of people did not believe that he could be James Bond (including Ian Fleming!) but with the tutelage of director Terence Young, Connery made a credible "gentleman spy" (as the movie posters described him). The original choice for Bond was Ian Fleming's cousin, Christopher Lee who played Scaramanga in The Man With the Golden Gun. Other actors, including David Niven, Patrick Magoohan, James Mason and Stewart Granger, were also considered for the role.
Connery was born in Edinburgh, Scotland on August 25, 1930. His father was a milkman and they lived in a very poor area. He was a bodybuilder and was chosen to play Bond in 1962's Dr. No after Cary Grant was approached, and would only commit to one film--not a series. The film was a success and led to 4 more Bond films during the next 5 years. Tired of being identified only as 007 (and angry that some stars of Bond imitations were making more money than he was!), Connery quit after You Only Live Twice, though he was lured back for one more film, Diamonds Are Forever, for a record sum of money (which he then donated to a Scottish charity). However, he returned 12 years later as both producer and star in the Thunderball remake Never Say Never Again. Connery was also in 2005's video game From Russia With Love as the voice and appearance of James Bond.
Life After Bond:
This was his public statement turning down returning in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of The Crystal Skull: