The character of James Bond stuck to his body like a second skin, but Connery, Sean Connery, who died this Saturday at the age of 90, knew how to transcend the secret agent to become one of the most famous actors of the end of the 20th century.
The man who wore perhaps the most formidable eyebrows in the history of cinema died during the night surrounded by his family in his home in Nassau (Bahamas) after "having been ill for a while", his only son, Jason Connery, told the BBC.
The family will organize a private ceremony to say goodbye to him and a tribute in his memory "when the coronavirus is over".
The actor, who retired from public life in 2011 to spend his final years with his wife, Frenchwoman Michele Roquebrune, in the Bahamas, had not been heard from in a long time.
But if he had one virtue, it was precisely that of making his career last through generations.
It's no wonder, then, that his magnetism and seduction attracted all kinds of audiences of all ages, whether as the hypersensual James Bond of his early days or the grumpy father of Harrison Ford in "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" (1989).
His was not a career punctuated by awards or extolled by cult directors. Although he shot with John Huston, Brian de Palma, Sidney Lumet or Alfred Hitchcock (in "Marnie the Thief") he enjoyed more public applause than critical acclaim, in a filmography full of films whose mere presence was already making box office hits.
There have been bigger ones, but few with that capacity to appear in such a quantity of unforgettable films for the spectator. Many of them are bigger adventures than the cinema.
Connery's tough character was forged in the streets of his native Edinburgh, where he worked delivering milk and where he stood out as a footballer, helped by an impressive physical plant (he was 6'2").
Always faithful to his native Scotland, his humble origins gave him a strong character, with a great sense of class, and led him to adopt controversial positions in public.
As a child he was employed in all kinds of food jobs to earn a living, until he got the chance to make his debut in the cinema in the late 1950s with usually secondary roles.
But Dr. No knocked on his door in 1962, and nothing would ever be the same again. With his first appearance as the charismatic 007 agent in Ian Fleming's novels he rose to a stardom that five other films in the series only consolidated.
He was already a face adored by the masses, but as it usually happens he got fed up with the character. The 70's brought movies like "The man who would be king" (1975), with his friend Michael Caine, or "Robin and Marian" (1976), which cemented his image as a seductive adventurer.
The recognition with an Academy Award came from a tough cop who was hunting Elliot Ness in "The Untouchables", for which he was recognized as best supporting actor in 1987.
The final stretch of his career, now in his 60s, brought him a new generation of followers, excited by this bald man with no complexes (it took him a while to accept it) who continued to dominate the screen with his presence in action and adventure films.
"The wit and charm he displayed on screen could be measured in megawatts: he helped create the modern blockbuster," said his heir as 007, Daniel Craig, as he said goodbye.
If the cinematic Connery was always safe, even after its last box-office disasters that led it to retire in 2003, the public figure was shrouded in controversy after declaring on more than one occasion that he saw it as lawful to beat women "if all other alternatives fail.
His appearances usually showed a taciturn man, prone to imprecations, and in no small way, contradictory.
A passionate supporter of the Scottish independence cause and founder of an NGO in his homeland to help underprivileged children, Connery had already been established for many years in the Bahamas' tax haven, where he enjoyed playing golf.
When the occasion required it, as when Queen Elizabeth II of England knighted him, he did not hesitate to show off his Scottish status, wearing a traditional kilt.
"He was a global legend, but, above all, a proud and patriotic Scot. His imposing presence at the opening of the Scottish Parliament in 1999 showed his love for his country of birth. Sean was a lifelong advocate of an independent Scotland and those of us who share that belief owe him a debt of gratitude.
That's how Scotland's chief minister, nationalist Nicola Sturgeon, said goodbye to him on Twitter, calling him "one of Scotland's most beloved children.