The late Sean Connery would have left behind an incredible legacy had he ended his career after playing James Bond. The first screen 007 remains the benchmark for anyone hoping to play the super sleuth, finding a perfect blend of roguish charm, a believably tough edge, and wry, smirking humour.
His run of movies include some of the franchise’s best, and whichever portrayal of Bond is your favourite, there’s no denying what Connery brought to the role.
Beyond his most iconic part, though, his filmography is incredibly impressive. Unwilling to be typecast, he branched out into high fantasy, period pieces, adventure romps, and knockabout comedy. A versatile performer who brought gravitas and enviable screen presence to every part, Connery chose his roles well, and ended up with few duds.
He lived to a ripe old age of 90 and left behind an incredible legacy. Of course James Bond will always be his defining character, as he would for any actor, but it’s important that Connery’s resume on the whole is celebrated, with the exception of The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
10. Agamemnon/Fireman - Time Bandits
Connery’s film career was certainly rich and varied, but he rarely got a chance to try his hand at comedy. Watching him in interviews makes it clear that he had a wry sense of humour, but he was more often cast as rugged manly types and elder statesmen at either end of his career.
In Terry Gilliam’s Time Bandits, Connery enjoys one of his most charming roles as King Agamemnon of ancient Greece. It’s a deft performance from Connery, who imbues the monarch with weight and pathos; the more serious he takes the part, the more laughs Gilliam is able to mine from his presence.
Time Bandits is full of this kind of stunt casting, also featuring John Cleese’s enjoyable take on Robin Hood, but Connery is the major get, and a real show stealer. He doesn’t feature heavily in the film but his presence is unusually warm, giving the knockabout adventure movie additional credentials for featuring such a big star.
It’s also simply one of his coolest non-Bond roles. Connery can’t help but walk with a swagger, and he’s especially thrusting here in his kingly garms, clearly having a super time.