Sir Sean Connery has died at the age of 90, his family has said.
The Scottish actor was best known for his portrayal of James Bond, being the first to bring the role to the big screen and appearing in seven of the spy thrillers.
Sir Sean died peacefully in his sleep, while in the Bahamas, having been “unwell for some time”, his son said.
His acting career spanned five decades and he won an Oscar in 1988 for his role in The Untouchables.
Sir Sean’s other films included The Hunt for Red October, Highlander, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and The Rock.
Jason Connery said his father “had many of his family who could be in the Bahamas around him” when he died overnight in Nassau.
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.”
Sir Sean, from Fountainbridge in Edinburgh, first played James Bond in Dr No in 1962 and went on to appear in five other official films – and the unofficial Never Say Never Again in 1983.
He was largely regarded as being the best actor to have played 007 in the long-running franchise, often being named as such in polls.
Connery made the character his own, blending ruthlessness with sardonic wit. Many critics didn’t like it and some of the reviews were scathing. But the public did not agree.
The action scenes, sex and exotic locations were a winning formula.
In truth, his Bond is now a museum piece; the portrayal of women impossibly dated. The action scenes are still thrilling, but the sex too often bordered on the non-consensual.
Thankfully, its been a while since 007 slapped a woman on the backside and forced a kiss. But Connery’s performance was of its time, enjoyed by millions of both sexes and gave the silver screen a 20th Century icon.
He was knighted by the Queen at Holyrood Palace in 2000. In August, he celebrated his 90th birthday.
Bond producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli said they were “devastated by the news” of his death.
They said: “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.” (BBC)