And of course, the other name is Bond. Hearing about his death at ninety and reading about his career brings forth more memories that one thought were there. But a quick mind shuffle for images of other major actors conjures nothing like what Sean Connery has given us over the years. Sleek and urbane and one-of-a-kind in the Bond franchise, full of dry humor and grit in the Indiana Jones series, with the grizzly older years not dulling the intelligent, knowing expression, Sean Connery has shined perhaps more than any other in the firmament of top stars, those who have really made their mark.
For notable people in our life whom we know without knowing, as for people we have actually known and loved, it takes death to give us the full measure of what they’ve meant. And so with Sean Connery, who causes us to go over our catalog of first-rate actors whom we have admired and with whose work we have lived–for decades in his case–to compare and give grades to. And no, not Redford, not Pacino, not even the great stars of yesterday such as Gregory Peck or Olivier or Orson Welles. The Scottish superstar who’s just joined the film festival in the sky gets and deserves more awards than any of them—no question about it.