Sean Connery

Acting, stardom and national identity

By Andrew Spicer

Sean Connery


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-1911-7
  • Pages: 352
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £20.00
  • Published Date: June 2022
  • BIC Category: PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / History & Criticism, BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Entertainment & Performing Arts, The arts / Film: styles & genres, The arts / Films, cinema, Individual Actors & Performers, Media Studies, Film Studies, Individual actors & performers, PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / Direction & Production


Sean Connery was one of cinema's most iconic stars. Born to a working-class family in Edinburgh, he held jobs as a milkman and an artist's model before making the move into acting. The role of James Bond earned him global fame, but threatened to eclipse his identity as an actor.

This book offers a new perspective on Connery's career. It pays special attention to his star status, while arguing that he was a risk-taking actor who fashioned an impressive body of work. Beginning with Connery's early appearances on stage and television, including well-received performances in Shakespeare and Tolstoy, the book goes on to explore the Bond phenomenon and Connery's long struggle to reinvent himself. An Oscar-winning performance in The Untouchables marked the beginning of a second period of stardom, during which Connery successfully developed the character of the father-mentor. Ten years after his retirement from acting, he was still rated as the most popular British star among American audiences.

Exploring how Connery's performances combine to form an all-encompassing screen legend, the book also considers how the actor embodied national identity, both on screen and through his public role as an activist campaigning for Scottish independence.


1 Forging an actor, 1953-61
2 Being Bond, 1962-72
3 In Bondage, 1964-73
4 Freelance star, 1974-83
5 Ageing star, 1984-90
6 Star as producer: Fountainbridge Films, 1991-2003
7 Iconic star
8 Scots actor/activist/icon


Andrew Spicer is Professor of Cultural Production at the University of the West of England Bristol

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