He hasn’t starred in a film on the big screen in over a decade, but Sean Connery hasn’t been forgotten. He still receives fan mail and is regularly voted the world’s favorite James Bond actor. Paparazzi also still show up in the Bahamas seeking candid photos of him. “When they stop doing that, I will know that I’ve been put out to grass and everyone will be looking at the obituaries,” Sean jokes.
As the beloved Scottish actor celebrated turning 90 in late August with his family, he couldn’t help but look back on his life with pride. “I’ve had a great career and I suppose I am in retirement,” he says. Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000, Sean spends most of the year at his home in Lyford Cay, a private gated community in the Bahamas.
“He plays golf every day with a coterie of loyal friends,” an insider exclusively tells Closer magazine, on newsstands now. They note that, despite the years, Sean remains in good health. “His knees bother him. He attributes that to some of the stunts he did during his film career.”
Overall, this Edinburgh-born son of a truck driver has few complaints. He shares his life with his wife of 45 years, Micheline Roquebrune, 91, a painter whom he met on a golf course in Casablanca. “Sinking a good putt or actually winning a round of golf makes my day. That doesn’t happen as often as I’d like, especially if I am playing against Micheline, she’s too good,” says Sean, who picked up the sport during the filming of Dr. No. “I couldn’t play football as much as I used to, and golf is a game you can play until you’re 90,” he said with great foresight in 1965.
After so long together, his marriage to Micheline has reached a calm, comfortable place. “Sean’s clearly the domineering one, but less so as he’s aged,” confides the insider. “He had many affairs throughout their marriage, but he’s slowed down in that area!”
Sean stopped acting after clashing with the director of 2002’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and hasn’t looked back. “The experience had a great influence on me, it made me think about showbiz. I get fed up dealing with idiots,” he says. Even director Steven Spielberg, who wanted him to reprise the role of Henry Jones in the fourth Indiana Jones movie, couldn’t tempt him to return to a soundstage. “I had suggested they kill [Henry] in the movie,” Sean says.
The actor admits that Hollywood no longer holds any allure for him, although he’s proud of his body of work. He doesn’t even mind that his greatest legacy will always be James Bond. “The original films have reached icon status,” he says. “I feel very privileged to have been involved.”
He’s flattered that movie makers still think of him at all. “I still get offers … but I have no plans for a comeback,” he says. “I’m enjoying myself too much not having the sort of commitments I used to have.”
For this story and more, pick up the latest issue of Closer magazine, on newsstands now.
Reporting by Rick Egusquiza