Happy Birthday Sean Connery – a great Scot turns 80

The veteran movie icon and one-time James Bond hits octogenarian status today (25Aug10) and WENN is thrilled to pay tribute to Hollywood’s great Scot.

From his humble beginnings in working class Edinburgh, Scotland, Connery has become one of his nation’s favourite sons.

In over 70 films, Sir Sean has been in more box office blockbusters than most – as well as his seven turns as 007, he has played Indiana Jones’ father and enjoyed hits with modern classics like Highlander, The Untouchables, The Man Who Would Be King, The Name of the Rose and The Hunt for Red October.

He has played kings, super spies, doctors, academics, military men and even Robin Hood and is considered by many the epitome of a movie star.

At 80, Connery’s still a real man – the type women swoon over and men admire.

Happy Birthday Sir Sean.

Here’s 10 things you may not have known about the great man:

– Born Thomas Sean Connery, his first job was as a milkman in Edinburgh with St. Cuthbert’s Co-operative Society. His other pre-fame jobs included an artist’s model for the Edinburgh College of Art and a coffin polisher.

– During his time as a milkman, Connery delivered to Fettes School in Edinburgh – the same school which James Bond attended in Ian Fleming’s novels following the character’s expulsion from Eton.

– He has two tattoos – one reads ‘Mum and Dad’ and another ‘Scotland Forever’.

– Soccer boss Matt Busby offered Connery a contract worth £25-a-week when he was managing Manchester United. Connery turned the deal down to focus on acting.

– He was reportedly offered the role of Gandalf in the The Lord of the Rings series, and declined it because he didn’t understand the script. CNN reported the actor was offered up to 15 per cent of the worldwide box office receipts to play the character, which, had he accepted, could have earned him as much as $400 million (£267 million) for the trilogy.

– Connery is a member of the Scottish National Party and, in March 2003, the proud Scot declared he would not return home until his home nation was given independence from England. He believes this can still happen during his lifetime.

– He placed third in the Junior class of the 1953 Mr Universe competition.

– He donated his salary from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves to charity.

– He received the Freedom of the City of Edinburgh in 1991.

– Connery has played four kings on film: King Daniel Dravot in The Man Who Would Be King (1975), King Agamemnon in Time Bandits (1981), King Richard in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991) and King Arthur in First Knight (1995).