Sean Connery

Born Aug. 25, 1930, in Edinburgh, Scotland, Thomas "Sean" Connery joined the British Navy at 15 and later worked as a bricklayer, a lifeguard and a truck driver (like his father). He took up bodybuilding (Mr. Universe finalist, 1953) and repertory theatre, and made an inauspicious film debut in No Road Back (1956).

It was Connery's propitious casting as secret agent James Bond in 1962's Dr. No that launched him into worldwide stardom. After playing 007 six times, Connery quit the series, but revived the role once more in Never Say Never Again (1983).

Eager to prove his non-007 acting chops, Connery gave an Oscar-winning performance as an Irish cop in 1987's The Untouchables. In 1999, he received both Knighthood and Kennedy Center Honors, and the American Film Institute bestowed upon him the Life Achievement Award in 2006. His non-Bond films include The Longest Day, Highlander and The Rock.