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Caine remembers 'wonderful friend' Connery

Michael Caine has paid tribute to Sean Connery following his death aged 90, calling him: "A great star, brilliant actor and a wonderful friend.

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Tributes have flooded in for the legendary Scottish star, who was the first actor to play 007 on the big screen in Dr No in 1962.

This was followed by From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice and Diamonds Are Forever.

In a nod to the 1975 film they starred in together, The Man Who Would Be King, veteran British actor Caine added in a tweet: "The Man Who Would Be King was THE KING."

The producers of James Bond joined the world of cinema in mourning the loss of the Bond star.

Barbara Broccoli - the daughter of original Bond producer Albert R "Cubby" Broccoli - and Michael G Wilson said: "He was and shall always be remembered as the original James Bond whose indelible entrance into cinema history began when he announced those unforgettable words - 'The name's Bond, James Bond' - he revolutionised the world with his gritty and witty portrayal of the sexy and charismatic secret agent.

"He is undoubtedly largely responsible for the success of the film series and we shall be forever grateful to him."

The film series' current Bond, Daniel Craig, hailed Connery as "one of the true greats of cinema", adding he hoped that "wherever he is there's a golf course".

Craig, who is due to appear as Bond for the final time in No Time To Die, said Connery "defined an era and a style" and the "wit and charm he portrayed on screen could be measured in megawatts".

Australian actor George Lazenby, who succeeded Connery as Bond, said "a great actor, a great man and under-appreciated artist has left us".

"Of course, Sean Connery as James Bond inspired me personally but seems to have encapsulated an age, the Sixties," he posted on Instagram.

Shirley Bassey, who sung the themes to three Bond films including Goldfinger said: "He was a wonderful person, a true gentleman and we will be forever connected by Bond.

"When we were younger I used to cheer Sean on from the sidelines whilst he played football in his team, The Showbiz 11! Well, I will always be there to cheer you on Sean! Forever in our hearts and may you rest in peace."

The family of Roger Moore, who died in 2017 aged 89, said: "How infinitely sad to hear the news Sean Connery has passed away. He and Roger were friends for many decades and Roger always maintained Sean was the best-ever James Bond."

Fellow Bond actor Pierce Brosnan said Connery "led the way for us all who followed in your iconic footsteps".

"You cast a long shadow of cinematic splendour that will live on forever," he said.

Robert De Niro and Kevin Costner remembered their co-star in the 1987 film The Untouchables, for which Connery won an Oscar for best supporting actor.

De Niro said Connery "seemed much younger than 90; I expected - and hoped- he'd be with us much longer", while Costner called him "a man's man who had an amazing career".

Nicholas Cage, who starred alongside Connery in the 1996 thriller The Rock, said: "I admired Sean so much. I was happiest when I was working with him - his wisdom, humbleness, and extreme honesty has guided me ever since I met him."

Sam Neill, who was Connery's co-star in 1990's The Hunt for Red October, said: "Every day on set with Sean Connery was an object lesson in how to act on screen. But all that charisma and power - that was utterly unique to Sean."

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the country was mourning "one of her best loved sons".

© PAA 2020