Nicola Sturgeon said she was “heartbroken” by the death of acting legend Sir Sean Connery and that the “world will miss him”.
The First Minister paid tribute to the Edinburgh-born James Bond star, who she hailed as one of Scotland’s “best loved sons”
She led tributes to the “film icon” who had gone on to become “one of the world’s most accomplished actors”.
5/ It was a privilege to have known Sean. When I last spoke to him it was clear even then that his health was failing – but the voice, the spirit and the passion that we all loved so well were still there. I will miss him. Scotland will miss him. The world will miss him.
— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) October 31, 2020
But she also remembered him as being a “lifelong advocate of an independent Scotland “, saying that “those of us who share that belief owe him a great debt of gratitude”.
Ms Sturgeon said: “Sean was a global legend but, first and foremost, he was a patriotic and proud Scot.
“His towering presence at the opening of the Scottish Parliament was a sign of his dedication to his country.
“It was a privilege to have known Sean. When I last spoke to him it was clear even then that his health was failing – but the voice, the spirit and the passion that we all loved so well were still there.
“I will miss him. Scotland will miss him. The world will miss him.
“Sean was born into a working class Edinburgh family and through talent and sheer hard work, became a film icon and one of the world’s most accomplished actors
“He will be remembered best as James Bond – for many, the classic 007 – but his roles were many and varied.
“My thoughts and condolences are with Micheline, his sons Jason and Stefan, his brother Neil and all the family.”
Scottish Tory Holyrood leader Ruth Davidson described him as being the “proper” 007.
She tweeted: “I loved watching Bond movies with my dad. He raised me in the true religion that Sean Connery was the ‘proper’ 007. True film icon.”
Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said: “I am saddened to hear of the death of Sean Connery.
“Sean Connery will go down in history as one of Scotland’s greatest acting talents and as an iconic figure in world cinema and culture.
“I extend my condolences to his family and friends.”
Edinburgh Southern Labour MSP Daniel Johnson said he was “very sad to hear of Sean Connery’s passing”.
He hailed him as a “true icon and one of this city’s own”, adding that he “defined Bond”.
We are so sad to hear of the death of Scottish acting legend Sir Sean Connery. A true Scottish icon❤️🏴 pic.twitter.com/RYcbp91V6G
— BAFTA Scotland (@BAFTAScotland) October 31, 2020
Edinburgh’s Lord Provost Frank Ross said: “Today Edinburgh has lost one of its most world-renowned sons.
“Born in our own Fountainbridge, where he started out as a milkman’s apprentice, Sir Sean went on to forge a stellar acting career, scooping an Academy Award, two Baftas and three Golden Globes, among other coveted acting accolades.
“An international audience favourite, he shot to global fame as the original – and arguably the best – James Bond, the role for which he will most be remembered.
“Sir Sean won a huge local fan base for putting Edinburgh firmly on the map and in 1991 he was awarded Freedom of the City, the most prestigious honour bestowed by the council.
“The day he accepted the award from Lord Provost at the Usher Hall was a huge occasion in the capital, with thousands lining the streets to catch a glimpse of him.
“On behalf of the city, I want to convey heartfelt sympathies and condolences to Sir Sean’s family and friends.”
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (Bafta) Scotland tweeted: “We are so sad to hear of the death of Scottish acting legend Sir Sean Connery. A true Scottish icon.”