He passed in his sleep at his home in the Bahamas at age 90 Saturday. Not a bad way to go. Along the way, he made some of the most iconic "gun guy" movies of the 20th Century.
Of course, we are talking about Sir Thomas Sean Connery, the actor with nearly 100 on-screen credits going back to 1954, to include no less than seven spins behind the wheel as James Bond.
Somewhat left of center and a supporter of Scottish independence-- he wore the green-and-black tartan kilt of his mother's MacLeod clan (Highlander trivia!) when knighted-- Connery was no clear fan of personal firearm ownership nor an outspoken friend to gun owners, but he did give us some good films which will continue to echo in gun culture for generations to come.
A veteran of the late 1940s Royal Navy, who fittingly enough trained as a gunner, Connery went on to portray British infantrymen and paratroopers, a Soviet submarine skipper of Lithuanian origin, a North African warlord, a red loin-clothed enforcer for a floating head in a sci-fi film, the toughest beat cop in Chicago during Prohibition, the mythical yet extraordinary Allan Quartermain, King Arthur, King Richard, King Agamemnon, etc., et al.
Of course, in his stint as the suave Commander Bond, Connery would wield everything from a MAC-10 and an HK MP5 to an Armalite AR-7 and a Browning Auto-5. His final body count was impressive.
However, there was always one staple that was in every Fleming film.
Walther, whose PP/PPK series pistol sales since 1962's Dr. No have been a marketing lay-up as "Bond's gun," likely owes Connery and the franchise more than they care to admit. He would carry one in all of his spy flicks-- although he preferred a Beretta .25ACP.
In 1974's trippy post-apocalyptic fantasy film, Zardoz, Connery was rarely without his Webley-Fosbery automatic revolver-- yes, an automatic revolver.
Other quintessentially British firearms used on-screen by Connery included a Webley Green revolver and custom double gun as Allen Quartermain, and Martinis-- the rifles, rather than the "shaken not stirred" kind.
The drill scene in the 1975 adaptation of Kipling's The Man Who Would Be King, is a classic.
Connery would sport an M1911A1 GI in numerous films, including Cuba, as Major Robert Dapes; The Presidio as Lt. Col. Caldwell; The Terrorists as Col. Nils Tahlvik; and A Bridge Too Far as unlucky real-life British Gen. Elliott "Roy" Urquhart.
Other commonly-seen American hardware in Connery's hands were Winchester lever guns and shotguns, which he used in Shalako, The Wind and the Lion (which has a ton of great 1900s firepower showcased), The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and The Untouchables.
And of course, Connery would also be a cop in space and still use a shotgun, as Marshal William T O’Neil in 1981's Outland where he walked a beat with a Browning 2000, because who needs lasers on a moon of Jupiter, anyway.
In one of Connery's last films before retiring, he helped natural actor Nic Cage hold off a team of rogue operators in the bowels of Alcatraz, using an HK MP5 (again), and a variety of other tools at his disposal, at age 66.