Sean Connery Opened Up About His 40-Year Obsession With The Love Of His Life

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Sean Connery has been one of Hollywood’s most fanciable men ever since he shot to fame as the original James Bond. And it’s not just the public who have fallen for his charms over the years. Indeed, several of his leading ladies have been enamored by his thick Scottish accent, arched eyebrows and all-round masculinity. Connery, though, has only ever had eyes for one woman – and now the actor has revealed the startling truth about the relationship.

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Yes, although everyone from Ursula Andress and Brigitte Bardot to Catherine Zeta-Jones and Kim Basinger have expressed their desire for the legendary actor after sharing the screen with him, Connery’s heart has only ever truly been captured by one particular woman. Here’s a look at the love story which has spanned nearly half a century and the surprising new details that Connery has just shared about the romance.

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Born in the Scottish capital of Edinburgh in 1930, Connery first caught attention appearing opposite Lara Turner in 1958’s Another Time, Another Place. Four years later, he landed the role that would make him a Hollywood icon, James Bond. Indeed, the Scotsman was the first man to play the secret agent on the big screen. And he made his debut in Dr. No in 1962.

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Connery reprised the role several times over the following decade. But following 1971’s Diamonds Are Forever, he decided he wanted to explore new challenges. He subsequently enjoyed success in the likes of Zardoz, The Wind and the Lion and The Great Train Robbery. However, the actor did briefly return to the Bond franchise in 1981 for swansong Never Say Never Again.

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The Scotsman saw the most critically-acclaimed period of his career during the 1980s. He won a BAFTA for his performance in The Name of The Rose and an Academy Award for his turn in The Untouchables. The actor also enjoyed huge box office success playing the titular hero’s father in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. He continued his winning streak in the 1990s with hits including, The Hunt for Red October, The Rock and Entrapment.

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Connery’s work rate, though, slowed down considerably from the turn of the century. In fact, after appearing in 2000’s Finding Forrester and 2003’s The League of Extraordinary Gentleman, the Scotsman announced he was officially retiring from acting. However, he did provide a voice-over for and executive produce the 2012 animation Sir Billi.

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Connery has been linked to numerous women since making his acting debut as a chorus boy in an early 1950s staging of South Pacific. His first notable girlfriend was Carol Sopel, described as a “dark-haired beauty with a ballerina’s figure.” But the relationship soon fizzled out to due to the disapproval of her family.

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The actor then moved on to Julie Hamilton, whose mother was famed feminist and documentary maker Jill Craigie. Hamilton, surprisingly, wasn’t initially attracted to Connery in the slightest. In fact, she only began to see his appeal after spotting him wearing a kilt for the first time. She subsequently hailed him as “the most beautiful thing she’d ever seen.”

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Connery later tried to win the heart of Maxine Daniels, a jazz singer he first met while working at the Empire Theatre in London. Although the pair were apparently attracted to each other, Daniels rejected the actor’s pass at her. This was because the vocalist was already happily settled with a husband and baby daughter.

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Fellow actor Diane Cilento was the first woman who walked down the aisle with Connery. The pair got hitched at a ceremony in 1962 and welcomed their one and only child, Jason, into the world a year later. Jason would later follow in his parents’ footsteps, memorably playing Robin of Sherwood in the 1980s series of the same name.

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Sadly, things didn’t end well for Connery and Cilento, who divorced in 1973. More than three decades on, the latter made various damaging allegations about her ex-husband in her memoir. She also claimed that the actor struggled to deal with the fame that came with being the original 007 and disliked the fact that she enjoyed success as an actress.

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Indeed, Cilento was already a Tony Award nominee when she met Connery, having picked up a Best Supporting Actress nod for her performance in Tiger at the Gates. In 1963, she was nominated in the same category at the Oscars for her turn in Tom Jones. But she later put her career on hold to focus on her family.

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And according to various reports, Connery wasn’t always a faithful husband. He allegedly had flings with fellow actors Sue Lloyd and Shelley Winters while married to Cilento. And he was also rumored to have struck up a close relationship with Claudine Auger, the one-time Miss France winner who appeared alongside Connery in Bond flick Thunderball.

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Connery, in fact, was still married to Cilento when he met his second wife, Micheline Roquebrune, at a Moroccan golf club in 1972. The French artist later told Gala magazine how the pair felt an instant attraction the moment they first laid eyes on each other. And they didn’t waste any time in consummating their relationship, either.

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Indeed, Roquebrune was more than happy to reveal all during her chat with Gala. She said, “The key is in the door. He’s reading a newspaper, lying down, naked. In one step, I jump on the bed, undo my leather belt and pretend to whip him with it while dancing.”

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The artist continued, “[Connery] grabs hold of me and kisses me passionately. Almost brutally. Animalistically. His skin releases a scent… A warm and intoxicating smell, like stones rubbing against each other. I’m transported. [During] the four days that follow, we continue to play golf like strangers, then we meet to make love like crazy people. The reality is even better than the fantasy.”

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After revealing, perhaps, just a little too much information, Roquebrune concluded her flashback in a slightly more romantic style. She said, “No man has ever had this effect on me. For the whole world, he’s a huge star, but for me, he is, above all, the man of my dreams.”

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Despite being completely and utterly besotted with one another, the pair subsequently went home to their respective other halves. In fact, it would be another two years before they even spoke to each other again. And it was Connery who decided to break the ice following his divorce from Cilento.

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Indeed, Connery invited Roquebrune to his home in the Spanish resort of Marbella, an offer which she initially took umbrage with. She told Gala, “[I think to myself] ‘Who does he think he is?’ [But once there] he locks his eyes on mine and says, ‘I’ve missed you… I can’t stop thinking about you and I can’t forget you.’”

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So who exactly was the woman that managed to tame one of Hollywood’s ultimate ladies’ men? Well, born to French-Moroccan parents in 1929, Roquebrune first achieved success as a teenage golfer. But in her 20s, she switched her focus to art and a painting style influenced by Henri Matisse’s “Le bonheur de vivre” in particular.

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Roquebrune has since staged exhibits everywhere from Chicago and Paris to Rome and Athens. She’s also enjoyed success as a theater producer, most notably on the Tony Award winner Art. And in 1983 she worked with Connery as a crew member on his final ever James Bond film, Never Say Never Again.

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Like Connery, Roquebrune was also married when they met in Morocco at the Mohammedia golf club in 1972. In fact, she was on her second husband. Although she and the actor never had any children together, the artist does have three kids from her previous relationships, Oliver, Stephane and Micha.

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The couple married in Gibraltar during the summer of 1975, three years after first meeting and a year after reconnecting. Unusually, the intimate ceremony took place at exactly the same venue where Connery wed his first wife. And the Scotsman even fooled the media into thinking that the nuptials had already been staged in a different location.

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Connery and Roquebrune then made Casa Malibu, a newly-built bungalow in Marbella, their permanent home. However, as well as living in Spain, the couple have also spent a fair amount of time in the United States and Connery’s homeland, Scotland. And even in their 80s, they continue to play golf together.

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And it’s perhaps fair to say that Roquebrune wears the trousers in their relationship. For starters, the artist looks after couple’s finances. And in order to keep tabs on her husband’s famous eye for the ladies, she also regularly kept Connery company while he was filming his various Hollywood movies.

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In fact, while shooting one particular film, Five Days One Summer, Roquebrune made it crystal clear which lady should hold Connery’s attention. Indeed, despite filming in an area of the Swiss Alps, the artist decided against wrapping up warm. Instead, she walked around the set in an oriental veil and a green bikini.

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But Roquebrune seemed well aware of the challenges she faced when she got together with such a lusted-after Hollywood star. The Evening Standard reports that she once said of Connery, “When I met Sean, I knew I was taking on the whole package. Everyone wants him and I have to accept and understand that.”

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Roquebrune also ensured that Catherine Zeta-Jones knew not to overstep the mark during the filming of Entrapment. The artist reportedly told the Welsh actress “butt out and cool it.” Why? It seems her remarks about co-star Connery being a good kisser during the romantic scenes irked the actor’s wife. However, it was the Scotsman himself who allegedly demanded that the pair lock lips in the action thriller.

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In fact, Connery was plagued by rumors about extra-marital affairs throughout the 1990s. So much so that by the end of the decade, the actor and his wife decided to start afresh by selling their Spanish home and relocating to the Bahamas. There, they built a new life for themselves on the exclusive estate known as Lyford Cay.

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In 2011, both Connery and Roquebrune were interviewed at their villa in the Bahamas about their relationship by newspaper The Scottish Sun. The latter once again opened up about the first time she encountered her future husband in Morocco. She said, “I saw this man from the back and, of course, he had a fine physique.”

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A typically candid Roquebrune continued, “But that first day I didn’t know who he was or anything about him. Then I dreamed I saw this man. I was in his arms. And I thought ‘At last, peace.’ The next day, I went back to the tournament and that was that!”

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But it was Connery’s willingness to talk about his relationship with his wife that caught everyone by surprise. The actor is renowned for keeping his private life entirely private and his chat with The Scottish Sun was one of the rare occasions he’d been so open. He began by talking about the obstacles the couple initially faced.

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Connery said, “In the early days, it was difficult for us to see each other. She was still living in North Africa with her children.” He also revealed that the pair knew each other so well that he was once able to recognize Roquebrune by just a particular body part.

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“We were in separate queues coming off different flights,” Connery started the story. “There was a partition and underneath I saw these feet. I immediately recognized them and tried to get through to see her, but it wasn’t allowed.” The Scotsman was instead forced to wade through a mass of people to greet her in a different place.

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The distance between the couple, however, wasn’t the only major hurdle they faced during their early years. In fact, they initially couldn’t even talk to each other as they didn’t have a shared language. However, Roquebrune insists that they coped with this particular problem fairly well. She told the newspaper, “Oh we had no problem communicating — body language!”

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If you’ve ever wondered what Connery and his wife do for lunch, then wonder no more. The pair revealed that they always share a poolside meal together before enjoying coffee and dark chocolate on the sofa. Roquebrune admitted, “I’m very French. Black coffee and lots of vegetables cooked to perfection.”

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Of course, Connery can afford to indulge in sweet treats on a daily basis. Despite being in his 80s, the actor, in fact, has the kind of fitness routine that would put many 40-year-old men to shame. He begins each morning with a bike ride around his neighborhood and also goes swimming each afternoon.

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The couple also share their villa home with a Bengal mix cat named Tiger. And just like the original 007, the animal is very much an alpha male character. Indeed, after showing a minor scar on her arm, Roquebrune told The Scottish Sun, “He’s bitten me. He is just powerful.”

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Connery is, without doubt, one of the movie industry’s most famous octogenarians. But he has no qualms about his advancing years. He told the newspaper, “Micheline sometimes says to me ‘the time is rushing past,’ but I don’t worry about getting older. There’s always a new challenge to keep you motivated.”

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And the couple seem just as much in love now as they were during their honeymoon period back in the 1970s. And Connery made sure to tell The Scottish Sun exactly how he feels about his wife. He proclaimed, “Micheline is an amazing woman. She is the love of my life.” Aww.

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