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Daniel Craig is paying tribute to his fellow James Bond, Sir Sean Connery. The original 007 died peacefully in his sleep on Friday night at the age of 90.
After hearing the news of his death, the 52-year-old actor, who has portrayed James Bond since 2005, honored Connery, calling him “one of the true greats of cinema.”
“It is with such sadness that I heard of the passing of one of the true greats of cinema. Sir Sean Connery will be remembered as Bond and so much more,” Craig said in a statement. “He defined an era and a style. The wit and charm he portrayed on screen could be measured in mega watts; he helped create the modern blockbuster. He will continue to influence actors and film-makers alike for years to come.”
“My thoughts are with his family and loved ones,” he continued. “Wherever he is, I hope there is a golf course.”
Connery was the first actor to bring the Bond role to the big screen in 1962’s Dr. No. He appeared in a total of seven of the spy thrillers. Craig, meanwhile, will embody the spy for one final film, No Time To Die, which will be released next year.
James Bond producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli also released a statement on Connery’s death.
“We are devastated by the news of the passing of Sir Sean Connery. 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 official James Bond Twitter shared. “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.”