Bodybuilding led not directly to appearing. In 1953, he and a good friend went to London to compete within the Mr. Universe contest. Mr. Connery bought a minor award — third place within the tall man division, in keeping with most accounts — however, extra necessary, whereas there he heard about auditions for a touring manufacturing of the musical “South Pacific.” He was chosen for the refrain as a result of he regarded like a sailor and may do handstands.
During the yr Mr. Connery toured in “South Pacific,” he misplaced a lot of a Scottish accent so impenetrable that, he later claimed, different actors at first thought he was Polish. His title was shortened to Sean Connery. And he discovered himself a mentor. An American actor within the forged, Robert Henderson, gave him a studying program that included all of the performs of George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde and Henrik Ibsen, together with the novels of Thomas Wolfe, Proust’s “Remembrance of Things Past” and Joyce’s “Ulysses.”
“I spent my ‘South Pacific’ tour in every library in Britain, Ireland, Scotland and Wales,” Mr. Connery instructed The Houston Chronicle in 1992. “And on the nights we were dark, I’d see every play I could. But it’s the books, the reading, that can change one’s life. I’m the living evidence.”
The subsequent few years have been a mix of small stage and tv roles. His fortunate break got here on March 31, 1957. Jack Palance was to have starred in Rod Serling’s “Requiem for a Heavyweight” on stay tv for the BBC. Mr. Palance had triumphed in the identical position the earlier yr on “Playhouse 90.” But he canceled at the final minute, and Mr. Connery inherited the position of the getting old boxer Mountain McClintock. Although miscast, a reviewer for The Times of London wrote, he had “shambling and inarticulate charm.” Within 24 hours, Mr. Connery had gotten his first film affords.
A string of B-movies adopted, together with “Action of the Tiger” (1957), a thriller starring Van Johnson by which he had a small half, and “Tarzan’s Greatest Adventure” (1959), by which he performed a villain out to destroy a village. He additionally performed a personal within the all-star D-Day saga “The Longest Day” (1962) and a person enchanted into falling in love in Disney’s “Darby O’Gill and the Little People” (1959).