Arnold Schwarzenegger has hailed Sir Sean Connery as his “icon”.
The legendary James Bond actor — who was the first to play 007 on the big screen — has passed away at the age of 90, and fellow acting superstar Arnold has taken to social media to honour the late star’s memory.
Arnold said Sean was an “inspiration” to him in his own career path, as the Bond star pursued a career in bodybuilding before he moved into acting, which was also Arnold’s occupation before Hollywood came calling.
Writing on Twitter, the Terminator star said: “Sean Connery was a legend, one of the greatest actors of all time. He provided endless entertainment for all of us & inspiration for me. I’m not just saying that because he was a bodybuilder who placed in the Mr. Universe contest! He was an icon. My thoughts are with his family. (sic)”
Sean Connery was a legend, one of the greatest actors of all time. He provided endless entertainment for all of us & inspiration for me. I’m not just saying that because he was a bodybuilder who placed in the Mr. Universe contest! He was an icon. My thoughts are with his family.— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) October 31, 2020
Sean began bodybuilding when he was 18, and once finished in third place in a Mr. Universe contest in the 1950s.
The actor once stated he was deterred from bodybuilding when he found that the Americans frequently beat him in competitions because of sheer muscle size, as he claimed they refused to participate in athletic activity which could make them lose muscle mass.
Meanwhile, Arnold began lifting weights when he was just 15, and went on to be crowned the winner of the Mr. Universe title at the age of 20, before bagging the top spot at the Mr. Olympia contest seven times.
The 73-year-old has remained a prominent figure in bodybuilding, and the Arnold Sports Festival, considered the second most important bodybuilding event after Mr. Olympia, is named after him.
Sean Connery’s family confirmed on Saturday (Oct 31) the legendary actor had passed away in his sleep while in the Bahamas.
The star’s first outing as British super spy Bond was in 1962's Dr. No and in total he played author Ian Fleming's character a total of seven times with films such as Goldfinger and Diamonds Are Forever considered classics of the franchise to this day.
In 2000, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II at Holyrood Palace for his services to film. — BANG
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