Sean Connery’s life began on August 25, 1930, in Fountainbridge, Edinburg. His mother was a cleaning lady, and his father was a truck driver. Once he was of working age, he took up a roster of penniless jobs as a milkman, lorry driver, and coffin polisher.
At 23, he had to choose between becoming a footballer or an actor, and even though he showed plenty of potential in being an athlete, he chose acting. And gladly so, because he would become the original James Bond in the hugely successful movie franchise.
He continued to gain indelible fame, starring in more hit films such as “The Untouchables,” even being proclaimed “Sexiest Man Alive” by People magazine in 1989. However, his success was not limited only to his career. It spilled over into his personal life as he had one of the industry’s longest-running marriages.
Connery’s first marriage was to actress Diane Cilento from 1962 to 1973, and the two shared a son. Still, like many other Hollywood unions, theirs seemed to be failing every waking day, and the pair spent most of it breaking up and attempting futile reconciliations.
During one of these episodes, when Connery was frustrated with his marriage and work, he took off with some buddies to Casablanca to attend a golf tournament and blow off some steam while at it.
While there, he met Micheline Roquebrune, a petite French Moroccan artist. She was married with three small children, but that did not deter Connery from wooing her.
She did not speak any English, and Connery did not know a word of French, but that was the least of Connery’s worries. Her husband had disappeared from home, and Connery knew his chance was then or never.
Three months after their first meeting, Connery called her to profess his love. Ironically, he was still married to Cilento and had to break up with her to be with Roquebrune, just as he had to break up with a former girlfriend to date Cilento.
Roquebrune recalls the first time she laid her eyes on Connery and said she thought he had an excellent physique. “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.'” She shared.
Their connection was instant, and soon after, they began their affair. Besides producing plays, Roquebrune also showed a keen interest in golf and often played with Connery as their relationship progressed.
The pair had such an intense connection that the “Diamonds Are Forever” actor once recognized Roquebrune by her feet. He retold how they did not see each other much during their first days of dating since Roquebrune still lived in North Africa.
One time, they were in separate queues coming from different flights when he saw familiar feet underneath the partition separating the lines and immediately recognized them as Roquebrune’s. He had to battle through the crowd to wait for her on the other end.
The lovebirds eventually married in 1975 and remained married despite Connery’s love affair with Lynsey de Paul. And besides being a father to his and Cilento’s child, Jason, he also became a stepdad to Roquebrune’s three children.
If there ever was a secret to a long, happy marriage, Connery and Roquebrune understood it perfectly. Their love was solid as a rock, and Connery would praise his wife, saying:
“Micheline is an amazing woman. She is the love of my life.”