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Sean Connery joins the long list of celebrities who have been victimized by internet death hoax

Movie icon Sean Connery has died at the age of 90, his family has announced.

The Scottish actor was best known for his portrayal of James Bond, being the first to bring the role to the big screen and appearing in seven of the spy thrillers.

Sean Connery died peacefully in his sleep in the Bahamas, having been “unwell for some time”, his son, Jason, said.

His acting career spanned five decades and he won an Oscar in 1988 for his role in The Untouchables.

Sir Sean Connery’s other movies included The Hunt for Red October, Highlander, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and The Rock.

Jason Connery said his father “had many of his family who could be in the Bahamas around him” when he died overnight in Nassau. Much of Bond film Thunderball had been filmed there.

He said: “We are all working at understanding this huge event as it only happened so recently, even though my dad has been unwell for some time.

“A sad day for all who knew and loved my dad and a sad loss for all people around the world who enjoyed the wonderful gift he had as an actor.”

Sean Connery’s publicist Nancy Seltzer said: “There will be a private ceremony followed by a memorial yet to be planned once the virus has ended.”

The actor leaves wife Micheline and sons Jason and Stephane.

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Daniel Craig, the current James Bond, said Sean Connery was “one of the true greats of cinema”.

He said: “Sir Sean Connery will be remembered as Bond and so much more.

“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.”

Sean Connery, from Fountainbridge in Edinburgh, had his first major film appearance in 1957 British gangster film No Road Back.

He first played James Bond in Dr No in 1962 and went on to appear in five other official films – and the unofficial Never Say Never Again in 1983.

He was largely regarded as being the best actor to have played 007 in the long-running franchise, often being named as such in polls.

Sean Connery made the character of James Bond his own, blending ruthlessness with sardonic wit.

Many critics didn’t like it and some of the reviews were scathing. But the public did not agree.

Sean Connery was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II at Holyrood Palace in 2000. In August, he celebrated his 90th birthday.