Happy 90th! Sean Connery’s Birthday Suit in Diamonds Are Forever

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After covering so many of Sean Connery’s suits for almost ten years, this blog has neglected one the 90-year-old legend’s most popular suits: his birthday suit! Here’s a review of Sean Connery’s naked body in honour of his 90th birthday.

Sean Connery is generally said to stand approximately 6 feet and 2 and a half inches tall. He has lived his life in good shape, and he started body building at age 18. He competed in the Mr. Universe contest in the 1950s.

He was still in near top form throughout his first four James Bond films, spanning from Dr. No to Thunderball. He started letting himself go in You Only Live Twice, and he had gone further in Diamonds Are Forever, but he always looked far better than the average man and never lost his virility.

At the age of 52 in Never Say Never Again, Sean Connery was once again looking in excellent form for his return to the role of James Bond. He recalls his healthy appearance in the film it remade, Thunderball.

Connery has sex appeal no matter the shape his body is in or his age. At the age of 59 he was voted People magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive”, and in 1999 just before turning 69 he was voted People‘s “Sexiest Man of the Century”. His birthday suit is partially to thank for these honours.

The defining character of his birthday suit is the rare Scottish fur trimming his chest, and it is responsible for making Connery’s nude look so iconic. As he recites in You Only Live Twice, ‘Japanese proverb say, “Bird never make nest in bare tree”‘. The hair on his chest more than makes up for the lack of his own hair on top of his head.

His birthday suit is on display in a few James Bond films, but nothing compares to the way he wears it in Diamonds Are Forever in the hotel room with Jill St. John’s Tiffany Case. He has just removed his ivory dinner jacket, walks into the bedroom nude and hangs the dinner jacket, trousers, dress shirt and bow tie on a wall sconce. His black derby shoes are on a table — an unusual place for shoes that aren’t brand new.

You were so enamoured with Connery’s figure that you may not have noticed that he did not untie his bow tie when he removed it. This does not necessarily mean that he is wearing a pre-tied bow tie, which would be a sartorial sin for Bond. Turnbull & Asser, the likely maker of his bow tie, makes their bow ties with a clasp so they can be worn without tying them. The bows are still proper bows, unlike on most pre-tied bow ties, and they can be self-tied. Bond may or may not have tied this bow tie himself, but all we know is that he does not untie this one between wears.

Like Ursula Andress in Dr. No‘s decontamination scene, Connery was not fully nude when filming this scene either. For a split second, his low-rise, nude-coloured briefs are visible. For the quick moment they show on screen, they don’t distract.

Notice the nude briefs

Here’s to a very happy 90th birthday for Sir Sean Connery.

37 COMMENTS

  1. It’s a good suit that looks better on Connery than on someone with my figure, maybe if I worked out more I’d look better in it. Here’s hoping I get there by the time I’m in my 50s!

  2. A very funny article, and of course, Happy Birthday Sean! This occasion has reminded me: Sean bowed-out of performing and into retirement after providing the voice for 007 in the From Russia With Love video game in 2005. Apparently the game wasn’t very good, but it said something that he chose to play Bond for his final performance. Have you ever thought of covering the Bond video games? It might be interesting to see how they do the fashion.

    • I’ve talked with people who have played the games, but the clothing isn’t usually detailed enough to be able to write much about it. It hasn’t interested me much.

      • Have to agree with Jovan. It’s a fun update to the movie and perfect for the time it came out.

      • Ooh! I adored those games growing up, so I’ll give it a go!
        Everything or Nothing and From Russia With Love mark Pierce Brosnan’s and Sean Connery’s final Bond performances, respectively.

        The outfits weren’t anything particularly special in EoN, Bond wears a palette swapped version of the Goldeneye Saint Petersburg suit in grey, a blue shirt, and yellow tie. It looks okay.

        There’s a tan suit with an open neck white shirt in Peru which looks nice but he wears a very unfortunate 6×1 double breasted dinner suit in a few levels. Why they did that I’ll never know.

        Connery fared better in From Russia With Love in his staple grey suit for just about every level, though it has a black necktie instead of navy. It looks to be modeled from Dr. No.
        He also wears a recreation of his Thunderball dinner suit and his Goldfinger ivory dinner jacket which both look great, he wears the latter in London though.

      • Agent00Soul: Huh. My friend and I played it on his PS2 back when it first came out, for hours on end, and had a hell of a good time. But I guess experiences are subjective. We hadn’t played the previous game, Everything or Nothing, and maybe fans were disappointed that it didn’t have quite the number of gadgets or huge action sequences. (Owing to the fact that it takes place in the 1960s, with appropriately retro spy technology.) Sean Connery sounded noticeably older than 33, but you get used to it and it was nice to have him back for one last, LAST romp after the definitely-middling Never Say Never Again.

        If it gives you an idea how much these video game developers understood about menswear, they put lapel holes on BOTH sides of Bond’s suits in Nightfire! They definitely fared better replicating Connery’s look in the FRWL game, but still made odd choices here and there. For example, texturing the breast welt white to look like his signature folded linen pocket square. Odd, considering they did a better job on that detail with Red Grant and Kerim Bey, characters who also wore folded linen pocket squares.

        Timothy: The dinner suit you mention is actually a very low fastening 4×1, but it’s still out of character for Brosnan’s Bond, looking like something out of an ’80s department store catalogue. It also had pocket flaps! The choice of white dinner jacket in London is indeed unfortunate and not a mistake someone like Bond would make back then.

        Here’s an interesting look at the costume design of a more recent video game, Control. They definitely design and render clothing in a much better process these days. Remedy’s first real hit, Max Payne, seemed to have almost no costume design at all and involved them putting together whatever personal clothing and thrift store finds they could before taking photos of themselves and friends wearing it. (The writer himself was the basis of Max’s character model.) We’ve come a long way since then!

        https://www.gdcvault.com/play/1026412/Costume-in-Games-Integrating-a

  3. Happy Birthday to Sean Connery, who gave so many other great performances aside from Bond (Robin and Marion gets my vote for his finest). An amusing article and I would suggest that Connery is actually in much better shape in the films surrounding You Only Live Twice and Diamonds Are Forever (see, for example, Zardoz). And behind the scenes photos on the Thunderballs website shows his continued muscular frame in You Only Live twice. He filled out the Bond wardrobe as well as anyone, and partly created the defining action hero for the 1960s.

  4. I am 41 and in wonderful shape, far better than Connery in DAF!! Same height, an athletic figure, much less weight, and much, much more hair on my head… In comparison, he looks like my grandfather! But I am not Connery, he is a legend, the greatest of all. Happy 90th birthday Sir Sean

  5. Of course, Connery always had a ton of charisma, but all these “sexiest man/woman alive” surveys are so ridiculous. Connery never really looked like someone who does serious fitness/weightlifting (compare his body to Craig’s in Casino R) and he always appeared older than his age. Moore started playing bond at age 45(!) and looked like a young man in his first few films, but then, suddenly, somehow grew visually old quite fast; Brosnan started when he was over forty, but also looked like a boy in the first two of his films. However, interestingly enough, Connery did become quite attractive as an older gentleman (think of Indiana Jones and later).
    All that being said, Connery, of course, is a legend and will always remain such. Happy Birthday!!

    • A few points. Sexy isn’t always about how one looks, it’s also attitude. For another thing, is someone required to have bulging muscles and/or 1% body fat to be sexy? As someone who appreciates the beauty of men, women, and people who fit neither category, I certainly don’t think so. But entertainment media in tandem with our society’s toxic diet culture would have us believe it. Additionally, someone isn’t necessarily going to “look” like they’re a fitness junkie to the average person unless they have a very restrictive diet and/or cut water prior to filming.

      • I both disagree and agree a bit with both comments here. Firstly, no Bond wore the birthday suit better than Connery(although DAF is the worst example). Secondly, Craig was never by any means particularly muscular, although it was good that he had some mass in the deltoids and arms to make up for his naturally smaller frame than Connery, and this enabled him to rock the polo shirt look. But neither Connery nor Moore needed much additional mass because of their natural proportions, with great shoulder to waist ratios, but neither would have suffered from a bit more definition (e.g. if Connery had Marlon Brando’s Streetcar-named-desire biceps, or if Moore had a more defined midsection, it might have helped). Also, you hardly need such low body fat to look excellent and I feel that is a false dichotomy. Consider Steve Reeves: many consider him to have had the ideal male body physique and he never exactly had the paper-thin, dehydrated skin look. An action hero does need the physicality right to be believable and aspirational. Finally, I think it is largely getting things backward supposing that there is a diet culture that is pervasive in society and makes people believe only extreme bodies can beautiful and that the notion that either taking care of your diet or dedicating yourself to fitness is ‘toxic.’ I’d say quite the opposite is the case and that we are in an age where widespread obesity and healthy at any size nonsense is in the ascendency. I don’t think that the beauty of men or women physiques is mostly arbitrary and this implies that it is just as important to get the parameters right in the case of the birthday suit as it is for any other suit that Bond wears.

      • This is a complex (albeit somewhat frivolous) topic. The ultra muscular look is de rigueur for actors who are portraying comic book superheroes (Superman, Captain America, Thor) but it would be over the top for Bond, who is, after all, a regular human being and has to look good in a suit. The first three Bonds all had above average height and good shoulder/waist ratios; if they had been a little more cut, as Roy suggested above, they would have been perfectly OK as action heroes (not SUPERheroes) even today. Craig needed a little more muscle mass to make up for his lack of height. If Henry Cavill is going to be the next Bond, he should lose 10-12% of his Superman/Witcher bulk in order not to look ridiculous in a tailored suit.

      • “I think it is largely getting things backward supposing that there is a diet culture that is pervasive in society and makes people believe only extreme bodies can beautiful and that the notion that either taking care of your diet or dedicating yourself to fitness is ‘toxic.’ I’d say quite the opposite is the case and that we are in an age where widespread obesity and healthy at any size nonsense is in the ascendency.”

        There is so much to unpack here I don’t know where to begin.

        First of all, I never said that taking care of your body is toxic. I said that the idea that you’re not beautiful if you don’t fit into a certain ideal is toxic. The fact of the matter is that a lot of people do exercise 3, 4, 5, even 6 times a week, even with a personal trainer, and don’t get the same results other people do, let alone movie stars who have to look like Chris Hemsworth. You’re also dead wrong. Toxic diet culture has been covered by many people. It is not a matter of your opinion that so many have eating disorders because of it. So, start reading: https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/blog/recognizing-and-resisting-diet-culture

        Secondly, the obesity epidemic has been going on for decades now and it has nothing to do the body positivity movement. You’re an asshole if you shame, harass, and insult people over their body shape, much of which is down to genetics. End of story. Regardless of what you think they “could” or “should” be doing. People of all sizes deserve respect.

    • You cannot directly compare Connery to Craig by this point of view, absolutely. 60s are far too distant from 2000s: the concept of “well built” or “muscular” man, as well as of men’s beauty and virility, is completely different. Between the two eras, there are the 80s action movie stars pumped to the extreme, such as Sly, Schwartzy, Van Damme and so on, Cruise’s Mission Impossible, the global psychosis about fitness, sports, wealth, etc. etc. Today, a body like Cary Grant’s or James Stewart’s would be hardly acceptable on screen. The discipline of body building itself has changed much. There are a few pictures of young Connery posing as a bodybuilder: he is very muscular, but still slender and harmonious. That was the ideal standard for a male’s built body in 60s and 70s. Later it’s become different, and now we are accustomed to over-pumped bodies. General taste has gone aside. Probably Connery did not go on bodybuilding after his early youth, and then in 007 movies he has kept his strong structure, his broad shoulders and big masses, without looking like an everyday-gym-aficionado. To today’s eye, he would appear a hardly normal man. But in 60s, he stood out indeed. James Bond is a secret agest, a “hero”, not a “superhero”, he is not Rambo, and is supposed to be just athletic and in good health. But this simple concept has varied much throughout the last decades. That’s why today Craig MUST look like a gym-aficionado, but, in the right perspective, Connery’s birthday suit is much more impressive.

      • There is little evidence that the ideal standards of male bodies have changed much or in important ways over the decades which is similarly why the classic proportions of suits are also still classic. Bond should look like someone who would be believable as a naval commander and have the sort of physicality that is at least within range of what would be required for his lifestyle. That is, he is portrayed as capable of feats equivalent to an elite skier, diver, fencer, surfer, martial artist, astronaut, fighterjet pilot, ninja, rock climber, and so on—he should at least look like he can pass a marines test. This is not the sort of physicality demanded by roles played by either Cary Grant or Jimmy Stewart but I can certainly believe a young Connery could. Craig also looks like he could but he hardly looks like a Gym junky.

    • Connery had a 46 inch chest and measured over 6 foot tall. A big, imposing man. Craig has a 38 inch chest and is far shorter. Connery was handsome in a dangerous way which would appeal to many women. Craig isn’t handsome. An every-man version of Steve McQueen crossed with a doorman of a Prague nightclub.

      • I think Craig had a 40 inch chest in QOS forward, but he is squeezed into size 38 suits. Connery is a big man more in line with a Charlton Heston type physique of his era. Craig is more of a Steve McQueen type but some would say McQueen was better looking, through he only lived to 50.

      • I think Craig is at least a 40″ chest. I seem to recall that from some of the projects to replicate Craig’s Casino Royale clothing (I believe some people requested the Madagascar shirt in the exact size Craig wore).

      • David, I have to agree with you. This Bond actor vs. Bond actor debate (which really is an era vs. era one) is a bit tiresome. Objectively speaking, Connery, at his The Hill/Thunderball era peak, is about 4+ inches taller than Craig, and is 20-30 pounds heavier. Connery’s frame, built, as he said in the infamous Playboy interview, by soccer and swimming and honed by the rigorous filming of The Hill, is much broader, with an expansive chest, a deep torso, and muscular legs, lats, triceps, forearms and huge hands. He also looks like he enjoys his martini (or more accurately, his beer). Body portrayals in the movies have changed a lot in the last 50 years, but there is no denying Connery’s sheer strength and size. Today, he would look like a similarly framed Gerard Butler or Hugh Jackman did in 300 and as Wolverine, respectively. Craig is very muscular (probably peaked around 180 pounds in Casino Royale) in a modern, gym-fueled way and certainly looks like he can do all that is required of him, but he simply does not have the frame and size of Connery (or Lazenby for that matter). But Craig inhabits the modern action hero expectations well, as I believe Connery would if he were at his peak today. I don’t see Craig being able to do the reverse back in 1965. He’d be one of Largo’s henchmen, to be dispatched in some spectacular way.

  6. Jovan, on closer inspection you’re right, it is a 4×1. I still think it looks horrible but at least it’s technically traditional, pocket flaps and inexplicably triangular single vent notwithstanding.

    And regarding the original Max Payne, it’s funny that it made so simply and yet that costume has to be one of the most iconic outfits in gaming history!

  7. Hi Matt, since Sean Connery recently turned 90 can you do reviews of his clothes from Time Bandits, The Untouchables, Entrapment or some other of his movies. I think it will be intresting comparing some of The Persuaders or The Saint’s suits to Austin Powers?

    • I have written about one of his Entrapment outfits. The other outfits didn’t have much to do with Bond style, so I haven’t covered them.

      I can’t see how anything Roger wore can compare to Austin Powers.

  8. Sean Connery is 90 years old, I always think of him as like permanently 60. I hope he’s doing well. He was one of those guys like still looked good a bit paunchy older as he did young fitter and leaner how he was when he started as Bond at 32. A true film star and I hope he sees 100.

  9. Roy, in 60s simply gyms did not exist and the “pumped” male body tipe (Schwartzy) was still to come. A man like Connery in 007 movies was felt like a former bodybuilder, a man with a non-common muscular structure. Since then, many things have changed, despite you have not noticed that. In 80s, the top was Schwartzy, and the average was Tom Cruise in Top Gun… Another world. In fact, in 90s Pierce Brosnan still held 007 role quite good, but was often told as being too skinny and weak… IN FACT, his successor Craig was led to pump his muscles a little bit… In 70s a man like Roger Moore as 007 was acceptable, nowadays he maybe could hardly play Q… If you don’t see this you’re blind. Today I see lots of men around looking like Craig, because they attend cheap gyms every day. In 60s, Connery was far over the average man in the street. He was a super-man. For this reason, and because he could match it with elegance and humor, he was chosen for the role. Instead, Moore and Dalton were the “average” action man, with Brosnan a bit too skinny

    • I think Brosnan looked great and not at all too skinny. Perfectly appropriate for a spy. He gained a little more weight by the time of DAD. Maybe more… DAD bod. (Sorry.) But he still looks good by reasonable standards.

      What’s really silly is how Martin Campbell told Henry Cavill that the was a bit “chubby” at his screen test. But looking at pictures of him from the 2000s, that’s both laughable and cruel of Campbell to say such a thing. It’s also nothing a few months at the gym and dieting couldn’t have “fixed”. Cavill would have also been a more appropriate age for this sort of “newbie spy” story, also how his style sense wasn’t quite as refined as the Bond we know. That said, I like Daniel Craig just fine.

      • Brosnan was lean and fit in his films, More what Fleming had in mind for Bond’s build in the novels. He got a little paunchy in DAD, but the fitness yard stick wasn’t what it is today back in 2002. Most leading men then were of medium build like Tom Cruise and fit. Connery was for most of his early career was match for Charlton Heston, who was a big man and barrel chested. Roger Moore I’ve seen described as well-built in film books but most nowadays people would see him as average build.

    • Arnold was possibly the best bodybuilder of all time but that is not to say that most people wanted to have his body or that you have to look like Arnold to be believable as an action hero or get a date (Arnold claims that as many women were repulsed by his body than were attracted to it). And among his main box office competitors were people like Harrison Ford, Bruce Willis, Tom Cruise, and Clint Eastwood who all had very balanced physiques (incidentally, Eastwood trained at Arnold’s gym, Gold’s Gym, along with a number of other Hollywood actors of the day). I think Brosnan also had a good physique and presumably so did the makers of films like Goldeneye and Mrs. Doubtfire that seem to make a point of featuring him in swimmers. The ideal male physique will always be one that has a V-shaped torso, a tight midsection, and some muscularity (especially in the upper body), which can be accentuated with exercise and diet and perhaps a good suit and is one that is important for an actor playing Bond to adhere to if they are to be believable in the role. This is presumably why they made Moore lose a large amount of body fat around his waistline before Live and Let Die.

  10. Jovan, perhaps you didn’t mean it in this way, but I construed you as depicting lifting weights and taking care with diet as inherently unhealthy and that the previous poster was implying a Bond actor should have to be unhealthy to approach any masculine ideal (otherwise, why mention the 1% bodyfat and so on?). You also claimed that the entertainment media and society were pushing a toxic diet culture. I think that is something that is wholly unsubstantiated by evidence, much less as a notion particularly plausible or logical. To be sure, you can find some academics here and there that can spin stories along those lines, but then again you can find people in the social sciences making all sorts of insane claims counter to mountains of evidence from harder disciplines. Coming up with any hard empirical evidence to substantiate such visions is very different, much less to establish it and treat it as though it is a fact.
    My point about obesity is that it would be a testament to the weakness of any such effect that you attribute to the media and society that the majority of people subjected to it are actually trending in the opposite direction. And it seems to me there are many cultural trends that speak against the idea that ‘society’ is imposing lean muscularity on the masses. So, it cannot so simple as to assert society is like some sort of monolith with regards to how people might be best advised to look. My suspicion is that this is “getting things backwards” because I believe people have certain innate aesthetic biases (an enormous amount of evidence on this from Buss and colleagues) and that the sorts of bodies that are normally found in movies reflect this because it makes those movies more successful, rather than movies presenting arbitrary bodytypes to be appealling and the brainwashable masses lap it up. Meanwhile, movies that try and impose something incompatible with human nature don’t do so well. I could be wrong, though, but I wouldn’t bet on it. Let’s see if the latest version of an overweight Wonder Woman presented the comics will take off.
    But the points I was trying to make are (1) that there are certain factors that made Connery and other Bonds looked good and these factors may be similar to why suits have classic proportions, (2) that they perhaps could have looked better, and (3) any actor playing Bond should share these traits.
    Incidentally, the so-called ”body positivity movement” seems to have little to do with bullying and everything to do with trying to make people feel good about being overweight and others bad about being thin. There are courses taught in some British unviversities that use a pseudomarxist logic to claim that thin people oppress fat people and that is why they are fat. Moreover, their claims that “healthy and any size” are downright dangerous if anyone is foolish enough to believe them.
    I would be curious to know you have any strong evidence that there are a lot of people who exercise in the same way as Chris Hemsworth but do not look anything like him? Everyone who I know that exercises regularly looks amazing and everyone I know who doesn’t looks unhealthy. Finally, the unsurprising fact that bodyfat can be highly heritable says nothing about the extent to which it is modifiable with diet and exercise. But I cannot think of anything more harmful to do to a person struggling with obesity than phrasing things as though bodyfat levels were determined immutably in most people with the implication that there is nothing they can or should do about it.

    • Action movies have always presented physically attractive and fit protagonists, from Douglas Fairbanks to Errol Flynn to Charlton Heston to Sean Connery to Christopher Reeve to the current crop of superheroes. In the interest of inclusiveness I might also include Honor Blackman, Diana Rigg, Lucy Lawless, and the current crop of female superheroines, but we are currently discussing male physiques. Due primarily to the big, sweaty 80’s blockbusters and to the current superhero craze, the expectation of muscularity has increased since Connery’s heyday. I suspect that all or most of the actors that gain 20-25 pounds of muscle in under a year for a given role are chemically enhanced, but that’s a discussion for another day. In the big picture, however, the ideal male physique hasn’t changed that much: muscular, long-limbed, with a v-shaped torso. Myron’s discobolus set that standard in 460 BC, and it hasn’t changed very much since then.

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