Still Bond. After all those years. After getting a little grittier in The Rock, a little kinder in Medicine Man, and a little crazier in Highlander, it’s clear that he didn’t stray far from the role that initially made him famous. It’s arguable that the further departure was as the semi-doofy-yet-still-sexually-rigorous Henry Jones Sr. in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was his furthest departure (or maybe Finding Forrester), but he was still a king of genre. An emblem of rugged adventure and map-crossing excitement.
Friend and colleague Michael Caine said that the industry had retired Connery because he wasn’t interested in side roles for old men, but things also went infamously bad on the set of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and Connery himself said he was, “fed up with the idiots. . . the ever-widening gap between people who know how to make movies and the people who green-light movies,” in confirming his retirement.
So we most likely won’t see Connery on screen again, even as Bond lives on with his name forever hanging over the role. He shaped it, and it shaped him. He never fully shed that image, but he still managed to have a hell of a career, and I doubt anyone ever called him a hairy marshmallow to his face.