Sean Connery, the Scottish actor who will always be remembered as the original James Bond died peacefully on Saturday in his sleep surrounded by family in the Bahamas. He was 90.
Marguerite Gordon, who appeared with Connery in the very first Bond film, Dr No (1962), and holds the exclusive distinction of being the first female Bond villain offered her condolences to the legendary actor: “RIP, Sir Sean. Sean had humour and was always a gentleman, he offered me encouragement when I was nervous and forgot my lines, even though they were few.
“Sean would say ‘Come on Marguerite! You can do this!’ and he had his hand on my knee. I told him you’re making me more nervous, take your hand off my knee please! (laughing)
“I had him doing scene after scene because I was just messing it up. The director threw off his cap and said, ‘Let’s have a coffee break,’ and walked off the set.
“Sean asked me, ‘Marguerite, where is your self-confidence?’ I said I don’t have any right now and I want to go home!”
The Miss Jamaica title holder of 1961 explained how she got cast in the iconic franchise and met the actor.
Gordon said, “I was the first evil woman that James Bond ever met. I was 22 at the time, and working at the first-class counter checking in passengers at BWIA (British West Indies Airways).
“A tall man came up to me and asked ‘Would you like to be in the movies?’ I said, certainly, Sir. May I have your ticket please?”
“He said ‘I’m going to be making a series which are going to become the most famous in the whole world.’ I said, how interesting, may I have your passport? Goodbye and have a nice flight!”
She said four months later the man returned at her ticket counter with a contract and a bottle of one of her favourite perfumes, Miss Dior.
Gordon said she was “strictly brought up in Jamaica” and did not take gifts from strange men. But he insisted she just come and read for a part. She told him that she had to discuss it with her parents, Russell and Gloria LeWars), first.
The man was British director Terrence Young. In addition to Dr No, he also directed two other Bond films, From Russia with Love (1963) and Thunderball (1965).
Gordon said after her parents told her to give it a try, if she didn’t like the audition, she can just walk out.
She said she met with film executives at Courtleigh Manor in Kingston to discuss the script and was extremely uncomfortable with the role offered to her.
Gordon said “The initial part was for me lying on a bed, wrapped in a towel and kissing a strange man. I said ridiculous, I will never do that and asked who is this man.”
She said they told her his name was Sean Connery and she replied that she never heard of him. Gordon said they told her she soon will and she told them she was not taking part and walked out, they relented and offered her another role as newspaper photographer Annabel Chung.