It occurs that without the seven James Bond pictures he made, Sean Connery would have had a solid career as an accomplished working actor highlighting a variety of genres from war pictures to elfin fantasies to Shakespeare and outright comedies.

But his stint as 007 — initially opposed by Bond creator Ian Fleming — made Connery an instant international celebrity and major star. We don’t begrudge him that status for an nanosecond. Nonetheless, our Monday Quiz focuses on his movies before he showed up on the set of 1962’s Dr. No.

How much do you know about this period?  Let’s find out as we get to our answers. (As usual, to review the questions, just scroll down to Monday’s blog immediately below.)

1) Answer:  b) and d).  While Connery always played football (soccer to us in the U.S.), he was fascinated with bodybuilding as a teenager, and once entered a “Mr. Universe” competition.

2) Answer: c) Connery appeared in the small role as a porter in a 1957 episode of tv’s The Jack Benny Program.  It was titled Jack Hires An Opera Singer in Rome.

3) Answer:  d) Lana Turner in 1958’s Another Time, Another Place. Off-camera, Connery had to cope with Lana’s jealous boyfriend at the time, gangster Johnny Stompanato. (That’s Lana with Connery in the photo above.)

4) Answer:  b) False.  Connery costarred as a bad guy in 1959’s Tarzan’s Greatest Adventure but Gordon Scott played the title role.

5) Answer:  Walt Disney produced the 1959 family fantasy, Darby O’Gill and the Little People, and treated Connery like a star.  The actor also appeared on the tv series, Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color.

6) Answer:  b) False.  Connery had no illusions about his singing, but his vocalizing on the Pretty Irish Girl tune he sang in Darby O’Gill and the Little People was released as single in the U.K

7) Answer:  d) Connery played the title role in the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.’s 1961 telecast of Macbeth opposite Zoe Caldwell. The actor is Scotch after all. 

8) Answer:  c) Connery and Alfred Hitchcock got along well during the Marnie shooting.  The director appreciated the actor’s relaxed attitude and absence of star ego.

9) Answer:  a) The Longest Day.

10) Answer:  c) The unlikely producer of 1957’s Action of the Tiger was its star, Van Johnson. And the distributor, MGM, was the studio where Johnson had flourished.   Although not listed by name as a producer, his company, Van Johnson Enterprises, is.

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