It may come as a bit of a shock to learn that seemingly ageless Sean Connery will turn 85 this August. His seven movies as James Bond are indelibly part of film history.

Did anyone play 007 any better?  That’s a discussion for another day. Our Monday Quiz featuring Connery is focused largely on the movies he made as a young struggling actor trying to get a grip on a business not especially congenial to someone from a Scotch working class backround (his mother a cleaning lady, his father a truck driver) not inclined to the traditional classical acting of the British stage.

Connery’s pre-Bond work (both movie and tv) in the Fifties is an eclectic mix of dramas, comedies and, yes, a bit of Shakespeare.  He is always an interesting actor, and became internationally so after 1962’s Dr. No when he first picked up that Walther PPK gun and started slurping vodka martinis.

How much do you know about the pre-Bond Connery.  We invite you to take our quiz and find out.

1) Question:  Connery was always a physically active actor with an athletic past. What type of sporting activity did he pursue before he became an actor?  a) Boxing; b) Soccer; c) Martial Arts; or d) Bodybuilding.

2) Question: During the late Fifties, Connery appeared (briefly) in an episode of an extended  tv series featuring one of  American’s finest classic comedians.  Who is this comedian?  a) Eddie Cantor; b) Jackie Gleason; c) Jack Benny or d) Bob Hope.

3) Question: Who was Connery’s female costar in what is considered as his first big Hollywood movie? a) Hedy Lamarr; b) Joan Crawford; c) Tippi Hedren; or d) Lana Turner.

4) Question: Connery actually played Tarzan in one of the later movies about the King of the Jungle.  a) True; b) False?

5) Question:  Connery’s very first Hollywood film was produced by an unlikely source.  Can you name the movie and who produced it?

6) Question:  At one point in his pre-Bond career, Connery seriously considered a singing career in England.  a) True; b) False?

7) Question: Although Connery downplays his classical acting credentials, he confessed to spending much of his time reading plays in libraries while he was a Fifties bit actor in touring companies in the U.K. And one of his noteworthy Shakespearean roles pre-James Bond showed off the result.  Which Shakespearean character did he portray?  a) Hamlet; b) King Lear; c) Iago or d) Macbeth.

8) Question: Which of the following best describes the relationship between Connery and Alfred Hitchcock (pictured with Connery above), who directed 1964’s Marnie, one of Connery’s best remembered post-Bond films? a) Intense mutual dislike; b) Fear on Connery’s part, arrogance on Hitchock’s; c) Altogether an easy rapport; or d) Mutual indifference.

9) Question:  Connery spent two days filming a supporting role in which one of the following Hollywood epics. a) The Longest Day, b) Ben Hur; c) Spartacus; or d) The Ten Commandments.

10) Question: In 1957, Connery costarred with French actress Martine Carol in a gritty adventure saga, Action of the Tiger, filmed in Europe under the production aegis of one Hollywood’s most cheery and wholesome actors. Who is he?  a) Jackie Cooper; b) Fred Astaire; c) Van Johnson; or d) Gene Kelly.

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