Neil Connery, Sean Connery's brother and star of James Bond spoof 'Operation Kid Brother', dies aged 83

·Senior Editor
·3-min read
Neil Connery pictured left with Lois Maxwell and Daniela Bianchi in 1966, and right at the 1999 UK premiere of Entrapment (Getty Images)
Neil Connery pictured left with Lois Maxwell and Daniela Bianchi in 1966, and right at the 1999 UK premiere of Entrapment (Getty Images)

Neil Connery, the younger brother of Sir Sean Connery, has died aged 83, according to multiple reports.

Neil died on 11 May following a long illness, revealed reputable 007 fan site From Sweden With Love.

His death was first shared on Facebook by a friend of Connery, Steve Begg, who paid tribute saying "He looked and sounded like his big bro so going out with him was always interesting to say the leasht. Mish you Neil."

George Lazenby, who played James Bond in 1969's On Her Majesty's Secret Service, paid tribute on Twitter saying Neil will 'join his great brother'.

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Born on New Year's Day 1938, Neil was seven years younger than Sean, who died in 2020 aged 90.

Read more: Sean Connery's lost screen appearance as Bond revealed

The plasterer-turned-actor appeared in the Italian-made 1967 James Bond spoof called Operation Kid Brother (also known as OK Connery) starring alongside a number of other Bond alumni including Lois Maxwell (Miss Moneypenny), Bernard Lee (M), Daniela Bianchi (From Russia With Love) and Adolfo Celi (Thunderball).

Scottish actor Neil Connery, the younger brother of actor Sean Connery, at a reception at the Hilton Hotel in London, with a group of Bond girl-style actresses, to publicise his upcoming film 'Operation Kid Brother', aka 'OK Connery', 21st April 1968. From left to right, the actresses are Sandra Marshall, Frances Sinclair, Valerie Wood, with Valerie Flower in front.   (Photo by Michael Webb/Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Neil Connery poses with a group of Bond girl-style actresses, to publicise his upcoming film 'Operation Kid Brother' in 1968 (Michael Webb/Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Neil was approached to star in the spoof by Italian film producer Dario Sabatello at the height of the 1960s spymania — sparked by the success of the 007 films — after his distinctive voice was heard on the radio by filmmakers. 

Despite sounding a lot like his older brother, Neil's voice was dubbed by an American actor for the final film.

Actor Neil Connery, the brother of James Bond star Sean Connery, poses with actress Daniela Bianchi at a press conference for the upcoming Bond spoof 'Operation Kid Brother', aka 'OK Connery', Italy, 25th November 1966. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Neil Connery poses with Daniela Bianchi at a press conference for the Bond spoof 'Operation Kid Brother', 25th November 1966. (Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

At one point Bernard Lee, who played M in many of the official 007 films opposite Sean, turns to the camera and says “OK Connery! You were almost better than your brother.”

Released in Italy in 1967, it was released in the UK in 1968 after it was picked up by United Artists, the distributors behind the official James Bond film series. Reviews at the time were overall negative, but it has since grown a small cult following.

Neil Connery brother of actor Sean Connery with beard April 1997 (Photo by mirrorpix/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images)
Neil Connery brother of actor Sean Connery with beard April 1997 (Mirrorpix via Getty Images)

Originally a plasterer, Neil made a few more screen appearances after the spoof, starring in 1969's The Body Stealers, 1980's Wild Boy, and in a 1989 episode of Taggart

After Sean Connery's death last year, Daily Record reported that Neil had been suffering with "a tummy bug", but had been devastated by the loss of his brother.

Neil's wife, Eleanor, told the Record: "He's just very upset at losing his only brother."

Talking about Sean, she added: "He was a person to be admired and loved and we just feel it's the end of an era. And that's really all I have to say because anything else would be meaningless."

Neil Connery is survived by wife Eleanor and two daughters, Martine and Leone.

Watch: Sean Connery's cause of death revealed