Beyond Bond, Connery’s 5 decades of unforgettable roles included kings, rogues, and an Oscar

By Jay Croft, CNN

(CNN) — Sean Connery earned screen immortality with seven star turns as super-spy James Bond 007.

But the long career of the Oscar winner — who died Saturday at 90 — was packed with full-blooded performances as other larger-than-life characters, as well. (His own persona was so big that he became a running gag on “SNL.”)

In more than 50 years on the screen, Connery worked with the greatest directors and actors of his time in big hits and notable bombs. And if he never quite escaped the shadow of Bond, performances like these still broadened his stature beyond his signature role.

James Bond in seven movies, starting with “Dr. No” (1962)

The gadgets! The women! The quips! Though others succeeded him in the role, Connery was the original Bond, and for countless film fans, the real McCoy. His combination of masculinity, charm and danger was unforgettable, and some of his lines became part of the lexicon: “Bond — James Bond” … “Shaken, not stirred.”

Mark Rutland in “Marnie” (1964)

Between early Bond outings, Connery enrolled with Master of Suspense Alfred Hitchcock and star Tippi Hedren for this psychological thriller. Reviews were mixed. The New York Times called both stars “attractive and promising” but noted their inexperience.

Col. Arbuthnot in “Murder on the Orient Express” (1974)

An all-star cast, a juicy whodunit, and A-list director (Sidney Lumet) lured Connery after he walked away from Bond (well, for the most part). Above, he’s standing to the left of Albert Finney, with his hand on Vanessa Redgrave’s shoulder.

Daniel Dravot in “The Man Who Would Be King” (1975)

Another prestige picture, this time for legendary filmmaker John Huston alongside Michael Caine. Connery was also in “The Wind and the Lion” that year, and played Robin Hood next to Audrey Hepburn in “Robin and Marion” the next year.

Jim Malone in “The Untouchables” (1987)

Connery stole the show (from Kevin Costner and Robert DeNiro) and won Best Supporting Actor in the hit adaptation of the Al Capone/Eliot Ness saga. “You know how to get Capone?” he schools Costner. “They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. That’s the Chicago way!”

Professor Henry Jones in “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” (1989)

Connery was in a fruitful period when he scored as Harrison Ford’s dad in this chapter of the “Raiders of the Lost Ark” series. Fun fact: Connery was just 12 years older than his on-screen son.

Capt. Marko Ramius in “The Hunt for Red October” (1990)

He scored another huge hit as a Soviet submarine captain defecting to the US, this time showing Alec Baldwin how it’s done.

John Patrick Mason in “The Rock” (1996)

He’d go on to a few other roles, notably “Entrapment” and “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.” But this action blockbuster and cable TV perennial cemented Connery’s status for a new generation of viewers who didn’t know his body of work and might have known James Bond only as that guy from “Remington Steele.”

‘American Idol’ contestant Nikki McKibbin dies at 42

Associated Press

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Nikki McKibbin, a singer from Texas best known for her third place finish in the first season of American Idol, has died. She was 42.

McKibbin’s husband, Craig Sadler, confirmed her death in a Facebook post, saying that she had died after suffering a brain aneurysm on Wednesday and was taken off life support early Sunday. Her husband did not say where she died.

McKibbin’s son, Tristen Langley, told The New York Times that his mother died in Arlington, Texas.

“She was so loved that I know thousands of you will be grieving with us,” Sadler said. “She loved so many of you and I know you loved her too.”

McKibbin appeared on American Idol in 2002, when the show started and became an instant hit.

A 23-year-old from Grand Prairie, Texas, McKibbin impressed the judges with soulful performances of songs by Janis Joplin, Stevie Nicks and a stirring cover of Alanna Myles’ song “Black Velvet.”

McKibbin finished third on the show that year, behind Justin Guarini and Kelly Clarkson, who won the competition.

Gracious in defeat, McKibbin tearfully hugged her fellow contestants when she was voted out in 2002.

“What an incredible journey this has been,” McKibbin said before leaving the stage. “Just to know that so many people support me and enjoy what I do means more than anything in the world.″

The often acid-tongued Simon Cowell was equally gracious.

“Reality check: Out of 10,000 people, you are third. This is not a time for tears,″ he told McKibbin. “You’ve got a career ahead of you.″

In a statement, American Idol sent its condolences to McKibbin’s family and friends.

“Nikki McKibbin was an incredible talent and we are deeply saddened by the news of her passing,” the TV show said in a statement posted on Twitter. “She was part of our American Idol family and will be truly missed.”

Designer Kenzo Takada, founder of Kenzo, dies of Covid-19 aged 81

By Martin Goillandeau, CNN

Paris-based Japanese designer Kenzo Takada, famous for creating the international luxury fashion house Kenzo, died in Paris on Sunday due to Covid-19 related complications, a spokesperson for Takada’s luxury K-3 brand said in a statement sent to CNN. His death came in the midst of Paris Fashion Week, which, through a hybrid of physical and digital shows, has forged ahead despite rising Covid-19 cases in France.

“It is with immense sadness that the brand K-3 announces the loss of its celebrated artistic director, Kenzo Takada. The world-renowned designer passed away on October 4th, 2020 due to Covid-19 related complications at the age of 81 at the American Hospital, in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France,” the statement read.

Kenzo Takada at his Autumm-Winter show in Paris on March 10, 1998. Credit: Daniel Simon/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images

Kenzo Takada’s designs were a mix of loud colors and prints inspired by his worldwide travels. Credit: Pierre Vauthey/Sygma/Sygma via Getty Images

In 1970, Takada rocked Paris with the debut of his namesake fashion line. Sold out of his first boutique, called Jungle Jap, his designs were a chaotic mix of loud colors and mismatched prints inspired by his travels.

Prints master Kenzo Takada talks Paris, sketching and how fashion has changed

The world’s varied cultures would be a constant source of creativity — and everything from folk dresses to kimonos would be boldly reinterpreted for his runways. “There was much more of a cultural gap when you were traveling from one country to the next,” he told CNN in a 2019 interview, reminiscing about trips taken in the 1970s. “So that really drove me and gave me a lot of influence and inspiration to work on different things around my trips.”

On Paris, Takada would speak of its lasting influence. “A French way of working with fashion definitely influenced me and much later I started to blend other cultures into that specific fashion,” he said.

“Of course now, fashion is everywhere; in New York, Paris, Milan, London, Tokyo, everywhere. But I think Paris stays very important.”

Models wear bright colored suits with matching turbans by designer Kenzo Takada at his Autumn-Winter show in Paris, 1986. Credit: Pierre Vauthey/Sygma/Getty Images

The designer accompanied by two models down his Autumn-Winter runway in Paris, 1983. Credit: Pierre Vauthey/Sygma/Getty Images

The designer inaugurated his flagship store in the city’s Place des Victoires by 1976, and over the next three decades, he racked up numerous accolades and accomplishments — including a slew of magazine covers, the launch of a perfume empire and, in 1993, his brand’s purchase by luxury conglomerate LVMH — before retiring to pursue other creative projects in 1999.

Kenzo during one of his world travels which later inspired the brand’s collections. Credit: Kenzo Takada

“Kenzo Takada was incredibly creative; with a stroke of genius, he imagined a new artistic and colourful story combining East and West — his native Japan and his life in Paris,” Jonathan Bouchet Manheim, CEO of Takada’s K-3 brand, launched in January of this year, said in a statement.

Content by CNN Underscored

The perfect rugs help turn your house into a home

Paris Fashion Week strides on despite rising Covid-19 cases

“I had the chance to work alongside him for many years, always in awe, admiring his curiosity and his open-mindedness. He seemed quiet and shy at first, but he was full of humour. He was generous and always knew how to look after the people close to his heart. He had a zest for life… Kenzo Takada was the epitome of the art of living,” he added.

Kristen Bateman contributed to this story.

James Redford, filmmaker and son of Robert Redford, dies at 58

(CNN) — James Redford, an activist, filmmaker and philanthropist, has died, a rep for his father, actor and director Robert Redford, confirmed to CNN Tuesday.

The younger Redford was 58.

“The grief is immeasurable with the loss of a child. Jamie was a loving son, husband and father,” a statement provided to CNN from Robert Redford’s publicist Cindi Berger read. “His legacy lives on through his children, art, filmmaking and devoted passion to conservation and the environment. Robert Redford is mourning with his family during this difficult time and asks for privacy.”

James Redford’s wife, Kyle, tweeted the news on Friday along with photos of him and their family.

“Jamie died today. We’re heartbroken,” she wrote. “He lived a beautiful, impactful life & was loved by many.”

<img alt=”Robert Redford: The big question I want answered” class=”media__image” src=”//”>

“He will be deeply missed. As his wife of 32 yrs, I’m most grateful for the two spectacular children we raised together,” the tweet went on to say. “I don’t know what we would’ve done w/o them over the past 2yrs.”

Kyle Redford told The Salt Lake Tribune her husband died of bile-duct cancer in his liver.

David James Redford, who was known as “Jamie,” was the third of four children born to Robert Redford and his former wife, historian Lola Van Wagenen.

James Redford graduated with a bachelor’s degree in creative writing and film from the University of Colorado-Boulder and a master’s degree in literature from Northwestern University.

He and his father co-founded The Redford Center in 2005 which according to its site “uses impact-driven film and media to accelerate environmental and climate justice, solutions and repair.”

The younger Redford served as the organization’s chairman where he called on his skills as a writer, director and producer for film and television.

“I come from a long line of storytellers, so the idea of being compelled to make sense of things is essential to who I am and how I see the world,” he said.

He wrote, directed and produced more than a dozen films, including the award-winning documentaries “Watershed,” “Toxic Hot Seat” and “Mann v. Ford.”

After undergoing two liver transplants, he launched the James Redford Institute for Transplant Awareness, a nonprofit seeking to educate the public about the need for organ and tissue donation.

Redford reveled in his outreach.

“I just love meeting people and hearing their stories,” he said. “Being in the documentary filmmaking world ensures your life is one long continuing education course. You’re constantly learning more — not only about topics but also about human nature. And then to be able to apply a love of sound and vision into how you shape that content — that’s the icing on the cake.”

Author Amy Tan posted a tribute to Redford on her verified Facebook page Monday, saying she was “devastated” by her friend’s death.

She said he had sent her a rough copy of his latest documentary “Where the Past Begins,” but had grown concerned when she hadn’t heard back from him when she emailed him.

Tan said she reached out to his wife, who told her Tan’s email was the last he had read as his health was rapidly declining just before he died.

“I was sorry I could not give Jamie my fond farewell. But I now think it was unnecessary,” Tan wrote. “I imagine Jamie felt as I do after turning in a manuscript. You hold your breath until you get the verdict. You suspect the worst. And when he received my enthusiastic response, I imagine he was happy and relieved, and could finally put aside uncertainty and let go of pain.”

Vaughn McClure, ESPN Atlanta Falcons reporter, dies at 48


Vaughn McClure, a member of ESPN’s NFL coverage team since 2013, died this week at his home near Atlanta. He was 48.

McClure joined ESPN to cover the NFL, and he settled in on the Atlanta Falcons beat as part of NFL Nation. He covered the team during its run to Super Bowl LI in 2017. He contributed to ESPN’s television and radio coverage of the Falcons and the NFL, as well.

“We all loved Vaughn,” said John Pluym, senior deputy editor for digital NFL coverage at ESPN. “He had a heart of gold. He was so helpful to our reporters. In the last few hours, we’ve heard so many stories about how Vaughn had helped them with a story or how he put in a good word for them with a coach or player.”

ESPN Atlanta Falcons reporter Vaughn McClure, pictured in 2018. Melissa Rawlins/ESPN Images

Pluym added: “Talking to Vaughn on the phone was always a joy. I loved how you could just sense the excitement in his voice for being able to cover the Falcons for ESPN. We will all miss him greatly. And I’ll end this the way Vaughn ended every phone call with a colleague: ‘Appreciate you. Love you.’ We all loved him, too.”

Tributes to McClure quickly spread on social media after news of his death, with Hall of Famer Brian Urlacher among those sending condolences. “Today I was very saddened to hear about the passing of my dear friend Vaughn McClure,” he wrote. “We became fast friends when he was covering the Bears. He had a big heart and was one of the nicest guys you will ever meet. You will be missed.”

Wrote longtime NFL quarterback Josh McCown: “Heartbreaking news about Vaughn McClure. Text[ed] last week for background on some QB stuff. He was a very thorough journalist. Always a positive vibe every time we connected. Finished every text with ‘love ya bro.’ Rest well Vaughn. Love ya bro.”

The Falcons, in a statement, said: “We are saddened to learn of the passing of ESPN’s Vaughn McClure. He was an earnest, thoughtful reporter who had a passion for his craft and the relationships he held. He will be missed dearly and we are holding his family, friends and associates in our thoughts and prayers.”

McClure came to ESPN after covering the Bears for the Chicago Tribune for six seasons.

“People will probably remember how Vaughn was able to connect and develop trusting relationships with many of the athletes he covered, or how diligent he was about deadlines, or the countless times he volunteered to help out a colleague on another sport,” said Patricia Mays, senior director of content strategy and distribution at ESPN and who brought McClure to the company. “But what I respected most was how committed he was to continually improving. One of the last emails I received from him was asking for feedback. He wrote: ‘Would love to talk to you after the season about how I can get better at a lot of things. I want to be great at this job.'”

Among his other assignments while at the Tribune was covering the Bulls in the postseason. Previously, he covered Notre Dame football for the Chicago Sun-Times and Fresno State basketball for The Fresno Bee. He also worked at the South Bend Tribune and DeKalb Daily Chronicle.

McClure, who graduated from Northern Illinois University in 1994, was a Chicago native.

Roberta McCain Dies at 108; Mother of the Senator and His Beacon

John McCain credited to her his will to survive as a prisoner of war. She later campaigned for him in his 2008 bid for the presidency.

Roberta McCain in 2007. The next year, at 96, she campaigned spiritedly in her son’s losing bid for the presidency.


Jamie Rose for The New York Times

By Robert D. McFadden

Roberta McCain, whose son, Senator John McCain of Arizona, said she had inspired his will to survive as a prisoner of war in Vietnam — and who at 96 campaigned spiritedly in his losing bid for the presidency against Barack Obama in 2008 — died on Monday at her home in Washington. She was 108.

Her death was announced on Twitter by her daughter-in-law, Cindy McCain.

An adventurous world traveler who took frequent home dislocations in stride and wartime family perils with outward calm, Mrs. McCain was Navy through and through — the wife and daughter-in-law of admirals and the mother of the naval aviator who was shot down over Hanoi in 1967 and who, for five and a half years, was America’s most famous prisoner of the Vietnam War.

For Mrs. McCain and her husband, Adm. John S. McCain Jr., the commander of all United States forces in the Pacific and in the Vietnam War theater, their son’s captivity in North Vietnam was painfully endured with prayer, and with near silence in public. They knew that Hanoi tortured prisoners, and that Lt. Cmdr. McCain, as a propaganda prize, could hardly be exempted. He was not.

He came home a war hero and, with his mother’s encouragement, began a political career as a Republican stalwart. He won two terms in the House of Representatives and six terms in the Senate, and he ran twice for the White House. In 2000, he lost the nomination to Mr. Bush, who went on to win the presidency; eight years later he won the nomination, but lost the election to Mr. Obama. He died in 2018.

Mrs. McCain with her son Lt. John S. McCain III, left, and her husband, Adm. John S. McCain Jr., when a Navy training base was named in honor of her father-in-law, Adm. John S. McCain, in 1961.

“From both my parents, I learned to persevere,” Senator McCain wrote in a memoir, “Faith of My Fathers” (1999, with Mark Salter). “But my mother’s extraordinary resilience made her the stronger of the two. I acquired some of her resilience and her felicity, and that inheritance made an enormous difference in my life.

“Our family,” he continued, lived on the move, rooted not in location but in the culture of the Navy. I learned from my mother not just to take the constant disruptions in stride, but to welcome them as elements of an interesting life.”

The rebellious daughter of a wealthy Oklahoma oil wildcatter who settled his family in Los Angeles, Mrs. McCain eloped and became a Navy wife in 1933. As her husband rose to global military prominence, she lived in capitals and naval bases in Europe, Asia and the Americas for nearly four decades. Her children were born in Honolulu, in the Panama Canal Zone and at the submarine base in Groton, Conn.

Under relentless Navy reassignment moves, her youngest son, Joe, had attended 17 schools by the time he finished the ninth grade. During World War II Mrs. McCain, living in Hawaii, rarely saw her husband, a submarine commander whose dangers on monthslong patrols in the Pacific were the stuff of wartime legends and family nightmares.

With husbands gone, wives took on all the tasks, Senator McCain wrote:

“Our mothers run our households, pay the bills and manage most of our upbringing. For long stretches at a time they are required to be both mother and father. They move us from base to base. They see to our religious, educational and emotional needs. They arbitrate our quarrels, discipline us and keep us safe.”

After World War II, when her husband became the Navy’s information chief and congressional liaison, the McCains kept a home on Capitol Hill. Senators, representatives and Pentagon brass were frequent visitors at their home, which later became the Capitol Hill Club.

The Year’s Obituaries

Remembering Ruth Bader Ginsburg, John Lewis, Kobe Bryant, Chadwick Boseman, Kirk Douglas, Little Richard, Mary Higgins Clark and many others who died this year.

Notable Deaths 2020

“My mother’s charm proved as effective with politicians as it did with naval officers,” Senator McCain recalled in his memoir.

Her husband was promoted to rear admiral in 1958. Her father-in-law, John S. McCain Sr., was also an admiral, who commanded Western Pacific Naval air and carrier task forces in World War II.

Mrs. McCain, left, attended a rally for her son’s campaign in 2008 along with Senator McCain’s wife, Cindy, and Senator Joseph I. Lieberman.


Richard Perry/The New York Times

In the early 1960s, the family lived in New York when Admiral McCain was attached to the United Nations, and in London when he commanded American naval forces in Europe. During the admiral’s Pacific and Vietnam theater commands, from 1968 to 1972, Mrs. McCain often accompanied him to Saigon, where he conferred with Gen. Creighton Abrams, the Vietnam military commander. She also joined him on missions to Thailand, Japan and the Philippines.

“My mother always traveled with my father,” Senator McCain wrote. “Had the Navy allowed it, I am sure she would have accompanied him on sea duty, and found in the alternately exciting and dull world of men at sea some useful and interesting way to occupy her time.”

After her husband’s death in 1981, Mrs. McCain and her identical twin sister, Rowena, took long driving trips through Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Once, when she was denied a rental car in Paris because of her age, she went out and bought a car. On road trips in the United States, she accumulated numerous speeding tickets and was once clocked at over 100 miles an hour, her son said.

In her later years, she encouraged her son’s political career. Retired from the Navy in 1981, he was elected in 1982 to the House of Representatives, where he served four years, and then to the Senate in 1986, winning re-election five times, most recently in 2016. She had no role in his run for president in 2000.

But she joined Senator McCain’s 2008 “Straight Talk Express” campaign. She occasionally stole the show with acerbic comments on her son’s political foes, and she once mistakenly accused one rival, Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, of involvement in a scandal that rocked the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. She and her son both apologized.

Mrs. McCain led her family in attendance at a memorial for her son in the Capitol Rotunda on Aug. 31, 2018.


Jim Watson/Associated Press

Roberta Wright was born in Muskogee, Okla., on Feb. 7, 1912, one of five children of Archibald and Myrtle (Fletcher) Wright. She was a freshman at the University of Southern California in 1931 when she met Ensign McCain, a recent Naval Academy graduate.

Her parents disapproved of their courtship, but the couple eloped and were married in Tijuana, Mexico, in 1933. They had three children, Jean Alexandra, John Sidney III and Joseph Pinckney II.

Meghan Latcovich, Cindy McCain’s chief of staff, said Mrs. McCain was survived by her son Joseph; 10 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; and seven great-great-grandchildren. Her daughter, Jean Alexandra McCain Morgan, died last year.

On Mrs. McCain’s 100th birthday in 2012, a crowd of relatives and friends gathered at the Capitol Hill Club, her former residence, for cake and a slide show of her panoramic past. She was pictured with Lord Mountbatten, the last viceroy of India; John Paul Getty, the industrialist and collector; Bob Hope; Ambassador Clare Boothe Luce; Madame and Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek; and others.

After Senator McCain’s death in August 2018, Mrs. McCain was unable to attend her son’s memorial service in Phoenix. But she led her family in attendance at a memorial in Washington, where the senator lay in state in the Capitol Rotunda. She also attended his funeral at Washington National Cathedral, where Mr. Obama and former President George W. Bush gave eulogies, and was present for a private service and burial ceremony at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.

“We still, to this day,” Senator McCain said of his mother in his memoir, “have spirited discussions about politics and policy.”

Alex Traub contributed reporting.