EVERYONE lucky enough to live in Marbella between the 60s and 80s has a Sean Connery story.
The Bond star lived in his beachside villa Casa Malibu between 1975 and the mid 90s. But Sir Sean was a frequent visitor to Marbella from the 60s, where he could indulge his passion for golf and relax between films, most notably with fellow actor Sir Stanley Baker. He also developed a lasting friendship with Formula One World Champion James Hunt as well as opera singer and restaurant owner Toni Dalli. There’s even a dish named after him at the Dalli Brothers Pasta Factory in Banus.
As I said, everyone has a Sean Connery story, so here is mine. Or more specifically, my Mum’s.
In the early 80s, Mum decided to walk back from the Saturday market at the bullring to our house at the back of Nueva Andalucia. Being pretty and petite, Dad jokingly warned her not to accept lifts from strangers on the way home.
“I was walking back” she told us “when a Mercedes pulled alongside and asked if I wanted a lift. I was just about to say ‘no thank you’, when I looked in and saw it was Sean Connery.
“I almost leapt in through the window!”
Mum, who was a natural talker and from Glasgow, for once found herself lost for words. “I couldn’t think of anything to say” she admitted “I don’t even think I mentioned I was Scottish. I asked if he was here for the golf and he said yes. Then we drove in silence for about 10 minutes.
“When he dropped me at the urbanisation, which was normally busy, there was no one around to see me get out of Sean Connery’s car apart from a stray dog. I didn’t even ask him if he wanted a drink or if I could take a photo with him”.
Other friends admit to a prank they played after spotting him driving up to the Aloha Golf Club. As they were in their teens and driving a Golf GTi, there was only one thing for it. They screeched up alongside, leant out of the windows and pretended to machine gun 007 before pulling a handbrake turn and speeding off. They were treated to ‘the look’ and a raised eyebrow from Sean.
In the pre-DVD 80s, the old cinema in Puerto Banus was the starting point to a Friday night when it showed English films. With deep, cushioned rattan chairs, an interval halfway through giving you time to hit the bar and a corrugated iron roof, not to mention San Miguel at just 150 pesetas a pop, teens like myself flocked there. Spotting Sean taking a seat one evening, we began to hum the Bond theme, getting louder and louder and finishing with a “DA DA. DA DA DAAAAAAH”
One of the boys then approached him for an autograph.
‘**** off” Sean growled.
The teen beat a hasty retreat.
Sean loved his time in Marbella, whether he was enjoying a night with friends at the Marbella Club or playing a round of golf – where you could often hear him voicing his displeasure down the fairway if he was having a bad game.
Actor, icon and an unforgettable personality during Marbella’s Golden Age – RIP Sir Sean.