The Surprising Jobs Sean Connery Had Before Becoming Famous

The late Sean Connery might be most widely known as the beloved actor who portrayed James Bond, but the Scottish man had a few jobs before he made it big. Connery, who was born in 1930 and raised in Scotland, had a modest upbringing, according to Biography. His dad was a trucker and his mom was a laundress, so the family lived in a small home. Connery quit school early, at just 13 years old, and took up a full-time job at the local dairy, The Scotsman reported in 2019. While there, he delivered milk products around town. At age 16, he decided to join the Royal Navy.

After just a three-year stint, though, Connery left the Navy for health reasons. He suffered from stomach ulcers that hindered his time in the service. He took on more odd jobs to make ends meet, including shoveling coal, laying bricks, polishing coffins, and posing as a model at the Edinburgh Art School, according to Biography. Connery saved all his money from his odd jobs, and it was that dedication and drive that put him on the path to acting.

Sean Connery saved money from his odd jobs to pay for the weightlifting club

With all the odd jobs young Sean Connery was doing, the future sex symbol was able to save a little bit of money here and there so he could eventually buy his way into the local weightlifting club, according to Biography. It was that decision and investment that ultimately led to his later success. Once Connery started bodybuilding, he became incredibly buff, so much so that his pals at the gym submitted him as a contender for Mr. Universe. 

He traveled from Scotland down to London to compete, calling himself Mr. Scotland, and took third place in the tall men category. While third place is respectable, Connery also took home something other than that prize: a chance to take on a role in a London production of South Pacific. A local casting director was in the audience and liked Connery's look, so he invited him to join. Though Connery once admitted, according to Biography, that he couldn't sing or dance, he decided after one rehearsal that acting was the career for him. He dropped his given first name — Thomas — and from then on went by Sean Connery, and the rest, as they say, is history.