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Sean Connery Once Beat Up 6 Gang Members who Wanted to Steal his Jacket

Tijana Radeska
Getty Images
Getty Images

Sir Thomas Sean Connery is probably the most famous Scottish actor, best known for his role as the secret agent James Bond.

Ever since his first appearance on stage, the audience around the world immediately fell in love with Connery’s charismatic personality and Apollonian physique, and through the years, everyone enjoyed his transformation into a wise grey-haired intellectual.

Connery during filming for Diamonds Are Forever in 1971. Photo by Mieremet, Rob / Anefo – Nationaal Archief, CC BY-SA 3.0 nl

Connery during filming for Diamonds Are Forever in 1971. Photo by Mieremet, Rob / Anefo – Nationaal Archief, CC BY-SA 3.0 nl

What many people don’t know about Connery is that he was also a feared street brawler in Edinburgh.

Once he beat a gang of four while hanging out with actor Michael Caine, and another time, he defeated six people in a street fight.

Michael Caine. Photo by Government Press Office (Israel) CC BY SA 3.0

Michael Caine. Photo by Government Press Office (Israel) CC BY SA 3.0

Even though his acting career spanned for over fifty years, in his youth, Connery never intended to become an actor.

Bodybuilding was his passion. He began bodybuilding at the age of 18, and after two years started training with Ellington, a former gym instructor in the British army.

Connery in 2004 at a Tartan Day celebration in Washington D.C. with members of the USAF Reserve Pipes and Drums.

Connery in 2004 at a Tartan Day celebration in Washington D.C. with members of the USAF Reserve Pipes and Drums.

Connery’s first job was as a milkman and later he took on various different low-paying jobs such as laborer, lifeguard, and truck driver. He supported himself with those jobs, while regularly training in the gym.

His nickname as a weightlifter was “Big Tam,” and in 1950, he competed for Scotland in the Mr. Universe contest and won third place.

Sean Connery in 1999. Photo bt Georges Biard CC BY SA 3.0

Sean Connery in 1999. Photo bt Georges Biard CC BY SA 3.0

In 1951 he worked at the King’s Theatre in Edinburgh as a backstage maintenance worker. It was his first contact with the world of acting, and soon he got offered to audition for a role in the Broadway musical South Pacific.

Sean Connery feigns shoving a vanilla ice cream cone in retired Lt. Col. Charles Russhon’s face during the production of Thunderball.

Sean Connery feigns shoving a vanilla ice cream cone in retired Lt. Col. Charles Russhon’s face during the production of Thunderball.

He was immediately noticed by several agents, and he loved the exposure to the big stage. With his charm and looks, it wasn’t hard for Connery to win other roles and to prosper fast in the acting world.

Sean Connery, British actor, circa 1960. Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

Sean Connery, British actor, circa 1960. Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

At the time when his acting career started and was still better known as Big Tam, Connery experienced a very serious and dangerous encounter with some members of the Valdor Gang.

The Valdor Gang was one of the most barbarous street gangs that roamed the streets of Edinburgh in the 1950s.

One evening, while Connery was playing in a billiard hall, members of the gang fancied his shiny leather jacket. They started threatening him and even attempted to steal the jacket.

Sean Connery at the 2008 Edinburgh International Film Festival. Photo by Stuart Crawford CC BY-SA 3.0

Sean Connery at the 2008 Edinburgh International Film Festival. Photo by Stuart Crawford CC BY-SA 3.0

Trying to avoid a fight, Connery managed to escape the scene but was followed by six Valdor Gang members as he walked to the Palais, a popular dance and theater hall at the time, now demolished.

Sean Connery starred as 007 in the first five Bond films: Dr. No (1962), From Russia with Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965), and You Only Live Twice (1967). Then appeared again as Bond in Diamonds Are Forever (1971) and Never Say Never Again (1983). Photo Credit Dutch National Archives, The Hague, Fotocollectie Algemeen Nederlands Persbureau (ANeFo), 1945-1989

Sean Connery starred as 007 in the first five Bond films: Dr. No (1962), From Russia with Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965), and You Only Live Twice (1967). Then appeared again as Bond in Diamonds Are Forever (1971) and Never Say Never Again (1983). Photo Credit Dutch National Archives, The Hague, Fotocollectie Algemeen Nederlands Persbureau (ANeFo), 1945-1989

Noticing that he was being followed, Connery was forced to climb onto the balcony of the Palais and there, the six men started hitting him. Apparently, they were angry because Connery challenged their reputation by refusing to give them his jacket.

Scottish actor Sean Connery on the set of Goldfinger, directed by Guy Hamilton. Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images

Scottish actor Sean Connery on the set of Goldfinger, directed by Guy Hamilton. Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images

And they would have caused the actor serious physical injuries if it wasn’t for his strength, fighting abilities, and experience with street fights and bar brawls. To their great surprise and horror, Connery managed to deal with each one of the Valdor Gang members that attacked him.

At one point during the fight, just like in a movie scene, he grabbed the heads of two of the men and smacked them against each other, after which both of them were knocked out.

Read another story from us: Lana Turner’s jealous boyfriend pulled a gun on Sean Connery. It really didn’t end well

Word about Connery’s superior fighting techniques reached some high-ranking members of the Valdor gang. They started praising him and even offered him to join their ranks, which Connery politely refused. However, he earned the respect of the ruthless and dangerous gang.