Sean Connery was born in Fountainbridge, Edinburgh, the son of Euphamia C. "Effie" (née Maclean), a cleaning woman, and Joseph Connery, a factory worker and truck driver. His father was a Roman Catholic of Irish descent with roots in County Wexford, while his mother was a Scottish Protestant. He claims he was called Sean, his middle name, long before becoming an actor, explaining that when he was young he had an Irish friend named Séamus and that those who knew them both had decided to call Connery by his middle name whenever both were present.
His first job was as a milkman in Edinburgh with St. Cuthbert's Co-operative Society. He then joined the Royal Navy, but was later discharged on medical grounds because of a duodenal ulcer. Afterwards, he returned to the co-op, then worked at other jobs, including a lorry driver, a labourer, artist's model for the Edinburgh College of Art, coffin polisher, and bodybuilder.
According to Connery's official website, he placed third in the 1953 Mr. Universe bodybuilding contest. Fellow competitor, Johnny Isaacs, suggested he audition for a stage production of South Pacific. This led Connery to stage, television, and film work. A prominent television role was in Rudolph Cartier's 1961 production of Anna Karenina for BBC Television, in which he co-starred with Claire Bloom.
When he was younger, Connery was a keen footballer, having played for a team called Bonnyrigg Rose. He was even offered a trial with successful East Fife. While on tour with the cast of South Pacific, Connery was involved in a football match against a local team that Matt Busby, manager of Manchester United, happened to be scouting at the time. According to reports, Busby offered Connery a contract worth £25-a-week immediately after the game. Connery admits that he was tempted to accept the offer, but he recalls "I realised that a top-class footballer could be over the hill by the age of 30, and I was already 23. I decided to become an actor and it turned out to be one of my more intelligent moves."
His first American television role was as a porter in an episode of The Jack Benny Show.
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