The Bizarre Jobs Sean Connery Had Before Acting

He was born Thomas Sean Connery on August 25, 1930, growing up in poverty in Fountainbridge, Scotland, the son of a truck driver and a laundress, according to Biography. "I never knew how poor because that's how everyone was there," he recalled later. His father tended to spend what he earned on alcohol and gambling. No wonder that Tommy (as he was known in his pre-Bond — James Bond — days) knuckled down, taking any number of jobs to help make ends meet.

He was working full time by the time he was 13, out of school and employed as a milkman for St. Cuthbert's Co-op, reports The Scotsman — delivering fresh dairy products around town in the wee hours of the morning. That was followed by enlistment in the Royal Navy (and two tattoos: "Scotland Forever" and "Mum and Dad"). Once he was out (early discharge for stomach ulcers) he worked as a nude "life model" for an Edinburgh, Scotland art school and also drove trucks locally.

He was a bodybuilder and made ends meet as an art school model

Smooth Radio points out that young Connery also made ends meet as a lifeguard during the summer and as a manual laborer, digging ditches and laying brick. The Scotsman also tells us that Connery was employed for a time as a coffin polisher for the firm of J&T Scott, Edinburgh.

When he was 18 he started training as a bodybuilder, and represented Scotland in a Mr. Universe competition in the early 1950s (dates vary). He also worked as a doorman at a local club and as a babysitter.

Around the time he started earning an actual living as an actor, touring in a production of South Pacific, he was given the opportunity to try out for a professional soccer team. He apparently gave it serious consideration — Sir Sean was always a huge sports fan — but realized that a professional athlete might well be over the hill at age 30, and he was already 23. Smooth Radio quotes his decision this way: "I decided to become an actor and it turned out to be one of my more intelligent moves."