There was a major disappointment for James Bond fans at the weekend, when the proposed comeback of Sean Connery as 007 had to be abandoned when the actor gave up his ghost.
Connery, 90, had starred in Bond adventures since he was a small boy, and, in the opinion of many fans, the hard-faced Scot epitomised the perfect spy - abrupt, condescending, 'forceful' with women, and hairy-chested.
He played Bond in 'Dr. No', 'From Russia With Love', 'Diamonds Are Forever', 'Goldfinger', 'You Only Live Twice', 'Thunderball', and 'Never Say Never Again', and would have done more, had he not become worried about becoming stereotyped.
According to close friends, people in the street would often shout to Connery, calling him 'Bond', 'James', or 'Double-Oh Seven', and this plagued him for the rest of his life.
Recently, however, he had changed his mind, and had hinted at a comeback, especially after Daniel Craig had said that he was "bored" with playing the spy.
Producers of the latest Bond film, 'No Time To Die', had said they were open to discussions with regard to casting, after they found, in an online poll, that Connery received 84% of the vote for 'Favorite Bond', with Roger Moore in second with 12%, and Pierce Brosnan in third, with 3%.
Interest in the Bond brand had been 'flagging' of late, and it was thought Connery's reintroduction might have sparked a much-needed recovery.
His passing, however, has made it impossible to see how he could figure in the film, except as an extra.