To legions of James Bond fans, Sean Connery will always be remembered as one of the best - if not the greatest - actors to portray Agent 007. But to casual moviegoers skimming his IMDb page, he's a Scottish actor who hasn't made a follow-up to two of the worst films in his illustrious career.
In 2003, Connery - who turns 85 today - starred in the notorious flop The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, a loose adaptation of the Alan Moore comic series of the same name. The film was a dud among film fans as well as critics and Connery retired shortly afterward - from live-action movies, at least.
The Scottish actor came out of retirement in 2012 to star in the animated feature Sir Billi: Guardian of the Highlands. And from what we've seen, sticking with retirement would've been a better career move. Scroll down to check out the cartoon Connery as well as other clips of other actors who called it quits when their careers hit low points.
1. Sean Connery
"Sir Billi: Guardian of the Highlands" features Sean Connery as an octogenarian skateboarder/veterinarian who fights to save a beaver from corrupt policemen and magistrates. Yes, that is the actual plot. If you don't believe, watch the trailer, featuring a CGI Connery doing totally rad stunts.
2. Gene Hackman
Gene Hackman will be best remembered for his Oscar-winning performances in The French Connection (1971) and Unforgiven (1992). But his cinematic swan song was the romantic comedy Welcome to Mooseport (2004). He starred opposite Ray Romano in a love triangle that seems more like being crushed between the proverbial rock and and hard place for the film's leading lady - a veterinarian played by Maura Tierney. (Apparently "veterinarian" is code for movies featuring actors being put out to pasture.)
Ironically, the trailer ends with Hackman's character saying, "I had dignity once. Does anyone remember that?"
3. Joan Crawford
If history is kind to this legendary actor from Hollywood's golden age, she won't be remembered for her role in the British horror movie Trog (1970). However, the movie trailer tries to prevent that by reminding us not once but twice that she stars in it as an anthropologist studying a humanoid troglodyte.
In other words, she's a monster veterinarian who has her work cut out for her. Here's how the film describes Trog: "[a] fearsome half-man, half-ape with the strength of 20 demons." Oh, and he looks like an extra in a cheap Bigfoot mask.
Sadly, Crawford stepped away from film afterwards, so she didn't offer audiences a more fitting finale to her career before she passed away seven years later. But lovers of campy movies will undoubtedly fall for the schlocky charm of "Trog."
4. Gene Kelly
We almost left this one off the list because Xanadu (1980) - the bizarre fantasy musical starring Olivia Newton-John - isn't dance legend Gene Kelly's fault. Sure, the film inspired John Wilson to create The Golden Raspberry Awards. But Kelly's performance wasn't nominated for a Razzie. In fact, he moves very well onscreen for a 68-year-old. Still, we wish the Singin' in the Rain star could've have followed it up with another great step routine before he passed away in 1996.
Banner image: Connery and his wife, Micheline Roquebrune in 1983, (wikipedia.org)