Craig, 52, has said: “It is with such sadness that I heard of the passing of one of the true greats of cinema. Sir Sean Connery will be remembered as Bond and so much more. He defined an era and a style.”
He went on to add: “The wit and charm he portrayed on screen could be measured in mega watts; he helped create the modern blockbuster.
“He will continue to influence actors and film-makers alike for years to come. My thoughts are with his family and loved ones. Wherever he is, I hope there is a golf course.”
Connery was the first actor to portray the fictional British Secret Service agent, starring in Dr. No in 1962, From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice Diamonds Are Forever and Never Say Never Again.
The statement from Craig comes shortly after James Bond producers released their own tribute. Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli said: “We are devastated by the news of the passing of Sir Sean Connery.
“He was and shall always be remembered as the original James Bond whose indelible entrance into cinema history began when he announced those unforgettable words – ‘The name’s Bond… James Bond’ – he revolutionised the world with his gritty and witty portrayal of the sexy and charismatic secret agent.
“He is undoubtedly largely responsible for the success of the film series and we shall be forever grateful to him.”
Other stars in the film industry have taken to Twitter to pass on their condolences. Arnold Schwarzenegger wrote: “Sean Connery was a legend, one of the greatest actors of all time.
“He provided endless entertainment for all of us & inspiration for me. I’m not just saying that because he was a bodybuilder who placed in the Mr. Universe contest! He was an icon. My thoughts are with his family.”
Connery’s acting career spanned decades and led to him being awarded an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor when he played Jim Malone in The Untouchables. He also won two BAFTAs and three Golden Globes.