HE famously portrayed an Egyptian warrior with a Spanish name and a Scottish accent.

But, while Sir Sean Connery’s role in classic action film Highlander raised more than a few eyebrows, the Scot was laughing all the way to the bank with an incredible deal that earned him a $1million bonus thanks to faulty camera equipment.

The Edinburgh-born star was the Hollywood movie’s biggest name and had been offered $500,000 for just three days’ work.

But a clause in his contract saw him earn an extra $500,000 for any days beyond his agreed time. So, when a camera developed a fault, a two-day delay earned him an incredible seven-figure salary increase.

Author Jonathan Melville has researched the making of the much-loved 1986 sci-fi film in his new book A Kind of Magic: Making The Original Highlander.

And the book has revealed the inside story of Sir Sean’s week-long adventure in the West Highlands, which included helicopters, rescuing damsels in distress and treating the movie’s cast and crew to gallons of whisky.

In the film, Connery plays Ramirez, a Spanish-based Egyptian teaching fellow immortal warrior Connor MacLeod, played by Frenchman Christopher Lambert, to fight with a sword and play his part in a centuries-long battle of good versus evil.

While Lambert was a well-known face due to his movie hit Greystoke, Sir Sean was the bankable name the producers needed.

The film’s financier Michael Ryan is quoted in the book detailing the deal. He said: “Sean was always known for his love of money.

“We needed somebody, we knew that he was up for a job and we paid him $500,000 for three days. We managed to stretch those days throughout the film.”

He added: “There was a fault with the camera and the negative was damaged. The deal was $500,000 for three days [of Connery’s time], $500,000 for every day after that. Because of the technical problems, he got another million.”

While the movie’s Australian director Russell Mulcahy watched the clock carefully to make sure he got value for money from his star name, a decision was also taken to use doubles for any scenes in which you didn’t need to see his character’s face.

He recalled: “Sean was a delight to work with. We’d shoot his close-up over Christopher, then two weeks later we’d shoot Christopher’s close-up over a double. If we went an hour over, it’d be major money.

“I got him with the hat on, to turn, to smile, to turn round, with the sword out, laughing, looking shocked ... I had three cameras on him.

“I looked at my watch and, with one minute left, I said ‘You’re wrapped’. And he went, ‘You b******’.

“He was one of the most professional actors I’ve ever worked with.”

Even though he was the biggest star on set, it is said Sir Sean was beloved by the rest of the cast and crew.

He not only bought the unit rounds of whisky and threw a massive wrap party when he finished, but he was also known for his friendliness and fun on set.

He gallantly rescued a young make-up girl from a freezing loch, much to the horror of his costume team.

Lois Burwell had been on the water doing make-up touch-ups with Connery and Lambert for their scene in a rowing boat. Afterwards, two burly helpers had been sent to carry the stars in, so their costumes wouldn’t get wet – but forgot her.

She recalled: “I’m 5ft 1in and the water would have come up to my chest. I also had a cold and looked particularly pale. I’m still in the boat, going ‘Can somebody come back for me, please?’, then Sean – and I remember this because [costume designer] Jim Acheson blew a gasket – waded into the water and carried me to the shore, but ruined his costume.

"I have to say, not many people can say they got rescued from a rowing boat by Sean Connery.”

But Sir Sean’s relationship with on-screen nemesis, the Kurgan, played by US actor Clancy Brown, wasn’t as warm.

Brown said: “Sean said only three words to me the entire show, ‘Do you golf?’ I said ‘No’ and that was kind of the last time he spoke to me.”

The film, soundtracked by Queen, went on to become a global phenomenon. It was initially a box-office flop, with $12.9m takings, despite a $16m budget, but made a fortune on home video and a bigger-budget sequel was commissioned.

This time, Sir Sean earned $3m for six days’ work.

Two more movies followed, without Connery, while the franchise also spawned a long-running TV spin-off and an animated series. There has also been talk of a rebooted film in the works.

A Kind Of Magic: Making The Original Highlander, by Jonathan Melville, is out now on Polaris Publishing.