MARK Millar got it right yesterday when he tweeted a tribute to Sir Sean Connery.
“Scotland,” the comic-book writer and Netflix division president wrote, “has never had an actor before or since with such instant & indescribable global impact.

Like Billy Connolly in terms of comedy, he was the First Man on the Moon and thus can never be surpassed. Perhaps our greatest, coolest export of all time.”

Another telling contribution yesterday came via Twitter from Pat Kane: Connery, he wrote, was “the original Scots working-class artistic/autodidact hero.

READ MORE: Sir Sean Connery: Hollywood mourns ‘one of the true greats’ following his death

Indeniably a burning Scottish presence in global culture, so powerful that he became an icon, no matter the story”. Kane added that Connery was “also an undeniable sexist (and of his time)”, but that it was “very sad he won’t see indy”.

Wherever he lived and worked during his long career, Connery was closely associated with Scotland. His passion for his homeland extended far beyond the “Scotland Forever” tattoo which he had inked on his forearm when he was just 18.

His long belief in Scottish independence made headlines at home and abroad. As Nicola Sturgeon remarked yesterday: “He was a lifelong advocate of an independent Scotland and those of us who share that belief owe him a great debt of gratitude.”

When it came to identifying publicly with one political party, there was only ever going to be one choice for Connery.

One biographer, Andrew Yule, wrote that Connery had been a reliable source of funds for the SNP since the 1960s.

In December 1968, the party had invited him to put himself forward as prospective candidate for West Fife -- before discovering that he was not a member of the SNP.

In 1971, Connery recommended that Scotland “should pull away somewhat after those hundreds of years of taking second place to England”.

In 1991, the actor decided to take part in an SNP party political television broadcast. It was a considerable coup for the party; membership soared by at least 1,000 after his intervention. Telephone lines at the SNP’s Edinburgh headquarters were jammed long into the night.

Shortly afterwards, an interview in Le Figaro, the leading French newspaper, appeared with the headline ‘’Sean Connery: Vive l’Ecosse libre!’’.

Opposition politicians and commentators carped that a tax exile who was then living in Spain had no business interfering in Scottish affairs. Connery’s response to them was characteristically crisp: “I am entitled to be interested and involved”, he said. “I have a birthright in Scotland”.

When the Scottish Parliament was opened in 1999, Connery was there, and with pride described it as the most important day of his life.Connery’s Scottish accent was a feature of numerous reviews of Dr No, his debut as James Bond, a role in which he combined suavity with brutality in a way that had not been seen on the cinema screen before.

Some critics liked Dr No, others saw it as lightweight fare (one American writer described it as a “tinseled action-thriller”). But all were impressed by this muscular, sardonic, good-looking Scot. “The actor who plays Bond is exactly right for the part — tall, dark and handsome Sean Connery, who was born in Edinburgh but has a slight Irish accent, and will presumably get more and more identified with Bond as the screen adventures go on,” the Glasgow Herald’s film writer, Molly Plowright, wrote in her review.

“In the early 60s, Connery’s James Bond was about as dangerous and sexy as it got on screen – until directors like Alfred Hitchcock and Sidney Lumet came along, and saw how Connery’s on-screen menace could be taken to the next level”, the film critic, Peter Bradshaw, observed yesterday.

It was with the upfront salary from one Bond film, Diamonds Are Forever, that Connery famously co-established the Scottish International Education Trust, which gives financial aid to Scotsmen and women “who show exceptional ability and promise”.

“I want the Scots to develop their own pride,” he said at the time. “Of course, they can come down to London and beat the English at their own game. But I’d like them to promote their own future in their own land”.

READ MORE: From milkman to bodybuilder - then James Bond to Oscar winner. Remembering Sir Sean Connery

Connery was touched when, in 1991, he was awarded the Freedom of Edinburgh. “Every time I come back I always get a terrific charge, coming back to Scotland.
“The reality is that as long as I’m stlll enthusiastic about what I do and work, I don’t live anywhere, really.”

The tributes that flooded in yesterday came from all over the world. It was a reminder of how, years ago, I was on holiday in Sri Lanka. Late one night I was talking to the thirtysomething man who worked behind the hotel bar. The language barrier was a formidable one, but he knew a couple of Scottish words: “whisky”; and, said with a grin, “Sean Connery”.

But Connery will be most badly missed in his homeland.

He was a Scot through and through.

Back in 1991, Jim Sillars made this astute observation to the Glasgow Herald: “He’s one Scot who has been successful externally, on the international scene, without having to compromise himself as a Scot.

“That’s his attraction to the Scottish population: he’s still one of us, no apologies.’’