Hotspur. Harry Hotspur.
Two years before Sean Connery became an international sensation as James Bond in "Dr. No," he played the role of the Scotsman Hotspur -- a.k.a. Sir Henry Percy -- in the BBC's 1960 15-part series "Shakespeare's An Age of Kings." And not only is the 30-year-old Connery easy on the eyes, he effortlessly handles the Bard's prose.
"Shakespeare's An Age of Kings," which aired in syndication on U.S. TV in 1961 and won the prestigious Peabody Award, arrives today on BBC Video in a five-disc set ($49.98). It was the most ambitious Shakespeare production ever undertaken on film or television, until the BBC adapted all 37 of the playwright's works for television between 1978 and 1985.
The series from the '60s encompassed eight of Shakespeare's historical plays -- all of "Richard II," both parts of "Henry IV" and "Henry V," all three parts of "Henry VI" and "Richard III" -- and spans the history of the British monarchy between 1377 to 1485.