SIR SEAN Connery is the greatest British actor of all time according to an influential poll of US movie fans.
The Scottish actor ranked highest in the Q Score chart which is used by film studios to gauge fans opinions on actors.
The original Bond actor beat off both experienced actors such as Anthony Hopkins who ranked second and younger talent such as the current 007, Daniel Craig.
The 83-year-old played James Bond in seven movies between 1962 and 1983.
Connery is the most popular Briton to appear in the Q Score charts which asks 1,500 people how much they like stars and to what extent they trust them.
The polls are conducted in the US every 6 month.
The Edinburgh born actor was ranked top of the 15 year running poll in both 1998 and 2003, but was knocked from the top by Hugh Laurie in 2008, before reclaiming his top position this year.
Other Scottish actors in the top 50 include Trainspotting actors Robert Carlyle(12), Kevin McKidd(29) and Ewan McGregor(35).
While PS I love you star Gerard Butler ranks at number 18, with X2 actor Alan Cumming at number 21 and Filth star James McAvoy at number 39.
US film studios pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for the latest Q Scores which have until now been kept secret.
This year however, the Q Scores company of New York decided to share its British rankings which date back to 1998.
Henry Shafer, the body’s executive vice-president, said that Connery is popular with fans of all ages and was ranked among the top 10 Hollywood actors of all time.
He said: “Connery ranks among the the top 10 Hollywood actors of all time.
“Awareness of Sean Connery and his appeal was strong across the country and with all ages. He was not working so much but he had already transcended the normal run of actors in the way people felt about him.
“British men have become more dominant over the past 15 years as they appear in more American movie and TV roles as the awards season.”
Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with Rentrak, a film consultancy, said: “Americans are very loyal to those who signify values they respect, like Connery’s enduring masculinity.
“Young men still want to be him and Daniel Craig has not been around long enough yet to supplant that…But they are also very fickle to those who have not established a long track record. Q Score is very good at merging the science and magic to expose who Americans really like over time, and sometimes its brutal.”