News broke on Saturday that 90-year-old actor Sean Connery, best known for being the first actor to play James Bond on the big screen among other roles, had passed away. In a statement to the BBC following his death, Connery's son Jason revealed that the actor died peacefully in his sleep in the Bahamas, having been "unwell for some time." Speaking in a new interview, Connery's wife Micheline Roquebrune, who had been married to the actor since 1975, got a little more candid and revealed that the actor had been suffering from dementia and that the disease had taken its toll on him for some time ahead of his death.
"It was no life for him. He was not able to express himself latterly," Roquebrune said in an interview with Mail Online. "At least he died in his sleep and it was just so peaceful. I was with him all the time and he just slipped away. It was what he wanted...He had dementia and it took its toll on him. He got his final wish to slip away without any fuss."
She added, "He was gorgeous and we had a wonderful life together. He was a model of a man. It is going to be very hard without him, I know that. But it could not last for ever and he went peacefully."
Following Connery's passing, countless actors and filmmakers paid tribute to him with messages of remembrance and sadness at his passing. Current James Bond star Daniel Craig called Connery "one of the true greats of cinema," adding: “Sir Sean Connery will be remembered as Bond and so much more. He defined an era and a style. 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.”
Fellow Bond actor Pierce Brosnan posted on Instagram, “Sir Sean Connery, you were my greatest James Bond as a boy, and as a man who became James Bond himself. You cast a long shadow of cinematic splendor that will live on forever. You led the way for us all who followed in your iconic foot steps. Each man in his turn looked to you with reverence and admiration as we forged ahead with our own interpretations of the role. You were mighty in every way, as an actor and as a man, and will remain so till the end of time. Your were loved by the world, and will be missed. God bless, rest now, be at peace.”
Our thoughts remain with Connery's family and friends after his passing.
(H/T The Hollywood Reporter)