Sean Connery’s family announced on Saturday, October 31st, 2020, that the retired actor had passed away in his sleep at his home in the Bahamas, where he had been living since he mostly retired from acting in 2003, surrounded by his family. His wife of 45 years, Micheline Roquebrune, says he had been suffering from dementia in his final years.
On Sunday, Roquebrune, a 91-year-old French-Moroccan artist, spoke about her husband’s final days. “He had dementia and it took its toll on him,” she said. “He got his final wish to slip away without any fuss.”
She added, “It was no life for him. He was not able to express himself latterly. 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.”
Connery, whose full name is Thomas Sean Connery, was born on August 25, 1930, in Fountainbridge, Edinburgh, Scotland. He began acting in the 1950s and didn’t stop until the early 2000s.
Connery was perhaps best known for his role as the original James Bond in six official films and the unofficial Never Say Never Again in 1983. He also starred in films such as Robin and Marian, The Name of the Rose, The Untouchables, The Hunt for Red October, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
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Pierce Brosnan, who followed in Connery’s steps as James Bond in later movies, said Connery “led the way for us all who followed in your iconic foot steps.”
“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 splendour that will live on forever,” Brosnan said.
Connery, who was knighted in 2000, won several awards for his decades of performances, including an Oscar, three Golden Globes, and two Bafta awards.
Rumors about Connery battling dementia have been circling since 2013, when German newspaper Bild am Sonntag published an unconfirmed report that the actor was suffering from memory loss. Connery’s publicist, however, called the rumor “ridiculous” and “truly silly and nonsense.” And so the story remained just a rumor for the next seven years, when his wife would finally confirm that he’d been fighting dementia.
“We had a wonderful life together. He was a model of a man,” said Roquebrune. “It is going to be very hard without him, I know that. But it could not last forever and he went peacefully.”
Connery is survived by his wife, his son, Jason Connery, from a previous marriage, and his stepson, Stephane.
“We are all working at understanding this huge event as it only happened so recently, even though my dad has been unwell for some time,” Jason said. “A sad day for all who knew and loved my dad and a sad loss for all people around the world who enjoyed the wonderful gift he had as an actor.”
Sean Connery will be dearly and sorrowfully missed not only by his family and friends but also by his many adoring fans. He will be honored in a private funeral service, to be followed by a more public memorial event at a later date. May he rest in peace.
Elizabeth Nelson is a wordsmith, an alumna of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, a four-leaf-clover finder, and a grammar connoisseur. She has lived in west Michigan since age four but loves to travel to new (and old) places. In her free time, she. . . wait, what’s free time?