Sean Connery, the actor who started the role of James Bond, had dementia in the last few months of his life, his wife Micheline Roquebrune told The Daily Mail. Mr. Connery died that weekend in the Bahamas at the age of 90.
Ms. Roquebrune, who was married to Mr. Connery for 45 years, said the actor “couldn’t express himself” in the months leading up to his death. “It wasn’t a life for him,” she said. “At least he died in his sleep and it was just so peaceful.”
Mr. Connery played the role of the beloved British secret agent in “Dr. No ”(1962),“ From Russia with Love ”(1963),“ Goldfinger ”(1964),“ Thunderball ”(1965),“ You Only Live Twice ”(1967),“ Diamonds Are Forever ”(1971) and“ Never say never again ”(1983).
Mrs. Roquebrune, a Moroccan-French painter, married Mr. Connery in 1975. She told The Mail that he was a “model of a man” and that life was “very difficult without him”.
“He had dementia and it took its toll on him,” said Ms. Roquebrune. But she added, “He got his last wish without fuss.”
Dementia, a group of disorders characterized by memory loss and impaired judgment, is most commonly caused by Alzheimer’s disease. Although it mainly affects the elderly, it is not a normal part of aging.
According to the World Health Organization, around 50 million people have dementia, with around 10 million more people suffering from the disease each year. The early stages often include forgetfulness and disorientation in familiar places that can lead them to get lost in the home, make behavior changes, and need help with personal care. In the latter stages of the disease, a person may have difficulty walking and recognizing family and friends.
Following the death of Mr. Connery, a number of past and current Bond actors paid tribute to the big screen titan. Daniel Craig, who has played James Bond since 2006, said in a statement on the 007 website on Saturday that Mr. Connery had wit and charm that “could be measured in megawatts” and that he “helped create the modern blockbuster” .
“He will continue to influence actors and filmmakers alike for years to come,” said Craig. “My thoughts are with his family and loved ones.”
George Lazenby, who played James Bond in Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969), wrote on Instagram on the occasion of Mr. Connery’s 90th birthday in August that the actor was not only “the greatest 007 of all time”, he added in an Instagram post on Saturday, “a man after my own heart.”
“A great actor, a great man and an underrated artist have left us,” wrote Lazenby.