In an exclusive interview with The Daily Mail, Connery’s wife of 45 years, Micheline Roquebrune, shared the news.
“It was no life for him,” said Roquebrune. “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, who first stepped into the role of James Bond in 1962 and made a total of seven 007 films, is often regarded as the best version of the famed fictional secret agent. He went on to become an Oscar, BAFTA, and Golden Globe winner for his later work, but as someone who was generally averse to the entertainment industry, he opted for a reclusive life in the Caribbean.
Still, Hollywood collectively mourned his passing, which took place over the weekend at the age of 90. In a statement on the 007 website, Daniel Craig, who has played James Bond since 2006, said, “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 megawatts; he helped create the modern blockbuster. He will continue to influence actors and film-makers alike for years to come … Wherever he is, I hope there is a golf course.”
In an Instagram tribute, actor George Lazenby, who played James Bond in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969), called Connery “a great actor, a great man, and underappreciated artist.”
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Only a few weeks ago I was wishing Sean all the best for his 90th birthday. Now, I'm very sad to be condoling with his family and friends. Of course, Sean Connery as James Bond inspired me personally but seems to have encapsulated an age, the Sixties. I met Sean a couple of times and I was pleased he'd given my Bond film, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, his seal of approval. He was going to do my film many times and felt it was the best of the Fleming tales. But, to me, the most important thing was his work went far beyond Bond: into charity, into family, into politics and into golf. A man after my own heart. A great actor, a great man and underappreciated artist has left us. My thoughts are with Lady Micheline and Sean's children and grandchildren. Only love, George XXX
Roquebrune revealed that plans for a memorial have not been finalized. “We have not decided what to do,” she said. “That is something we will talk about soon but he will be cremated in the Bahamas, which is what he wanted.”
“[Dementia] took its toll on him,” she added. “He got his final wish to slip away without any fuss.”