Sean Connery's widow, Micheline Roquebrune, explained his death's circumstances in a new interview on Saturday. Roquebrune revealed that Connery had been suffering from dementia and told reporters from The Daily Mail that he "went peacefully" on Friday night. After 45 years of marriage, Roquebrune is devastated by the loss.
Connery passed away in his sleep on Friday night, at his home in Nassau — a city in the Bahamas. He was 90 years old. Roquebrune admitted that the iconic actor did not handle the symptoms of dementia well. She said: "It was no life for him. He was not able to express himself... 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," she went on. "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."
Roquebrune, herself 91 years old, is a painter of French and Moroccan descent. She is Connery's second wife, whom he married in 1975. The two met at a golf tournament, and she recalled the romantic beginnings of their relationship.
"He was gorgeous and we had a wonderful life together," she said. "He was a model of a man. It is going to be very hard without him, I know that. But it could not last forever and he went peacefully."
Roquebrune said that she had not made concrete plans for the funeral or any memorial service yet, but they are coming. She intends to have Connery cremated and have his remains returned to Scotland. "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."
In addition to Roquebrune, Connery is survived by his son Jason, from his first marriage to actress Diane Cilento. Cilento passed away in 2011 after a prolonged battle with cancer. His brother, actor Neil Connery also survives him.
Connery is credited with helping to create the modern blockbuster movie as we know it, thanks in large part to his work on the James Bond franchise. Connery was the first actor to portray the master spy on film, beginning with Dr. No in 1962. He would go on to play the role six more times, and even after passing it on he continued to star in hit movies for decades to come.
Connery retired from acting in 2003, citing frustration with the industry and the way movies were being made. He turned down a role as Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and a role as The Architect in The Matrix trilogy. When declining to reprise his role for Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull, he reportedly told Steven Spielberg: "retirement is just too much damned fun."