Sir Jackie Stewart reflects on close friend Sir Sean Connery

Sir Jackie Stewart reflects on close friend Sir Sean Connery

11/02/2020

‘He wasn’t well’: Sir Jackie Stewart says close friend Sir Sean Connery would’ve preferred to pass away sooner as he pays tribute to Bond star following his death at 90

Sir Jackie Stewart believes his close friend Sir Sean Connery would have preferred to pass away earlier rather than continue living with the impact of dementia. 

The legendary James Bond star died at his home in the Bahamas on October 31st at the age of 90 following a long battle with the degenerative condition.  

And Stewart, 81, believes the actor would not have wanted to suffer with the disease – which gradually decreases all cognitive ability, including memory – for too long. 

Belief: Sir Jackie Stewart believes his close friend Sir Sean Connery would have preferred to pass away earlier rather than continue living with the impact of dementia

Appearing remotely on Monday’s edition of Good Morning Britain, he said: ‘I saw him not too long before he died and it was a sad sight. I think Sean would have preferred to slip away a wee bit earlier. He wasn’t well.  

‘We did see his film, which he believed to be the best one he ever made, (1965 war drama) The Hill. Twice, we watched that. He was taken by it and he kept saying, isn’t that the best?’

Paying tribute to Edinburgh born Connery, the retired Formula One ace described his death as a great loss to his homeland, while admitting he fully understood the impact of dementia due to his wife of 58-years Helen also suffering from the condition.    

Tragic: The legendary James Bond star died at his home in the Bahamas on October 31st at the age of 90 following a long battle with the degenerative condition

Opening up: And Stewart, 81, believes the actor would not have wanted to suffer with the disease – which gradually decreases all cognitive ability, including memory – for too long

He said: ‘He was an amazing man and a great, great friend. You couldn’t have done more to find someone that good. It’s a great loss. 

‘Sadly, he took around more than two years of large discomfort, it’s a terrible illness. I know because my wife Helen, sadly, also has dementia. It’s a great loss to Scotland, Britain and the world. 

Praising Connery’s six film run as the original 007, he added: ‘He was James Bond. The new man (Daniel Craig) is terrific but Sean had something that was different to everybody else.’

Let’s talk: The Formula One icon chatted to Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid on Monday’s edition of Good Morning Britain 

Main man: Connery became one of Britain’s most successful and instantly recognizable actors after stepping into the role of author Ian Fleming’s Bond for a six film run (pictured in 1971 release Diamonds Are Forever)

Connery became one of Britain’s most successful and instantly recognizable actors after stepping into the role of author Ian Fleming’s Bond for the first time in 1962 hit Dr. No. 

An Steward admitted his close friend’s enduring popularity was such that he was surrounded by adoring fans wherever he went. 

He recalled: ‘I took him to the Grand Prix and he was inundated with people. Whether we went up to St Andrews to play golf, the same thing. He was the target. 

‘He was quiet a private man, that was one of the reasons we enjoyed each other. He wanted to get away from it all from time to time. He used to stay with us in Switzerland.

‘He brought Stephen Spielberg and Harrison Ford with him! We had the rich and famous. But, the focus was on one man and that was Sean.’ 

Devoted: Connery’s wife of 45 years Micheline Roquebrune was by his side when he passed away in the Bahamas over the weekend

Connery’s death was confirmed by his family on Saturday. 

His wife of 45 years Micheline Roquebrune and son Jason said he “died peacefully in his sleep surrounded by family” in the Bahamas, where he owned a home. 

Jason added that his father had been “unwell for some time.” 

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