Sir Sean Connery’s widow Micheline Roquebrune has confirmed that the late James Bond star had been diagnosed with dementia.
Sir Sean, who starred in films including Dr No, From Russia with Love and Goldfinger, died aged 90 in the Bahamas on Friday.
“It was no life for him,” Roquebrune told The Mail on Sunday.
“He had dementia and it took its toll on him. He got his final wish to slip away without any fuss.”
She added the actor “was not able to express himself” in the period leading up to his death.
Sir Sean and Roquerbrune, a Moroccan-French painter, married in 1975.
Roquerbrune told the newspaper: “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.”
She added it would would be “very hard without him” and described him as a “model of a man”.
Pierce Brosnan, who himself played the role of 007, posted online that Sir Sean was “my greatest James Bond as a boy, and as a man who became James Bond himself.”
The family of another late former Bond star, Sir Roger Moore, also tweeted to say that he too had “always maintained Sean was the best ever James Bond”.
The first African-American woman to be cast in the film franchise, Trina Parks, spoke of her sadness following Sir Sean’s death.
Parks described it as “an honour” to have appeared alongside the Scot in 1971’s Diamonds Are Forever.
They shared a memorable scene in which it appeared that her character, Thumper, was to become another of the secret agent’s conquests, before she felled him with a blow to the groin.
She told PA he was a gentleman on set, and invited her to breakfast to break the ice before filming.
“We had a good rapport,” said Parks. “It was like we had worked together, or were friends at least, beforehand.
“And that’s how comfortable it was because I was comfortable with him. He was just so gracious.”
Elsewhere, US President Donald Trump paid his own tribute, hailing him as a “great actor and an even greater man”.
The news of Sir Sean’s dementia diagnosis prior to his death came on the same day that former footballer Sir Bobby Charlton was also confirmed to be now living with the brain condition.
Dementia is described by the NHS as “a syndrome (a group of related symptoms) associated with an ongoing decline of brain functioning” and often memory loss.
There are many different causes of dementia, and many different types, although Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia makes up the majority of cases.