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Connery’s Tragic Last Days: 007 Icon Struggled with Dementia

By CM Chaney · December 16, 2023

In brief…

  • Sean Connery battled dementia in final days before 2020 death
  • Close friend describes emotional visits to severely ill Connery
  • Second wife Micheline Roquebrune lovingly cared for Connery
  • Connery found simplicity in golf amid turbulent personal history
Sean Connery endured dementia at the end of his life in the Bahamas where he initially retreated from fame's pressures and repaired to daily golf alongside devoted second wife Micheline Roquebrune following a tempestuous first marriage to actress Diane Cilento.  Wikimedia

Legendary James Bond actor Sean Connery endured dementia in his final days before passing away “peacefully” at age 90 in the Bahamas in 2020.

According to close friend Brendan Lynch, Connery spent his last days struggling with the disease in the Caribbean paradise he called home.

“He died… at some beautiful ripe age, but had some measure of dementia,” revealed author Herbie J Pilato, who explores Connery’s life in a new book. “It was hard to see that.”

Lynch described emotionally visiting a severely weakened Connery often in his final days at his wife Micheline Roquebrune’s request. “I was crying at times to see this mountain of a man — this monumental human achievement in such a terrible state,” Lynch admitted. Connery became unable to carry on full conversations.

According to Pilato’s book, Connery’s health issues remained intensely private as he spent his last days surrounded by gorgeous Bahamian scenery. His condition deeply affected his loved ones, including his wife of 45 years who remained devoted in caretaking despite difficulties. “It was no life for him,” Roquebrune reflected. “He got his final wish to slip away without any fuss.”

The Bahamas offered serenity for the Hollywood icon who resented fame’s pressures. “It’s probably as close to heaven as far the look was concerned,” Pilato mused. Yet turbulence marked Connery’s personal history, including tempestuous marriages and career frustrations over never escaping his career-defining 007 role.

Connery shared a famously fiery relationship with first wife, actress Diane Cilento. She leveled abuse allegations against Connery in a 2006 autobiography that he vehemently denied. Pilato suspects factors like Cilento feeling overshadowed combined with Bond’s suffocating fame erupting their marriage. Cilento died in 2011 with tensions apparently unresolved.

Connery found more simplicity in his second marriage to Roquebrune, whom he met playing golf, an eventual refuge from acting pressures. “That’s how they met,” Pilato explained. “Golf was a driving force in the relationship.” As acting roles faded in Connery’s 70s, golf occupied his time in paradise with his wife.

Dementia encroached on those golden years. But Pilato hopes his book captures the complex Scot who resented, embraced and never escaped James Bond’s global stardom. “Sean Connery was James Bond,” Pilato declared. “As much as he tried to go beyond Bond, he did, but ultimately, he didn’t.”