Sir Sean Connery’s widow donates $1m to Sir Jackie Stewart’s foundation to find dementia cure
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The huge £740,000 sum came from Micheline after the death of the Edinburgh-born screen legend in October 2020.
The money will go to the global charity Race Against Dementia, which was set up by fellow Scot and close friend, Sir Jackie Stewart, following his own wife Helen’s diagnosis of frontotemporal dementia in 2014.
Sir Sean was diagnosed with dementia and died in his sleep, aged 90, with Micheline by his side at their home in the Bahamas.
She said the condition had taken its toll in his final two years and Sir Sean was not able to express himself.
Her donation, in memory of the Oscar-winning actor who for many remains the definitive James Bond, will initially fund a pilot scheme at Edinburgh University.
It will allow scientists to work in collaboration with the Alzheimer Center in Amsterdam as part of Race Against Dementia’s International Discovery Hub.
Dementia affects 50 million people worldwide and has had a huge impact on countless families across the UK.
Micheline said: “Dementia is a devastating disease that not only takes the spirit from the sufferer, but poisons the eco-system of the family of the afflicted as they experience a loved one slowly fade away.
“Having seen the dreadful impact that dementia had on Sean, particularly towards the end of his life, our family feels privileged to support the vital research being undertaken.”
The couple were married for 45 years, having met at a golf tournament in 1970. Micheline said: “We dearly hope that this gift in Sean’s name will meaningfully contribute to the development of treatments to cure and prevent dementia.
“And, in the meantime, to support those suffering from or caring for a person living with dementia.”
Confirmation of the donation was warmly welcomed by Sir Jackie, who saw how dementia affected the star., as well as his own wife, who is confined to a wheelchair and needs 24-hour care at home. He is employing young scientists in laboratories throughout the world.
Sir Jackie said: “Sean was one of my best friends ever. I deeply appreciate that the Connery family has supported Race Against Dementia with such a generous gift.
“This will help RAD to fund further research in Scotland and accelerate finding a way to prevent or cure dementia, which, as both our families know only too well, is a devastating illness.”
Sir Sean was born in the Scottish capital in August 1930 and was brought up in Fountainbridge .
He defined the role of 007 across seven movies before going on to star in a host films, including Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade and The Untouchables.
He was hailed as one of Scotland’s greatest treasures in several surveys.
Sir Sean announced his retirement from acting after receiving the American Film Institute's lifetime achievement award in 2006.
In 2000 he was knighted by The Queen at an investiture ceremony at Holyrood Palace.
He also received numerous honours and awards during his lifetime, including being made a Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters in France.