SIR Sean Connery's close friend – F1 legend Sir Jackie Stewart – says the Bond star was in "discomfort" for the final two years of his life.
The former racing driver told Good Morning Britain about the toll Sean's "terrible" dementia had taken on him.
The Oscar-winning star passed away in his sleep at the age of 90, his family confirmed on Saturday.
A heartfelt image shows him and wife Micheline Roquebrune, who had been married for 45 years, smiling together – as she revealed how Sir Sean's last months were blighted by dementia.
Sir Jackie said today: "He was an amazing man and a great great friend."Of course he was a star in movies but as a personal friend he couldn't have done more to find someone that good.
"It is a great loss and sadly he spent more than two years in a very large discomfort.
"Dementia is a terrible illness.
"I saw him not too long before he died and it was a sad sight.
"I think Sean would have even preferred to slip away a wee bit earlier. He wasn't well."
Sir Jackie told how he had watched war movie The Hill with Sean twice before he died, with the actor declaring it was his proudest performance.
A statement from Sir Sean's publicist confirmed on Saturday that he had died "surrounded by family."
It added: "There will be a private ceremony followed by a memorial yet to be planned once the virus has ended."
Micheline had said of her husband's illness: "It was no life for him. He was not able to express himself latterly.
"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.
"He had dementia and it took its toll on him. He got his final wish to slip away without any fuss."
Sir Sean, who played Bond between 1962-71, won a string of acting awards including an Oscar, two Bafta awards and three Golden Globes.
He was also knighted by the Queen in Holyrood Palace in 2000.
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