The late Scottish actor, who played Ford’s father in 1989’s “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” died on Oct. 31 at age 90.
“He was my father…not in life…but in ‘Indy 3,’” Ford, 78, said in a statement to Variety on Monday.
“You don’t know pleasure until someone pays you to take Sean Connery for a ride in the side car of a Russian motorcycle bouncing along a bumpy, twisty mountain trail and getting to watch him squirm,” Ford shared. “God, we had fun – if he’s in heaven, I hope they have golf courses. Rest in peace, dear friend.”
“Sir Sean Connery, through his talent and drive, left an indelible mark in cinematic history,” the 76-year-old wrote. “His audiences spanned generations, each with favorite roles he played. He will always hold a special place in my heart as Indy’s dad.”
“With an air of intelligent authority and sly sense of comedic mischief, only someone like Sean Connery could render Indiana Jones immediately into boyish regret or relief through a stern fatherly chiding or rejoiceful hug,” revealed the filmmaker. “I’m thankful for having had the good fortune to have known and worked with him. My thoughts are with his family.”
Connery’s wife and two sons announced that the star “died peacefully in his sleep surrounded by family” in the Bahamas, where he lived. Son Jason Connery said his father had been “unwell for some time.”
Connery rose to international superstardom as the suave secret agent James Bond. He was in his early 30s — and little known — when he starred in the first Bond thriller, 1962’s “Dr. No.” Condemned as immoral by the Vatican and the Kremlin but screened at the White House for Bond fan President John F. Kennedy, “Dr. No” was a box office hit and launched a franchise that long outlasted its Cold War origins.
Connery continued as Bond in “From Russia With Love,” “Goldfinger,” “Thunderball,” “You Only Live Twice” and “Diamonds Are Forever,” often performing his own stunts. He later left the iconic role behind and carved out a successful Oscar-winning career in other rugged roles.
Connery is survived by his wife, brother Neil and sons Jason and Stefan. His publicist, Nancy Seltzer, said there would be a private ceremony followed by a memorial service once the coronavirus pandemic has ended.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.