A James Bond stuntman, 42-year-old Mark Sutton, has died, reports The Associated Press via ABC News on Aug 15. Sutton was famously known as the stuntman who parachuted into the 2012 London Olympics as James Bond during the opening ceremonies.
It was a similar setting that claimed Sutton’s life. The stuntman was killed on Aug. 14 while soaring in a wingsuit in the Swiss Alps. Sutton crashed into a rocky ridge near Trient in the Valais region of Switzerland.
Sutton jumped from a helicopter at close to 11,000 feet with a cameraman, but his wingsuit – an aerodynamic jumpsuit that has bird-like wings – malfunctioned.
The AP report describes Sutton’s famous entrance into the London Games:
“It began with a filmed sequence in which Daniel Craig's James Bond escorted Queen Elizabeth II from Buckingham Palace and into a helicopter. Stunt doubles of Bond and the queen then performed a live parachute jump into the Olympic Stadium. Sutton was the tuxedo-clad Bond, while his friend Gary Connery wore a pink dress and wig to play the queen.”
Connery spoke of Sutton’s death, describing his friend as “smart, articulate and funny.”
“In any sport where you share a common bond you can make friends in a heartbeat that last a lifetime,” Connery said. “My relationship with Mark was like that.”
Sutton was part of a weeklong group of 20 wingsuit jumpers who were staying in the French town of Chamonix.
Sutton’s post to his Facebook page on Aug. 10: “The sun comes out for a beautiful day in Chamonix, two base wingsuit flights from Brevent then a spectacular paraglide with Mont Blanc and the glaciers glistening in the background. First trip here to fly and loving it.”