Danny Boyle has paid a touching tribute to the tragic British stuntman who parachuted into the 2012 London Olympics Opening Ceremony as James Bond after he was killed in an accident.
Mark Sutton, 42, died when he crashed into a mountain ridge in Martigny, Switzerland on Wednesday (14Aug13) after a plane wing-diving stunt went wrong.
He thrilled millions of viewers when he and fellow stuntman Gary Connery, who was dressed as Britain's Monarch Queen Elizabeth II, leaped from a helicopter at the start of the Opening Ceremony, and Boyle, who orchestrated the elaborate event, had paid tribute to a "wonderful, gentle and thoughtful man".
In a moving piece published by the London Evening Standard, Boyle writes, "Such sad news about the wonderful Mark Sutton. As one of the world's top skydivers and stuntmen, his death is a huge loss to his profession. In a brilliant partnership with Gary Connery they made the stadium gasp at the Opening Ceremony in London 2012 and left indelible memories for people from all walks of life all over the world.
"They were a delight to work with and after each practice jump brought their cheery, care-free smiles into the stadium control room. Their courage, professionalism and modesty were always a boost for those of us locked inside the park. Disciplined and brave in situations most of us would find terrifying, Mark was also a gentle and thoughtful man. The show was built from so many contributions from so many people, none finer and braver than Mark Sutton.
"On behalf of everyone in the show we were all honoured to have worked with him and to have known him as a friend and a professional. All our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues. Thank you Mark."