James Bond Actor Rory Kinnear Loses His Sister to Coronavirus: 'Her Life Was Not Disposable'

Ally Mauch
·3 min read

Actor Rory Kinnear is reflecting on his sister’s recent death due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Kinnear, who has starred in the last several James Bond films as Tanner, a Secret Intelligence Service Agent, wrote a personal essay in The Guardian, published Tuesday, that details his sister Karina’s story.

The actor, 44, shared that Karina, who had severe brain damage after suffering from a lack of oxygen at birth, died Sunday at age 48 shortly after testing positive for coronavirus.

Due to the current lockdowns, Kinnear and his family had to say their goodbyes to Karina completely virtually. He recounted the moment in his essay, titled “My sister died of coronavirus. She needed care, but her life was not disposable.”

“A nurse, Patricia, held up Karina’s iPad while my mum, via FaceTime on her mobile, narrated a favourite story of hers for the last time and thanked her for the happiness she had brought us all. Mum then held up her home phone to her mobile, where my other sister, Kirsty, at hers, was able to say how much she loved her and would miss her,” Kinnear wrote.

Joe Maher/WireImage Rory Kinnear

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He continued, “And then Kirsty held up her husband’s phone to hers where I, on loudspeaker, from my house, played Karina one of her favourite songs and told her how proud I was to have been her brother and what gratitude I felt for what she had taught me about life.”

Karina had experienced a number of setbacks in her life, having been left paralyzed from the waist down and previously suffering kidney damage with sepsis, Kinnear said.

“Her conditions weren’t just ‘underlying’, they were life-defining, for her and for us, even if she remained unaware of their severity,” the No Time to Die actor wrote. “But Karina had defied predictions her entire life.”

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“Along with my mother’s ferocious determination to keep her alive, she defied medicine, she defied doctors, she defied prognoses, she defied the capacity of human endurance,” he added. And she would look at you and smile, as if to say: ‘Yep. I did it again.’ She was heroic and continually inspiring. In fact she had a daredevil’s spirit, forever finding joy in activities many might have shied away from.”

Kinnear went on to write that though Karina had preexisting conditions, it was the coronavirus that killed her — “it was a virulent, aggressive and still only partially understood virus that was responsible.”

“No one could describe Karina as weak: she did not have it coming, she was no more disposable than anyone else,” he said. “Her death was not inevitable, does not ease our burden, is not a blessing.”

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