On the 23rd of May 2017, news broke across the country that beloved British actor and iconic James Bond star, Sir Roger Moore, passed away at the age of 89 after a short battle with cancer, his family has announced.
In a heartfelt post on Twitter, Sir Roger’s three children commented, “It is with a heavy heart that we must announce our loving father, Sir Roger Moore, has passed away today in Switzerland after a short but brave battle with cancer. The love with which he was surrounded in his final days was so great it cannot be quantified in words alone.
Thank you pops for being you, and for being so very special to so many people.”
Sir Roger Moore first donned the tuxedo, armed with a Walther PPK, in 1973’s Live and Let Die, where Bond was sent to New Orleans after a number of British agents turn up dead. Here, he would encounter a number of villainous characters, ranging from Dr Kananga, also known as Mr Big, to voodoo master Baron Samedi, the claw-wielding Tee Hee, and everything in between. In the years that followed, Moore would reprise his role as Bond in The Man with the Golden Gun, The Spy Who Loved Me, which Moore considered to be his best Bond picture, Moonraker, For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy and A View to a Kill, which he considers his least favourite. By this time, Roger Moore was 57 and considered a little too old to play Bond, passing the torch to his successor, Timothy Dalton, for The Living Daylights.
Sir Roger Moore’s contract to play James Bond included an unlimited supply of Montecristo cigars during filming, where his smoking habits would add up to thousands of pounds’ worth. Throughout the seven films, Moore would also never utter the much referenced, iconic line “Vodka Martini. Shaken, not stirred.” He also held the title of being the oldest actor to play Bond, starring in Live and Let Die at the age of 45, when he took the reins from widely considered ‘favourite Bond’, Sean Connery.
Roger Moore was born on October 14th, 1927 in Stockwell, London to Lillian and George Alfred Moore. Acting did not always run in his blood, the eyebrow-raising British actor originally aspired to be an artist, however found his footing in the film industry after appearing as an extra in a number of films in the closing years of the 1940’s. A proud Brit, Sir Roger Moore also had the honour of serving in the British forces during The Second World War. In the early years of his film career, Sir Roger Moore had a habit of collecting towels from the hotels he stayed in. However, this was brought to a close after a British newspaper exposed him. To this day, Sir Roger Moore has the towels he took in his Swiss home.
Sir Roger Moore would make a name for himself in crime drama, The Saint, which, across its six seasons, ran from 1962 to 1969, where Moore played protagonist Simon Templar. This would propel Roger Moore into superstardom and make him the nationally acclaimed actor he is today. However, the United States never took to Roger Moore until 1981, when he would star alongside American moustache maestro Burt Reynolds in cult favourite “The Cannonball Run”, which also featured Farah Fawcett, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr, and a plethora of other American figures. In The Cannonball Run, Sir Roger Moore would play a parody of his Bond persona. Funnily enough, this would be the only time Roger would sit behind the wheel of the iconic Bond car, Aston Martin DB5.
Since playing Bond, Sir Roger Moore’s film work died down, starring in a handful of features, before stepping down into second rate roles, however he often appeared on chat shows and hosted a number of documentaries.
Sir Roger Moore was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire on New Year’s Eve, 1998 for his services to UNICEF, before being promoted to Knight Commander on June 14th, 2003 in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for his services to UNICEF and Kiwanis International.
Sir Roger Moore is survived by his wife Kristina, and his three children, Deborah, Geoffrey and Christian.
In accordance with Sir Roger’s wishes, his life and legacy will be celebrated in the form of a private funeral in Monaco.