WASHINGTON, May 23, 2017 – Roger Moore (b. October 14, 1927 – d. May 23, 2017) has the unique distinction of being James Bond in seven out of twenty-four movies spanning from 1962 to 2015. A creation of writer Ian Flemming, the first 007 was played by Sean Connery in 1962’s Dr. No. Connery reprised the Queen’s agent six other times, the last being Diamonds Are Forever in 1971.
Sir Roger Moore picked up the Walther PPK favored by Britain’s top spy from 1973 to 1985.
Other Bonds included Timothy Dalton (The Living Daylights and Licence to Kill), Pierce Brosnan (Die Another Day) and most recently Daniel Craig who has held the title since 2006 (Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall and Spectre)
But to most fans, at least those over the age of 40, Sean Connery was and always will be James Bond.
And then, of course, there were the Bond Girls:
Roger George Moore was born in Stockwell, south London on 14 October 1927, the son of a policeman. At 15, he entered art college becoming an apprentice at an animation studio, where it seems much fun was had at his expense.
“I was probably the lowliest in the entire building,” he said in interviews. “They sent me on errands for things like tins of sprocket holes, and the guy in stores would say he didn’t have any – and would rainbow paint do instead?”
Moore’s first break came as a result of his father, a police detective sergeant, being called to investigate a robbery at the home of the film director, Brian Desmond Hurst, that led to the younger Moore being hired as an extra for Caesar and Cleopatra. The rest, they say, is history, but he was not an overnight success.
The BBC’s obituary highlights Moore’s career including his Moore’s American film debut with Elizabeth Taylor in The Last Time I Saw Paris, then as Lana Turner’s leading man in Diane. But television brought him a new audience playing Ivanhoe in a 1950s series that had only a tentative connection with Sir Walter Scott’s original novel. Moore was the lead in the less than successful TV series The Alaskans before appearing as Beau Maverick in the hugely successful Western series Maverick, the English cousin of the lead character Brett, played by James Garner.
Sir Roger’s big break was as the dashing Simon Templar aka The Saint, (1962) in a television adaptation of the Leslie Charteris stories. The series ran for seven years, made Sir Roger a star on both sides of the Atlantic.
“Many of the Saint’s characteristics, the easygoing manner, mocking eyebrow and ability to successfully charm every passing female, would later be incorporated into his role as James Bond.” (BBC)”
Moore’s trademark raised eyebrow, often employed to mark his sardonic humor led to Moore being the longest-serving actor in the Bond role. The seven Bond films he starred in becoming the most commercially successful of the franchise with implausible gadgets and a host of new characters, designed to flesh out Ian Fleming’s original plots.
In his later years, Moore traveled the globe as a roving ambassador for the United Nations children’s organization Unicef, a role prompted by the scenes of child poverty he had witnessed in India while filming Octopussy. Actress Audrey Hepburn first requested he take up the position and his work was recognised by a CBE in 1998 and he was knighted in 2003.
In 2015 the suave Roger Moore was named one of GQ magazine’s best-dressed men.
In his personal life, Moore, while married to Dorothy Squires, became a father in 1963, with his partner, Luisa Mattioli. They had a daughter. He married Luisa after divorcing Squires and they had two sons. They were together for 38 years before Sir Roger left her he married his fourth wife, Kiki Tholstrup, in March 2002. Sir Roger recovered from an operation for prostate cancer in 1993 saing at the time that he had “an extraordinarily lucky, charmed life”.
The actor passed away at age 89 in Switzerland following a short battle with cancer. Mr. Moore is survived by his wife Kristina Tholstrup and three children.