James Bond Legend Sir Roger Moore Dies Aged 89
Veteran British actor Sir Roger Moore has died, aged 89, following a short battle with cancer. A prolific actor and humanitarian, he remains best known for playing charismatic MI6 spy James Bond. Known for his mellifluous voice, charismatic style, and arched eyebrow, he played the iconic character seven times, starting with 1972's Live And Let Die.
Born in London in 1927, Moore started his career in the 1950s as a knitwear model, before moving into acting with a series of small film roles. His initial breakthrough came on the small-screen, though – in shows like Ivanhoe, Maverick, and The Alaskans. Moore became a household name with The Saint from 1962 to 1969, in which he played the suave, sophisticated, sharply-dressed hero Simon Templar, a role many considered his ‘Bond audition’.
In fact, Bond producer Albert ‘Cubby’ Broccoli had approached Moore twice to take the part, but his television commitments had got in the way. When Sean Connery officially retired from the role after Diamonds Are Forever, the coast was clear and Moore accepted the role, first playing him in 1973’s Live And Let Die.
Moore would play 007 seven times: Live And Let Die (1973), The Man with the Golden Gun (1974); The Spy Who Loved Me (1977); Moonraker (1979); For Your Eyes Only (1981); Octopussy (1983); and A View to a Kill (1985). Throughout his tenure, his established a playful and debonair take on the character, injecting a sense of fun into Ian Fleming’s creation.
Following his retirement from the role, he took a short break from acting, taking on smaller bit parts (including, memorably, an offbeat cameo in sex comedy B-movie Boat Trip). His later years were largely devoted to charity and humanitarian efforts. In a statement, his family said he considered his work with UNICEF to be “his greatest achievement’.
On his approach to his most famous role, he once explained it thusly: “I'm have a good time doing this, and I hope you're having a good time watching me have a good time.".