The smoothest Bond, and all-round legend Sir Roger Moore has died, aged 89
Farewell to an absolute hero
His Twitter bio says it best: ‘Actor. 007. Saint. UNICEF Ambassador.’
What a CV. What a man.
We are sad to report that the legendary Sir Roger Moore has passed away at the age of 89, following a ‘short but brave battle with cancer’.
The news was revealed in a joint statement from his sons Christian and Geoffrey and his daughter Deborah.
Moore enjoyed an acting career which spanned a phenomenal eight decades and was best known for being the third person to play James Bond.
He once told the Guardian: “Being eternally known as Bond has no downside. People often call me ‘Mr Bond’ when we’re out and I don’t mind a bit. Why would I?”
He was born in London in 1927 and first hit the big screen when he signed a seven-year contract with MGM in 1954. However, these films were not successful and it wasn’t until he moved to television that his big break came.
He starred as the eponymous hero Sir Wilfred of Ivanhoe in the romantic adventure Ivanhoe which aired in 1958-59, before further hit shows followed, including crime shows The Persuaders and The Saint. The latter ran for six seasons – 118 episodes – between 1962 and 1969, and brought him his second shot at Hollywood.
When Sean Connery made his final appearance as Bond in 1971’s Diamonds Are Forever, the stage was finally set for Moore to take on the role which would define him.
His first Bond film was 1973’s Live and Let Die and he went on to star in a further six over the span of 12 years, making him the longest serving actor in the role. He finally retired from Bond in 1985, aged 58.
He didn’t make another film until 1990 and became a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 1991, a role he cherished, and which brought him a CBE in 1999, and then a knighthood in 2003.
He said of the honour: “The knighthood for my humanitarian work meant more than if it had been for my acting. I’m sure some people would say, ‘What does an actor know about world issues?’ But [working for Unicef] I’ve become an expert on things from the causes of dwarfism to the benefits of breastfeeding. I feel very privileged.”