Hollywood was rocked this morning by the death of Sir Roger Moore, who passed away in Switzerland from cancer at the age of 89.
Moore will forever be immortalized as the third actor to play the legendary secret agent James Bond in seven films from 1973 to 1985 as well as his breakthrough performance as the titular role of The Saint the 1962-69 television series.
Roger George Moore was born on October 14, 1927 in Stockwell, London, England. His father was policeman and mother was a housewife. At the age of 18, shortly after the end of World War II, Moore was enlisted in the Royal Army Services Corps first as a second lieutenant then a captain, who would serve as a “bodyguard” for entertainers passing through Munich in the former West Germany.
However, just prior to his military service, Moore attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and at the age of seventeen, made his film debut with a small appearance in the film Caesar and Cleopatra, where he met his idol, Stewart Granger. After working small parts in TV and film, Moore did modeling for various clothing advertisements.
In the 1950’s, Moore would work in films for both MGM and Warner Bros. It was shortly during his time with Warner Bros. that he began appearing in television series such as Ivanhoe and Maverick. However, in 1962, he was cast as Simon Templar, The Saint in a hit television series. The series was exactly the break Moore needed and achieved when the film, meant for the American market, would be huge in Moore’s native England and other countries. By the 1967 season, Moore was a household name. After the series ended in 1969, he made two films then returned briefly to TV with The Persuaders! which ran from 1971 to 1972.
In 1973, Moore would take up the mantle of Ian Fleming‘s secret agent 007, James Bond. His Bond debut was in 1973’s Live and Let Die. Moore would play Bond in the following films: 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). Moore even played a funny version of himself pretending to be Bond in the ensemble comedy The Cannonball Run in 1981.
After his stint as Bond, Moore took a much needed hiatus from acting and returned in 1990 with the TV show My Riviera and the film Bed and Breakfast. He had a major supporting role in Jean-Claude Van Damme‘s directorial debut, The Quest, in 1996. He was hailed as the best thing about the critically panned comedy Boat Trip in 2002.
Moore was not just an actor, he was a humanitarian, working with UNICEF and PETA to name a few. Moore is survived by his fourth wife, Kristina Tholstrup, and his three children from previous marriages.
World Film Geek sends its condolences to the family of Roger Moore. As a final tribute, check out Roger Moore showing his fighting skills in the 1983 film Octopussy as the legendary James Bond, courtesy of YouTube user Steven Eagle
Rest in Peace, Sir Roger Moore.