Remembering Roger Moore

May 30, 2017

James Bond actor Roger Moore died earlier this week at the age of 89. The debonair British star is best known for replacing Sean Connery in seven of the secret-agent movies between 1973 and 1985. Moore’s adult children, Deborah, Geoffrey and Christian Moore posted a statement on his verified Twitter account earlier this week saying:

“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. 

“We know our own love and admiration will be magnified many times over, across the world, by people who knew him for his films, his television shows and his passionate work for UNICEF which he considered to be his greatest achievement.

“The affection our father felt whenever he walked onto a stage or in front of a camera buoyed him hugely and kept him busy working into his 90th year, through to his last appearance in November 2016 on stage at London’s Royal Festival Hall. The capacity crowd cheered him on and off stage, shaking the very foundations of the building just a short distance from where he was born.

“Thank you Pops for being you, and for being so very special to so many people.

“Our thoughts must now turn to supporting Kristina at this difficult time, and in accordance with our father’s wishes there will be a private funeral in Monaco.”

Moore’s version of James Bond was elegant, relaxed, and always seemed to maintain a sense of humor as he sipped martinis, seduced stunning beauties, and conquered villains. He once said of his approach to the iconic “007” character, “My personality is different from previous Bonds. I’m not that cold-blooded killer type. Which is why I play it mostly for laughs.” Another time, he elaborated, “To me, the Bond situations are so ridiculous, so outrageous. I mean, this man is supposed to be a spy and yet everybody knows he’s a spy. Every bartender in the world offers him martinis that are shaken, not stirred. What kind of serious spy is recognized everywhere he goes? It’s outrageous. So you have to treat the humor outrageously as well.”

While Roger Moore starred in many other TV shows and films over the course of his career, he is likewise often celebrated for his portrayal of the Robin Hood-like character, Simon Templar in the television series The Saint. The popular mystery-spy thriller ran for almost 120 episodes during the 1960s and aired in 60 countries. And after his Bond days, Moore landed film roles such as The Chief in the box-office smash Spice World with the Spice Girls.

Early in Moore’s film career, he was asked if he wanted to work with a dialogue director, Joe Graham from Warner Brothers. Indeed, Roger’s early films were not successful, and casting directors were uncertain about which way to proceed with this particularly handsome young actor. They wondered if Graham’s coaching would help them assess if he was best suited as an action hero, a romantic leading man, or even a comedian. Working with Graham proved to be a powerful experience for the budding star. His persistent and insightful support was just what Roger needed to gain confidence while on set. Moore recalled Graham’s counsel: “You’re very fortunate. You’re even-featured, you’re six-foot two. Why do you stand five-foot ten? Don’t be timid, don’t be embarrassed. It is a sin not to expose what you’ve been given!” Moore laughed as he fondly remembered his coach. “He really nagged me! And I found I didn’t want to be on a set without Joe. He gave me a great deal of confidence. And made me enjoy acting much more.”

Moore’s life will be celebrated in cinemas worldwide starting May 31, 2017. Special screenings of two James Bond classics, The Spy Who Loved Me and For Your Eyes Only will be featured at AMC Theaters in the U.S.. And, being that Moore was a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador advocating on the behalf of children across the globe, proceeds will benefit UNICEF.