Sir Roger George Moore

BornRoger George Moore
14 October 1927
StockwellLondon, England
Died23 May 2017 (aged 89)
Crans-Montana, Switzerland
Burial placeMonaco Cemetery
Alma materRoyal Academy of Dramatic Art
OccupationActor
Years active1945–2016
Known forJames Bond in seven feature films from 1973 to 1985The Saint from 1962 to 1969

Sir Roger George Moore was an English actor, best known for playing British secret agent ‘James Bond’ in seven feature films. He was the longest-serving ‘Bond’ in the history of ‘James Bond’ movies as he portrayed ‘James Bond’ from 1973 to 1985. Roger Moore started his career with ‘Royal Academy of Dramatic Art’ in England and appeared in small-time roles in movies. He had to take a break from acting as he was conscripted for national service shortly after the end of the ‘Second World War.’ He returned to pursue a career in entertainment and started his modeling career, which helped him land supporting roles in some high budget movies. It was after appearing on the British television ‘Ivanhoe’ that Moore started hogging the limelight for the first time. However, he did not taste international success until he appeared on ‘The Saint’ in the 1960s. It was in 1973 that he was cast as ‘James Bond’ for the first time, succeeding Scottish actor Sean Connery. He played ‘Bond’ for many years and gained success playing the famous fictional spy. Playing his first ‘Bond’ role at the age of 45 in ‘Live and Let Die,’ he was the oldest actor to have ever signed a contract to appear as ‘Bond’ in the popular film series. For his contribution to the film industry, Moore was honored with the ‘Commander of the Order of the British Empire.’ He was later honored with ‘Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire.’

Early Life

Roger Moore Childhood Photo 1935

Roger Moore was born on 14 October 1927 in Stockwell, London. He was the only child of George Alfred Moore (1904–1997), a policeman (PC168E based in Bow Street, London), and Lillian “Lily” (Pope; 1904–1986). His mother was born in Calcutta, India, to an English family. He attended Battersea Grammar School, but was evacuated to Holsworthy in Devon during the Second World War, and attended Launceston College in Cornwall. He was further educated at Dr Challoner’s Grammar School in Amersham, Buckinghamshire.Moore was apprenticed to an animation studio, but was fired after he made a mistake with some animation cels. When his father investigated a robbery at the home of film director Brian Desmond Hurst, Moore was introduced to the director and hired as an extra for the 1945 film Caesar and Cleopatra. While there, Moore attracted an off-camera female fan following, and Hurst decided to pay Moore’s fees at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Moore spent three terms at RADA, where he was a classmate of his future Bond co-star Lois Maxwell, the original Miss Moneypenny. During his time there, he developed the Mid-Atlantic accent and relaxed demeanour that became his screen persona.18, shortly after the end of the Second World War, Moore was conscripted for national service. On 21 September 1946, he was commissioned into the Royal Army Service Corps as a second lieutenant. He was given the service number 372394. He was an officer in the Combined Services Entertainment section, eventually becoming a captain commanding a small depot in West Germany. There he looked after entertainers for the armed forces passing through Hamburg.

Career

With Kathleen Crowley in Maverick (1961)

During the early-1950s, Moore worked as a print model for products like knitwear, toothpaste, etc. During this time, he also made a television appearance in the series ‘Drawing Room Detective.’He signed a contract with ‘MGM’ and appeared in movies like ‘Interrupted Melody’ (1955), ‘The King’s Thief’ (1955), ‘Diane’ (1956), etc. He then signed a contract with ‘Warner Bros’ and appeared in TV programs, such as ‘The Third Man’ and ‘Alfred Hitchcock Presents.’Moore gained popularity playing ‘Sir Wilfred of Ivanhoe’ in the series ‘Ivanhoe’ from 1958 to 1959. The show was aimed at younger audience.He then landed an important role in ‘The Alaskans,’ which ran from 1959 to 1960. The show was aired for one season, which consisted of 37 episodes.In 1959, Moore was cast as ‘Beau Maverick’ in a TV series titled ‘Maverick.’ The series ran for a season and Moore had to manage his time as he was working on ‘The Alaskans’ simultaneously.Moore finally achieved his much-awaited stardom when he was cast in ‘The Saint’ in 1962, where he played the role of ‘Simon Templar.’ The show ran for six seasons and had 118 episodes; it was the longest-running series on British television.Just after the series ended, Moore starred in two movies, ‘Crossplot’ (1969) and ‘The Man Who Haunted Himself’ (1970). With these two motion pictures, he proved to be a versatile actor.In 1971, he appeared on the television series ‘The Persuaders!’ The series was not a success in America but did pretty well in Europe (especially in Germany and Australia).When Sean Connery left the ‘James Bond’ franchise, Moore was approached to play ‘James Bond’ in ‘Live and Let Die’ (1973). It is said that Moore lost weight and went for a complete makeover in order to play the role. Moore played ‘James Bond’ for 12 years; he was the longest-serving ‘James Bond’ actor ever. He did movies like ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’ (1974), ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’ (1977), ‘Moonraker’ (1979), ‘For Your Eyes Only’ (1981), etc.After he stopped playing ‘Bond’ in 1985, Moore did not appear on screen for the next five years. It was only in 1990 that he appeared on television, playing an important role in the series ‘My Riviera.’During the 2000s, he continued to work in the industry sporadically—he played the role of a homosexual in ‘Boat Trip’ (2002), appeared in a commercial for London’s 2012 Olympic bid, and guest-hosted ‘Have I Got News for You’ (2012).He made his last film appearance when he played a cameo in the espionage thriller film ‘The Saint.’ Filmed in 2013, ‘The Saint’ was released in 2017 in tribute to Moore following his death.

Awards & Achievements

Moore was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire(CBE) in the 1999 New Year Honours and was promoted to Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) in the 2003 Birthday Honours for charitable services, especially UNICEF and latterly Kiwanis International, which had dominated his public life for more than a decade. On 11 October 2007, three days before he turned 80, Moore was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work on television and in film. Attending the ceremony were family, friends, and Richard Kiel, with whom he had acted in The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker. Moore’s star was the 2,350th star installed, and is appropriately located at 7007 Hollywood Boulevard. On 28 October 2008, the French government appointed Moore a Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. On 21 November 2012, Moore was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Hertfordshire for his outstanding contributions to the UK film and television industry for over 50 years, in particular film and television productions in Hertfordshire. After his death, the Roger Moore Stage was opened at Pinewood Studios at a ceremony held in October 2017 to celebrate his life and work. His wife and family were in attendance along with Bond producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, and guests at the event included Joan Collins, Michael Caine, Stephen Fry, Tim Rice and Stefanie Powers.

For His Charity Work

  • 2007: Dag Hammarskjöld Inspiration Award (UNICEF).
  • 2004: UNICEF’s Audrey Hepburn Humanitarian Award.
  • 2003: German Federal Cross of Merit(Bundesverdienstkreuz) for his UNICEF work.
  • 2003: Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE)
  • 1999: Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)

Lifetime Achievements Awards

  • 2008: Commander of the French National Order of Arts and Letters (Ordre national des Arts et des Lettres)
  • 2007: Hollywood Walk of Fame
  • 2004: TELEKAMERA (“Tele Tydzień” Lifetime Achievement Award, Poland)
  • 2002: Monte Carlo TV Festival (Lifetime Achievement Award)
  • 2001: Lifetime achievement award (Filmfestival, Jamaica)
  • 1997: Palm Springs film festival, USA, Lifetime Achievement Award
  • 1995: TELE GATTO (Italian TV; Lifetime Achievement Award)
  • 1991: GOLDEN CAMERA (German TV; lifetime achievement award)
  • 1990: BAMBI (Lifetime Achievement Award from the German magazine BUNTE)

For His Acting

With Joanna Barnes in The Trials of O’Brien

  • 1981: OTTO (Most popular Film Star; from German Magazine BRAVO)
  • 1980: Golden Globe Henrietta Award for World Film Favorite – Male.
  • 1980: Saturn Award (Most Popular International Performer)
  • 1973: BAMBI (shared with Tony Curtis for “The Persuaders”, from the German magazine BUNTE)
  • 1973: BEST ACTOR IN TV, award from the French magazine TELE-7-JOURS, shared with Tony Curtis for “The Persuaders”
  • 1967: ONDAS-AWARD (Spanish TV for “The Saint”)
  • 1967: OTTO (Most popular TV-star for “The Saint”; from German magazine BRAVO)

Royalism

Moore had friendships with some of Denmark’s royal family; Prince Joachim and his then-wife Alexandra, Countess of Frederiksborg invited Moore and his wife Kiki to attend the christening of their youngest son, Prince Felix. In 2004 he attended the Wedding of Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark, and Mary Donaldson. On 24 May 2008, Moore and his wife attended the wedding of Prince Joachim to his French fiancée Marie Cavallier.

Moore also had a long-standing friendship with Princess Lilian of Sweden, whom he first met on a visit to Stockholm for UNICEF. Moore’s wife Kristina, who was born in Sweden, was already a friend of Princess Lilian’s through mutual friends. In his autobiography, Moore recalled meeting the princess for tea and dinners whenever his wife and he visited Stockholm. He spoke of his recollections at the princess’s memorial service at St Peter and St Sigfrid’s Church in Stockholm, on 8 September 2013.

On 1 and 2 July 2011, Moore and his wife attended the wedding of Prince Albert of Monaco and Charlene Wittstock.

Somthing Big

Moore’s friend Audrey Hepburn had impressed him with her work for UNICEF, and consequently he became a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 1991. His character, Simon Templar, made a pitch for UNICEF near the end of The Revolution Racket airing 5 November 1964. He was the voice of Father Christmas or ‘Santa’ in the 2004 UNICEF cartoon The Fly Who Loved Me.

Moore’s autobiography My Word is My Bond was published by Collins in the US, in November 2008 and by Michael O’Mara Books Ltd in the UK, on 2 October 2008.

On 16 October 2012, Bond on Bond was published to tie in with the 50th anniversary of the James Bond films. The book, with many pictures, is based on Moore’s own memories, thoughts, and anecdotes about all things 007, with some of the profits of the book going to UNICEF.

Filmography

1954The Last Time I Saw ParisPaul
1955Interrupted MelodyCyril Lawrence
The King’s ThiefJack
1956DianePrince Henri
1958IvanhoeIvanhoeTV series
1959The MiracleCapt. Michael Stuart
The AlaskansSilky Harris
MaverickBeau MaverickTV series
1961The Sins of Rachel CadePaul Wilton
Gold of the Seven SaintsShaun Garrett
1962Romulus and the SabinesRomulus
No Man’s LandEnzo Prati
1962–1969The SaintSimon TemplarTV series
1968The Fiction MakersSimon Templar
1969Vendetta for the SaintSimon Templar
CrossplotGary Fenn
1970The Man Who Haunted HimselfHarold PelhamSeries
1971The Persuaders!Brett SinclairTV series
1973Live and Let DieJames Bond
1974GoldRod Slater
The Man with the Golden GunJames Bond
1975That Lucky TouchMichael Scott
1976Street PeopleUlysses
Shout at the DevilSebastian Oldsmith
1977Sherlock Holmes in New YorkSherlock Holmes
The Spy Who Loved MeJames Bond
1978The Wild GeeseLieutenant Shaun Fynn
1979Escape to AthenaMajor Otto Hecht
MoonrakerJames Bond
North Sea HijackRufus Excalibur ffolkes
1980The Sea WolvesCaptain Gavin Stewart
Sunday LoversHarry Lindon
1981The Cannonball RunSeymour Goldfarb
For Your Eyes OnlyJames Bond
1983OctopussyJames Bond
Curse of the Pink PantherChief Insp. Jacques Clouseau
1984The Naked FaceDr. Judd Stevens
1985A View to a KillJames Bond
1987The Magic SnowmanLumi Ukko, the SnowmanVoice role
1990Fire, Ice and DynamiteSir George Windsor
Bullseye!Sir John Bevistock
1992Bed & BreakfastAdam
1995The Man Who Wouldn’t DieThomas GraceAlso executive producer
1996The QuestLord Edgar Dobbs
1997Spice WorldThe Chief
The SaintRadio AnnouncerVoice role
2001The Enemy[40]Supt. Robert Ogilvie
2002Boat TripLloyd Faversham
2002TatortHimselfEpisode: “Schatten”
2010Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty GaloreTab LazenbyVoice role
2011A Princess for ChristmasEdward, Duke of CastleburyTV film
2013IncompatiblesHimselfFrench film
2016The CarerHimself
2017The SaintJasperFilmed in 2013

Health

Moore had a series of diseases during his childhood, including chickenpoxmeaslesmumps, double pneumonia and jaundice. He had an infection of his foreskin at the age of eight and underwent a circumcision, and had his appendixtonsils, and adenoids removed.

Moore was a long-term sufferer of kidney stones and as a result was briefly hospitalised during the making of Live and Let Die in 1973 and again whilst filming the 1979 film Moonraker.

In 1993, Moore was diagnosed with prostate cancerand underwent successful treatment for the disease.

In 2003, Moore collapsed on stage while appearing on Broadway, and was fitted with a pacemaker to treat a potentially deadly slow heartbeat. He was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2013. Some years before his final cancer illness, a tumour spot was found in the liver. Then, in 2017, during his cancer treatment period, he had a fall which badly injured the collarbone.

Death

Moore’s family announced his death in Switzerland, on 23 May 2017 from liver cancer. He died at his home in Crans-Montana, in the presence of his family. Former 007 actors Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan & current 007 actor Daniel Craig paid tribute to him. Moore is buried in Monaco Cemetery.

Extras

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