Roger Moore, best known for playing James Bond in seven of the 007 movies, has died. He was 89.
His children shared the news on his verified Twitter account Tuesday that Moore died in Switzerland after a “small but brave battle with cancer.”
“With the heaviest of heart, we must share the terrible news that our father, Sir Roger Moore, passed away today. We are all heartbroken,” the statement said.
Moore’s relaxed style and sense of whimsy, which leaned heavily on the arched eyebrow, seemed to be a commentary on the essential ridiculousness of the Bond films, in which the handsome British secret agent was so adept in the mixing of martinis, bedding, beautiful women and ordering gourmet meals, as he was at the disposal of the super-villains try to take over the world.
“For me, the Bond situations are so ridiculous, so outrageous,” he once said. “I mean, this guy is intended to be a spy and yet, everybody knows that he is a spy. Every bartender in the world offers him martinis that are shaken, not stirred. What kind of serious spy is recognised everywhere he goes? It is outrageous. So you have to treat the humor outrageously.”
While he never eclipsed Sean Connery in the public eye as the ultimate James Bond, Moore played the role of secret agent 007 in as many films as Connery did, and he managed to do this while “finding a joke in any situation,” according to film critic Rex Reed.
The actor, who came to the role in 1973 after Connery tired of it, had already enjoyed a long career in film and television, albeit with varying degrees of success.
He was remembered and welcomed by the fans of the popular AMERICAN years 1950- ‘ 60 TV series “Maverick” as Beauregarde Maverick, the English cousin of the Wild West’s Maverick brothers, Bret and Bart. He also played in 1959 of the AMERICAN series “The alaskans.”
In England, he had a long running TELEVISION hit with “The Holy,” the play of Simon Templar, the enigmatic action hero who helps put rich crooks in prison, while absconding with their fortunes. By the time that the series, which also aired in the United States, ended in 1969, his collaboration with the producers had made him a rich man.
Such a success was followed by a Time magazine review of one of his earliest films, 1956 “Diane”, in which his performance opposite Lana Turner was dismissed as that of “a lump of English roast beef.”
Roger Moore death: Remembrance of the James Bond star
Born in London, the only child of a policeman, Moore studied painting before enrolling in the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. He played a few small roles in theater and films for his mandatory military service, then moved to Hollywood in the 1950s. He appeared opposite Elizabeth Taylor in 1954 “The Last Time I Saw Paris” and Eleanor Parker in “Interrupted Melody” the following year.
In 1970, he was director of European production for Faberge’s Brut Productions. At the company, he was involved in the production of “A Touch of Class”, who won best actress Oscar for Glenda Jackson.
Three years later he made his first Bond film, “Live and Let Die.”
He would be six more, “The Man With the Golden Gun”, “The Spy Who Loved Me,” “Octopussy,” “Moonraker,” “For Your Eyes Only and “A View to A Kill” for the next 12 years. And while the Bond of the Ian Fleming novels that the movies were based on was generally described as being in his 30s, Moore would continue with the role until he was 57.
He remained a regular in the films after handing over the Bond to Timothy Dalton, but never with the same success. His post-Bond films, including such forgettable efforts as “The Quest” with Jean-Claude Van Damme and “Spice World” with the Spice Girls.
In 1991, Moore became a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF, which is introduced to the role of the deceased actress Audrey Hepburn. If Hepburn had, he threw much of his energy into the task.
“I felt small, insignificant and rather ashamed, that I traveled so much in the making of films and ignored what’s going on around me,” he said in describing how the work has had on him.
In 1996, when his UNICEF job took him to the world congress Against the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, and he told me that he also a victim.
“I was molested when I was a child — not seriously — but I did not tell my mother until I was 16, because I felt that it was something to be ashamed of,” he told The Associated Press.
He gave no details, but said that it was important to encourage young victims do not feel guilty.
“They are being exploited. We have to tell them that,” Moore said.
UNICEF Director, Anthony Lake, called Moore a “great friend” in a statement about the stars, the death, adding “He once said that it is up to each of us to give children a peaceful future.”
Moore was separated, three times, of ice skater Doorn Van Steyn in 1953, English singer Dorothy Squires in 1969, and Italian actress Luisa Mattioli, the mother of his children, Deborah, Geoffrey and Christian, in the year 2000.
He married for the fourth time, in 2002, the Swedish socialite Kristina Tholstrup.
“The love of our father felt when he walked on to a stage or in front of a camera buoyed him greatly and kept him busy in his 90th year…Thank you to Jumps for you, and for being so very special to so many people.”
Moore’s children said a private funeral will be held in Monaco, according to their father’s wishes.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
You can find Sasha Savitsky on Twitter @SashaFB.