Former James Bond star Pierce Brosnan has written a touching tribute to the late Roger Moore, following Moore's passing last week. The actor holds the distinction of being the longest-tenured 007 in the franchise's history, appearing in seven films over the course of 12 years. Moore was the third thespian to appear as the super spy (following the footsteps of Sean Connery and George Lazenby) and was best known for bringing a sense of humor to the role and having fun with it. His death came as something of a shock for fans, and they continue to mourn the loss of the kindhearted actor.
Everyone with even a passing familiarity of the Bond series has their favorite, including the many actors who have contributed their talents to MI6. Brosnan, who portrayed the character in four pictures, felt a strong personal connection to Moore and has now paid tribute to the icon in a new personal essay.
Writing a guest column for Variety, Brosnan praised his "first real hero" and discussed the tremendous impact Moore had on his life. Brosnan was quite the admirer, saying in the piece Moore was the only actor who he ever asked for an autograph. When touching on Moore's tenure as Bond, Brosnan had nothing but positive things to say:
He became James Bond — not an easy task for any man. As an actor he must have known the job at hand was Herculean, with an expectant world awaiting; who was next in line? Sean Connery had set the bar high, and George Lazenby, with mighty flair and a valiant heart, had given it his best. Now it was Roger’s turn. He knew his time was now, and he reigned over seven movies as James Bond with exceptional skill and comic timing laced with a stiletto vengeance. He knew his comedy, he knew who he was and he played onstage and off with an easy grace and charm. He knew that we knew.
In an amusing twist of fate, the Moore era of Bond provided Brosnan with much more than just hours of entertainment. His late wife Cassie was cast as Lisl von Schlaf in For Your Eyes Only, providing the family with work when they needed it. Shortly after, Brosnan himself scored a role in the miniseries The Manions of America, a turn of events he credits with eventually landing him the coveted role of James Bond. That had to have been a whirlwind experience for Brosnan, as he took the mantle from one of his idols. It was certainly a daunting task for the actor when he was making Goldeneye, but Moore visited Brosnan on the set to wish him well. "I was still in awe of the man," Brosnan wrote.
Critically speaking, Moore's run as Bond may not have been the most acclaimed in terms of the professional reviews, but it's evident his charming take on the secret agent left a sizable impression on many who came of age during that time. Moore was also much more than 007, as he was very famous for his charitable efforts - notably his support of UNICEF. He touched many people through his work, both on and off the screen and he will be dearly missed by all those who knew him.