Actor Sir Roger Moore, best known for his portrayal of James Bond, has passed away at age 89. His family confirmed the news via a statement released on Twitter. In it, his children confirmed that the actor had passed away after a short battle with cancer, and the family will now hold a private funeral in Monaco.
Moore played James Bond for 12 years, between 1973 and 1985, becoming the longest-serving Bond actor and a favorite of many. His tenure covered the movies Live and Let Die, The Man With the Golden Gun, The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker, For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy, and A View To A Kill. His incarnation of Bond was renowned for being very different to Ian Fleming's original creation, full of witty one-liners and with an eye for the ladies; something that reflected the tastes at the time.
Moore trained at RADA alongside Lois Maxwell, who would go on to play the original Miss Moneypenny. He worked as a model before signing to MGM, but his first few movies with the studio were not hits. Eventually, he made his name in TV, taking the lead in Ivanhoe, which ran from 1958-59. Due to his commitment to TV, he was unable to join the Bond franchise when first approached, and it was only when Sean Connery announced he was stepping down, that Moore considered himself a contender. However, he then had a wait on his hands while George Lazenby took the role, followed by Connery again. Finally, he got his chance, and accepted Albert Broccoli's offer to play the part. In his autobiography, Moore stated that he had to cut his hair and lose weight for the role, before making his debut in Live and Let Die.
With the heaviest of hearts, we must share the awful news that our father, Sir Roger Moore, passed away today. We are all devastated. pic.twitter.com/6dhiA6dnVg
— Sir Roger Moore (@sirrogermoore) May 23, 2017
As the longest serving and one of the most popular Bond actors, Moore always fully embraced his role, and put it all down to good luck, and being in the right place at the right time. He never minded the association with the role, telling the Guardian in an interview:
“Being eternally known as Bond has no downside. People often call me ‘Mr Bond’ when we’re out and I don’t mind a bit. Why would I?”
Moore was also a passionate and dedicated supporter of UNICEF, which his family said was something he considered to be his greatest achievement.He was knighted in 2003 for his charity work, and he stated that it held more meaning that if it had been awarded for his acting:
"The knighthood for my humanitarian work meant more than if it had been for my acting. I’m sure some people would say, “What does an actor know about world issues?” But [working for Unicef] I’ve become an expert on things from the causes of dwarfism to the benefits of breastfeeding. I feel very privileged.”
A prominent, and well-loved British actor, he will be missed by fans across the globe.