Knighted in 2003 for his goodwill humanitarian work, and best known for playing British Secret Agent James Bond in seven feature films from 1973 to 1985 and his most notable television role Simon Templar in the series The Saint from 1962 to 1969, his name is Sir Roger, George Moore who died in
The early life Roger Moore of Background
Sir Roger Moore was born in Stockwell, London on 14th October 1927 to Lily, a housewife, and George Moore, a police constable, whose responsibilities were to draw scenes of accidents that were to be presented in court as evidence. Seeing that he had gotten his father’s artistic traits, his ambition to be an artist-led him to leave school by the age of 15 and accept a job as a trainee animator at Publicity Picture Productions. Unfortunately, his employment didn’t last long as he got fired a few months later for not collecting a can of the film he was asked to.
Later in 1945, he tagged along with a couple of his friends to audition for extras in films. Moore got selected to appear in a non-speaking role in Caesar and Cleopatra, starring Vivian Leigh and Claude Rains. He was noticed by Brian Desmond Hurst and took him under his wing and encouraged him to audition for Rada and even paid his fees. Moore then left at 18 to play the role of a supporting artist in the repertory company of the Arts Theatre in Cambridge and soon after was called to join the military service and got posted to Germany during the second world war.
In 1953 he came to the United States. Being young and an extremely handsome lad, not to mention a natural actor he right away received a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. His initial work was met with mixed success from movies like Diane in 1956, Interrupted Melody in 1955, and The last time I saw Paris 1954.
It’s no surprise that an actor as ambitious as he didn’t give up so easily, and he sure reaped what he sewed, with his persistent effort.
Journey as a James Bond 007
His big break came through, internationally, from starring in The Saint in ‘62. It got him on the map and turned him into a successful superstar. He had gained fame worldwide through his stint in The Saint but he somehow did not catch on to America. With a view to change this he went on to star with Tony Curtis on ITC’s The Persuaders in 1971, this too although being hugely popular in Europe didn’t grab the American attention that he so desired and got canceled.
He then starred in The Man Who Haunted Himself 1970, which only went on to further prove his versatile acting techniques, and his skill to perform roles that are different from his previous light-hearted ones.
All his conspicuous acting throughout the years finally led him to his next offer as Sean Connery’s successor to the infamous heartthrob secret agent James Bond.
Inevitably for Moore, being Connery’s successor, his performance in spite of being iconic is more often held up against that of Sean Connery’s run from ‘73-’84.
In an interview with Connery in 1983, he speaks of the ‘fundamental difference’ quite brutally. Connery goes on to differentiate his Bond as being more shrouded with reality, credibility, and indigenous humor. And felt that Moore’s Bond was a parody of the character, more inclined to go for the laugh or the humor at the cost of credibility or reality. And that Roger Moore’s portrayal of Bond took another direction and acquired an entirely different base of audience.
This was Connery’s opinion, but it seems that even Moore himself felt that Daniel Craig and Connery were undoubtedly the best Bonds, and considered himself 4th best after George Lazenby.
Nevertheless, once the audiences got used to the change of style seen on screen, they also had accepted him. His first 007 films, Live and Let Die (1973) grossed more outside the states than Connery’s last Bond film Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
Moore then went on to star in another six Bond films, they are, The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), Moonraker (1979), For Your Eyes Only (1981), Octopussy (1983), and A View to Kill (1985).
Of the lot, Moonraker (1979), was the silliest as it was a rushed production in order to capitalize on the current Star Wars craze for all space-related things, and this evidently cost him his credibility.
But his 3rd film, The Spy who loved me in’77 was considered to be his pinnacle, with the right scriptwriting and direction and production design, it aptly mirrored his credentials as an actor
During the last film, his age was 57, the oldest any Bond character had ever been and did in fact look too old for Bond too.
Not to mention that in between the James Bond production, Moore did too work on other film appearances such as That Lucky Touch (1975), Shout at the Devil (1976), The Wild Geese (1978), Escape to Athena (1979) and Folkes (1980)
As I mentioned earlier, Moore wasn’t gaining popularity in America despite the fact that he had attained fame worldwide. You would think that becoming Bond would have done the trick, but no, not for him. The American crowd never completely was taken by him, not until he starred in The Cannonball Run (1981) beside Burt Reynolds.
Pre and Post James Bond Achievements
Care to know more about Roger Moore before and after his Bond Saga? Then stay tuned in as we unveil more about him.
By the end of his role as Bond, his workload had lessened but he still remained in the public eye through guest appearances in talk shows or by hosting documentaries.
In 2012, he undertook a highly successful UK stage tour of An Evening With Roger Moore, in which he reflected on his life and career.
Not to mention that he had more to him than just being a famous actor, his innate humane nature led him to become a UNICEF ambassador back in 1991.
This happened when he was in India working in the sets of Octopussy in ‘83. He was appalled and troubled by the poverty he had to witness, and this led him to engage in humanitarian work, which consequently led him to become a goodwill ambassador.
He was even appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in ‘98 for his services to UNICEF and promoted to Knight Commander of the same order in 2003.
Roger More Personal Life and Lifestyle
In 1946, he married Doorn Van Steyn at the age of 18, a fellow Rada student and divorced in 1953 over matters relating to money and her lack of confidence in his acting skills, in this marriage Moore allegedly suffered domestic abuse too. He then went on to marry a Welsh singer Dorothy Squires who was 12 years senior to him but the resulting miscarriages and their wide age gap took a toll on their marriage. His affair with Italian actress Luisa Mattioli only made matters worse for their marriage which too ended in divorce in 1968. He then married Luisa Mattioli in 1969, they had 3 children together from their marriage. But this marriage too came to an end when Moore developed feelings for a Swedish born Danish Socialite, Kristina Tholstrup, but the divorce was granted in 2000 with a settlement of 10 million pounds.
Kristina KiKi Tholstrup and Moore then finally got married in 2002. He confides that he loves Tholstrup as she was organized, serene, loving, and calm. And as he has a difficult life he relies on Kristina for everything. From packing during travels to taking care of him, they have a tranquil relationship with no arguments.
In the year 2017, after suffering from health complications like a dangerously slow heartbeat, type 2 diabetes, and a tumor spot on his liver, he succumbed to death in Switzerland from liver cancer. He passed away at his home in the presence of his family.
He is now survived by his 4th wife. His 3 children- Deborah, Geoffrey, and Christian- from this third marriage.
His death was announced on the day following the terrorist attack on the Manchester Arena in England which killed 22 people and injured 59, therefore overshadowing the death of the British screen legend in the news coverage.
At death, Sir Roger Moore’s net worth was $100 million.
Did you know?
In the 45th Annual Academy Awards in 1973, Moore had ended up taking the Oscar home accidentally. The actual winner of the award, Marlon Brando from The God Father. But Marlon Brando refused to take the award due to the treatment of Indian Americans in and also publicly refused.
In a Swedish conference about child abuse, he decided to announce to the world at large that he had been a victim of child abuse too. He confessed that he was molested as a child too, but not seriously. And he had waited until he was 16 to tell him, mom, because he was ashamed to speak about it.
He was the only actor to have played both James Bond and Sherlock Holmes.
More is said to have enjoyed his time as Bond but he did express his regret for playing the hero all his life, he would have also liked to have played the role of a villain for a change.
Perhaps Roger Moore will always be remembered as the man who replaced Sean Connery in the James Bond series. But having said that, he didn’t fail to leave his prints in the pages of Hollywood history.
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