Roger Moore, The First Ever James Bond, Dies At Age 89

What A Terrible Loss For The Film Industry

Roger Moore, who played James Bond in more 007 films than any other actor, died at age 89 after a “short but brave battle with cancer,” his children announced on Tuesday.

The actor passed away at his home in Switzerland. The actor filled the secret agent role of charm and humour. He left an incredible humanitarian work and is survived by his three children, and his wife, Swedish socialite Kristina Tholstrup.

Roger More was a one of a kind 007

The world learned the sad news of actor Roger Moore passing away on Tuesday. In a statement, Moore’s children stated that the actor, who starred as James Bond in seven films, died at his home in Switzerland from cancer.

“It is with a heavy heart that we must announce our loving father, Sir Roger Moore, has passed away today in Switzerland after a short but brave battle with cancer,” read the statement.

“The love with which he was surrounded in his final days was so great it cannot be quantified in words alone,” read the statement from Deborah, Geoffrey, and Christian.

“The affection our father felt whenever he walked onto a stage or in front of a camera buoyed him hugely and kept him busy working into his 90th year,” the family statement read. “The capacity crowd cheered him on and off stage, shaking the very foundations of the building just a short distance from where he was born.”

Born in London, the only child of a policeman, Moore had studied painting before enrolling in the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. His studies were interrupted by mandatory military service.After fulfilling his responsibilities to the army, the London-born actor headed to Hollywood, where he appeared in films with Elizabeth Taylor (1954’s The Last Time I Saw Paris) and Lana Turner (1956’s Diane).

However, the beloved actor is most remembered for his role in the 007 series, in which he appeared as Bond in seven films, becoming the actor who most featured as the spy on the series.

Starting with “Live and Let Die” in 1973 and ending with “A View to Kill” in 1985, Moore brought a more relaxed and comedic approach to the role and often said he found it funny that a fictional spy was recognised so widely.

“To me, the Bond situations are so ridiculous, so outrageous,” he once said. “I mean, this man is supposed to be a spy and yet, everybody knows he’s 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’s outrageous. So you have to treat the humour outrageously as well.”

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His most rewarding role

Throughout a career that spanned seven decades, Moore acted in dozens of movies from all genres, drama, thrillers and even animated. His latest work were two upcoming animated films, to which he lent his distinctive voice.

However, his most satisfying role came from working in humanitarian causes. Speaking of his U.N. engagement, he once told the Daily Telegraph, “It’s about the only thing I’ve ever done that’s of any use really.”

To escape England’s high tax rate, Mr Moore had homes in Switzerland and Monaco. One of his Swiss neighbours, the actress, and humanitarian Audrey Hepburn, got him involved with UNICEF, the United Nations agency focused on children’s health and safety. In 1991, he became a goodwill ambassador, and he helped to raise more millions for a worldwide campaign.

“I felt small, insignificant and rather ashamed that I had travelled so much making films and ignored what was going on around me,” he said in describing how the work had affected him.

In 1996, when his UNICEF job took him to the World Congress Against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, he revealed that he too had been a victim.

“I was molested when I was a child — not seriously — but I didn’t tell my mother until I was 16, because I felt that it was something to be ashamed of,” he told the Associated Press. He did not offer details but he stressed that young victims should not feel guilty about what had been done to them.

“They’re being exploited. We have to tell them that,” Moore said.

Moore received the Dag Hammarskjold Inspiration Award for his work with UNICEF and was named a commander in France’s National Order of Arts and Letters in 2008, an award he said was worth “more than an Oscar.”

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The other room

Moore was also the author of several books, including his 2003 memoir, ‘My Word Is My Bond’. Which offered details about his work on the Bond films, his friendship with Audrey Hepburn, his encounters with other stars and his health struggles.

During his lifetime, Moore received numerous honors, including being made a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 1999. In 2003, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.

Moore reflected on his knighthood in an interview with The Guardian.

“The knighthood for my humanitarian work meant more than if it had been for my acting,” Moore said. “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.”

Moore was divorced three times, from 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 2000.

He was married to Swedish socialite Kristina Tholstrup, who survives him.

During a 2014 interview, he explained his views on death which was shaped by a line he once read in a script, which described it as “going into the next room.”

“And it’s a room the rest of us can’t go into because we don’t have the key,” he said. “But when we do get the key we’ll go in there and we’ll see one another again.”

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Source: The Washington Post


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