Roger Moore, James Bond Actor, Dies at 89

Roger Moore, James Bond Actor, Dies at 89

Bond, James Bond

May 23, 2017

Roger Moore, the British actor who portrayed James Bond in seven films from 1973 to 1985, died on Tuesday (May 23rd) in Switzerland. He was 89.

The news was announced by his three children, on his twitter account, @sirrogermoore:

With the heaviest of hearts, we must share the awful news that our father, Sir Roger Moore, passed away today. We are all devastated.

According to the message, Moore succumbed to cancer, which he had been battling for a few years. 

Moore has had a series of health problems since 1993 when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer, which changed his life in many ways, he said in a 2003 interview with Evening Standard. The biggest of all changes was for him to leave his third wife, Luisa, for their friend, Kristina "Kiki" Tholstrup, who, at the time, was recovering from a double mastectomy at Moore's Los Angeles home. Later, in 2000, Moore and Luisa divorced and Luisa received a £10 million divorce settlement. In 2002, Moore married Tholstrup.

In a 2012 interview, Moore revealed that his habit of tanning in the sun led to a series of skin cancer scares in the subsequent years. In 2013, Telegraph reported that Moore was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, which left him unable to drink alcohol.

About Roger Moore

Roger Moore, a television star initially, portrayed James Bond in seven films. He was created a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1999 and advanced to Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) in June 2003. 

Early life

Moore was born on 14 October 1927 in Stockwell, London, to George Alfred Moore, a policeman, and Lillian "Lily" (Pope.) He attended the College of St. Hild and St. Bede, at the University of Durham in England, but did not graduate. 

He was interested in becoming a commercial artist and worked while a teenager at an animation company. He was encouraged to take on acting by the film director Brian Desmond Hurst. Subsequently, Moore attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London to learn acting, and his fees were paid by Hurst. Lois Maxwell, the Canadian actress who portrayed Miss Moneypenny in the first 14 James Bond films, was a classmate of Moore.

Career

Moore's acting career began in March 1949 with his television appearance alongside Clive Morton and Betty Ann Davies in "The Governess by Patrick Hamilton."

After working as a model, and a few small roles here and there, Moore signed a seven-year contract with MGM in 1954. Moore was freed from the contract after only two years due to the failure of their films. After leaving MGM, Moore appeared in a few television series, including an episode of American television series, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, in 1959.

Moore continued to work in various television series until his big breakthrough in 1962 with the television series, The Saint, based on the novels by Leslie Charteris. The series, which ran until 1969, brought him immense international fame and acclaim. 

In 1972, Moore took over the role of James Bond from Sean Connery, and appeared as 007 in Live and Let Die (1973). He was 46 at the time, which made him the oldest actor ever hired for Bond role. It took some time for the audience to adjust from Sean Connery as Bond to Roger Moore as Bond, but they did accept him and he went on to portray Bond in six more films: 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 a Kill (1985). Moore had the longest run as Bond.

Humanitarian work

In 1991, Moore became a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador after his friend, Audrey Hepburn, inspired him with her work for UNICEF.

Personal life

Moore was married four times: 

  • to actress Doorn Van Steyn from 1946 to 1953
  • to singer Dorothy Squires from 1953 to 1968
  • to Italian actress Luisa Mattioli from 1969 to 1996
  • to Swedish-born Danish socialite, Kristina "Kiki" Tholstrup, from 2002 until his death in May 2017.

Full announcement of Moore's death:

Actor - Unicef Ambassador - Author

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. The love with which he was surrounded in his final days was so great it cannot be quantified in words alone.

We know our own love and admiration will be magnified many times over, across the world, by people who knew him for his films, his television shows and his passionate work for UNICEF which he considered to be his greatest achievement.

The affection our father felt whenever he walked on to a stage or in front of a camera buoyed him hugely and kept him busy working into his 90th year, through to his last appearance in November 2016 on stage at London's Royal Festival Hall. 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.

Thank you Pops for being you, and for being so very special to so many people.

Our thoughts must now turn to supporting Kristina at this difficult time, and in accordance with our father's wishes there will be a private funeral in Monaco.