Roger Moore, the actor famous for portraying James Bond in seven “007” films between 1973 and 1985, has died after a battle with cancer, according to his family. He was 89.
“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,” his children, Deborah, Geoffrey and Christian, said in a statement posted to Moore’s official Twitter account.
Born on October 14, 1927 in Stockwell, London, Roger Moore made his on-camera debut in an uncredited role in the 1945 film “Vacation from Marriage.” That led to a series of uncredited parts before Moore headed to the United States in 1953 for a role in Hallmark Hall of Fame’s TV production of “Julius Caesar.” Other earlier film roles include “The Last Time I Saw Paris” opposite Elizabeth Taylor in 1954 and “Interrupted Melody” opposite Eleanor Parker in 1955. From 1962 to 1969, he was featured as Simon Templar in British television mystery/adventure series “The Saint” (which aired on NBC from 1967 to 1969).
In 1970, he became managing director for European production for Faberge’s Brut Productions. With the company, he was involved in producing “A Touch of Class,” which won a best-actress Oscar for Glenda Jackson. Next was comedy/adventure “The Persuaders” on ABC in the 1971-72 TV season. In 1973, he made his first Bond film, “Live and Let Die.”
Moore would make six more through the next 12 years: “The Man with the Golden Gun,” ”The Spy Who Loved Me,” ”Octopussy,” ”Moonraker,” ”For Your Eyes Only and “A View to a Kill” over the next 12 years.
He continued to work regularly in films after handing over Bond to Timothy Dalton, but never with the same success. His post-Bond films included “The Quest” with Jean-Claude Van Damme and “Spice World” with the Spice Girls. In 1991, Moore became a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF, having been introduced to the role by the late actress Audrey Hepburn. As Hepburn had, he threw much of his energy into the task.
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 married a fourth time, in 2002, to Swedish socialite Kristina Tholstrup.
The family will hold a private funeral in Monaco, as per his wishes.