Sir Roger Moore, famed for his iconic role as suave British spy James Bond in several Bond films, has died at the age of 89.
The veteran actor’s death was confirmed earlier today following a short battle with cancer whilst in Switzerland. His children Debora, Geoffrey and Christian issued a statement in which they paid tribute to their father.
“Thank you Pops for being you, and being so very special to so many people.
With the heaviest of hearts, we must share the awful news that our father, Sir Roger Moore, passed away today. We are all devastated.
The love with which he was surrounded in his final days was so great it cannot be quantified in words alone. Our thoughts must now turn to supporting Kristina [his wife] at this difficult time.”
Born in 1927, Moore initially began his career as a model in the 1950s before signing a seven year contract with MGM. Having appeared as an extra beforehand, his early screen roles included underwhelming productions like Interrupted Melody (1955), The King’s Thief (1955) and Diane (1956).
He then made a big splash in television when he played Sir Wilfred of Ivanhoe in the romantic adventure series Ivanhoe (1958-59). His small screen career began to rise when he appeared in the likes of The Alaskans (1958-59) and Maverick (1959-61).
However his biggest television role came in the early 1960s when he portrayed wealthy adventurer Simon Templar in the popular action-adventure series The Saint (1962-69).
The Saint’s success eventually led to him landing the biggest role of his career when, at the age of 46, he became the third actor to be cast as iconic spy James Bond. His debut appearance as 007 came in Live and Let Die (1973) and he would go on to play the character in six sequels which were 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). He was 58 when he finally decided to walk away from the role!
Despite his successes with the Bond films, Moore also managed to fit in film appearances in the likes of The Wild Geese (1978), North Sea Hijack (1980), The Sea Wolves (1980), The Cannonball Run (1981) and the critically maligned Curse of the Pink Panther (1983).
In his later years, Moore popped up in woeful films like Spice World (1997), Boat Trip (2002) and Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore (2010) but he did have a string of other projects lined up in 2017/18.
Moore is survived by his wife Kristina and will have a private funeral in Monaco.