Sir Roger George Moore, KBE (14 October 1927 – 23 May 2017), was a British actor. He is best known for playing adventurer Simon Templar (The Saint) on television, and British secret agent James Bond in the OO7 franchise between 1973 and 1985.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Career
- 3 Humanitarian work
- 4 Personal life
- 5 Health and death
- 6 Royal circles
- 7 Honours
- 8 Awards
- 9 Publications
- 10 Filmography
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Moore was born on 14 October 1927 in Stockwell, now part of the London Borough of Lambeth, in London. The only child of George Alfred Moore, a policeman, and Lillian "Lily" (née Pope), a housewife, he attended Battersea Grammar School, but was evacuated to Holsworthy, Devon, during the Second World War. He was then educated at Dr Challoner's Grammar School in Amersham, Buckinghamshire. He then attended the College of the Venerable Bede at the University of Durham, but never graduated.
At 18 years old, shortly after the end of World War II, Moore was conscripted for national service. On 21 September 1946, he was commissioned into the Royal Army Service Corps as a second lieutenant. He was given the service number 372394. He eventually became a captain. Moore served commanding a small depot in West Germany. He later transferred to the entertainment branch (under luminaries such as Spike Milligan).
Immediately prior to his national service, there was a brief stint at RADA (the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art), during which his fees were paid by film director Brian Desmond Hurst, who also used Moore as an extra in his film Trottie True. Moore was a classmate at RADA with his future Bond colleague Lois Maxwell, the original Miss Moneypenny. The young Moore first appeared in films during the mid to late-1940s, as an extra. Moore's film idol as a child was Stewart Granger. As a 17-year-old, Moore appeared as an extra in the film Caesar and Cleopatra (1945), finally meeting his idol on the set. Moore later worked with Granger in The Wild Geese.
Early work (1945–1961)
In the early 1950s, Moore worked as a model, appearing in print advertisements for knitwear (earning him the amusing nickname "The Big Knit"), and a wide range of other products such as toothpaste – an element that many critics have used as typifying his lightweight credentials as an actor. His earliest known television appearance was on 27 May 1950, in Drawing Room Detective, a one-off programme. Presented by veteran BBC announcer Leslie Mitchell, it invited viewers at home to spot clues to a crime during a playlet, whose actors also included Alec Ross (first husband of Sheila Hancock) and Michael Ripper.
Although Moore won a contract with MGM in the 1950s, the films which followed were not a success and, in his own words, "At MGM, RGM (Roger George Moore) was NBG [no bloody good]." His starring role in The Miracle, a version of the play Das Mirakel for Warner Bros., had been turned down by Dirk Bogarde.
Eventually, it was television in which Moore made his name. He was the eponymous hero in the serial Ivanhoe, a very loose adaptation of the romantic novel by Sir Walter Scott, and he also appeared in the ABC/Warner Brothers series The Alaskans. He played Beau Maverick, an English-accented cousin of frontier gamblers Bret Maverick (James Garner) and Bart Maverick (Jack Kelly) in the ABC/WB western Maverick.
In 1961, Moore appeared as the questionable character "14 Karat John" in a two-part episode, "Right Off the Boat" of the ABC/WB drama, The Roaring 20s, with Dorothy Provine, Rex Reason, John Dehner, and Gary Vinson.
The Saint (1962–1970)
Worldwide fame arrived after Lew Grade cast Moore as Simon Templar in a new adaptation of The Saint, based on the novels by Leslie Charteris. Moore said in an interview, during 1963, that he wanted to buy the rights of Leslie Charteris's character and the trademarks. He also joked that the role was supposed to have been meant for Sean Connery who was unavailable. The television series was made in the UK with an eye on the American market, and its success there (and in other countries) made Moore a household name – and in spring 1967 he eventually had reached the level of an international top star. It also established his suave, quipping style which he would carry forward to James Bond. Moore would also go on to direct several episodes of the later series, which moved into colour in 1967.
The Saint ran from 1962 for six series and 118 episodes, making it (in a tie with The Avengers) the longest-running series of its kind on British television. However, Moore grew increasingly tired of the role, and was keen to branch out. He made two films immediately after the series had ended: Crossplot, a lightweight 'spy caper' movie, and the more challenging The Man Who Haunted Himself (1970). Directed by Basil Dearden, it gave Moore the opportunity to demonstrate a wider versatility than the role of Simon Templar had allowed, although reviews at the time were lukewarm, and both did little business at the box office. Despite the initial reviews, The Man Who Haunted Himself is now considered a very underrated film, and the role is considered one of Moore's finest performances among his fans.
The Persuaders (1971–1972)
Television lured Moore back to star, alongside Tony Curtis, in what has become another cult series, The Persuaders! It featured the adventures of two millionaire playboys across Europe. It was for this series that Moore was paid the then unheard-of sum of £1 million for a single series, making him the highest paid television actor in the world. However, Lew Grade claimed in his autobiography Still Dancing, that Moore and Curtis "didn't hit it off all that well". Curtis refused to spend more time on set than was strictly necessary, while Moore was always willing to work overtime.
According to the DVD commentary, neither Roger Moore, an uncredited co-producer, nor Robert S. Baker, the credited producer, ever had a contract other than a handshake with Lew Grade. They produced the entire 24 episodes without a single written word guaranteeing that they would ever be paid.
The series failed in America, where it had been pre-sold to ABC, but it was successful in Australia and in Europe. In Germany, where the series was aired under the name Die Zwei, it became a hit through a special funny dubbing that only barely used the original translations of the dialogues. And in Britain it was also popular, although on its premiere on the ITV network, it was beaten in the ratings by repeats of Monty Python's Flying Circus on BBC1. When Channel 4 repeated both The Avengers and The Persuaders! in 1995, it was generally agreed that the latter, which had not been seen for many years, had not aged as well as the former. It has not been seen on any of the five main UK terrestrial channels since.
Since then, The Persuaders! has enjoyed something of a renaissance both on television and DVD, with the 'rivals' Moore and Curtis reuniting to provide commentaries on the most recent issues. In France, where the series (entitled Amicalement Vôtre) had always been popular, the DVD releases accompanied a monthly magazine of the same name.
James Bond (1973–1985)
Because of his successful television shows, in particular the long-lasting series The Saint, Roger Moore was unavailable for the James Bond franchise for a considerable time. His participation in The Saint was not only as actor, but also as a producer and director, and he also became involved in developing the series The Persuaders!. Moore stated in his autobiography My Word Is My Bond (2008) that he had neither been approached to play James Bond in Dr. No, nor does he feel that he had ever been considered. It was only after Sean Connery had declared in 1966 that he would not play Bond any longer that Moore became aware that he might be a contender for the role. But after George Lazenby was cast instead and then Connery played Bond again, he didn't consider the possibility until it seemed abundantly clear that Connery had in fact stepped down as Bond for good. At that point he was indeed approached and accepted the producer's offer in August 1972. Moore says in his autobiography that he had to cut his hair and lose weight, but although he resented that, he was finally cast as James Bond in Live and Let Die (1973).
Moore played Bond in Live and Let Die (1973); 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 is the longest-serving James Bond actor, having spent twelve years in the role (from his debut in 1973, to his retirement from the role in 1985), and having made seven official films in a row. Moore is the oldest actor to have played Bond - he was 45 in Live and Let Die (1973), and 58 when he announced his retirement on 3 December 1985.
Moore's Bond was very different than the character created by Fleming. Screenwriters like George MacDonald Fraser provided scenarios in which 007 was a kind of seasoned, debonair playboy who would always have a trick or gadget in stock when he needed it. This was designed to serve the contemporary taste in the 1970s.
In 2004 Moore was voted 'Best Bond' in an Academy Awards poll, and he won with 62% of votes in another poll in 2008. In 1987 he hosted Happy Anniversary 007: 25 Years of James Bond.
During Moore's Bond period he starred in 13 other films, including the thriller Gold (1974) an unorthodox action film The Wild Geese, and even made a cameo as Chief Inspector Clouseau, posing as a famous movie star, in Curse of the Pink Panther (1983) (for which he was credited as "Turk Thrust II"). However, most of these films were not critically acclaimed or commercially successful. Moore was widely criticised by anti-apartheid campaigners for making three movies in South Africa under the Apartheid regime during the 1970s.
Post-James Bond career
Moore did not act on screen for five years after he stopped playing Bond. In 1990 he appeared in several films and writer-director Michael Feeney Callan's television series My Riviera; he starred in the film Bed & Breakfast which was shot in 1989. In the words of his friend Michael Caine, with whom he co-starred in the unsuccessful Bullseye! (also 1990), "Now he can't get a job." At the age of 74, Moore played against type with his portrayal of a flamboyant homosexual in Boat Trip (2002).
The satirical British TV show Spitting Image once had a sketch in which their latex likeness of Moore, when asked to display emotions by an offscreen director, does nothing but raise an eyebrow. Moore himself has stated that he thought the sketch was funny, and took it in good humour. Indeed, he had always embraced the 'eyebrows' gag wholeheartedly, slyly claiming that he "only had three expressions as Bond: right eyebrow raised, left eyebrow raised and eyebrows crossed when grabbed by Jaws." Spitting Image continued the joke, featuring a Bond movie spoof, The Man with the Wooden Delivery, with Moore's puppet receiving orders from Margaret Thatcher to kill Mikhail Gorbachev. Many other comedy shows of that time ridiculed Moore's acting, Rory Bremner once claiming to have had a death threat from an irate fan of Moore's, following one such routine.
Moore confirmed he has completely retired from acting in an article for The Sunday Telegraph magazine in April 2009. In a commercial for London's 2012 Olympic bid, Moore once again suited up as James Bond. He appeared alongside Samantha Bond, who played Miss Moneypenny in the Bond films during the Pierce Brosnan era. He still appears regularly on chat shows, chiefly to promote the work of UNICEF.
In 2009, Moore appeared in an advert for the Post Office.
He also played the role of a secret agent in the Victoria Wood Christmas Special on BBC1 show over the festive period in 2009. Filming all his scenes in the London Eye, his mission was to eliminate another agent whose file photo looks just like Pierce Brosnan.
In 2012 Moore took to the stage for a series of 7 "Evenings With" in UK theaters and, in November, guest-hosted Have I Got News For You.
Moore was shocked by the poverty he saw when filming Octopussy, his sixth film as James Bond, in India in 1983. His friend Audrey Hepburn had impressed him with her work for UNICEF, and consequently he became a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 1991. He was the voice of 'Santa' in the 2004 UNICEF cartoon The Fly Who Loved Me.
Moore was involved in the production of a video for PETA that protests against the production and wholesale of foie gras. Moore narrates the video. His assistance in this situation, and being a strong spokesman against foie gras, has led to the department store Selfridges agreeing to remove foie gras from their shelves.
Moore left his first wife, skater Doorn Van Steyn, for singer Dorothy Squires, who was 13 years his senior and was, at that time, considerably more famous than he was, and they lived together for a short time in Dafen, Llanelli, South Wales. In turn, while filming in Italy in 1961, he abandoned Squires (who sued him for attempted reinstatement of conjugal rights) for Italian actress Luisa Mattioli. Moore has reported that his marriage with Steyn was often violent, and claimed she once threw a teapot at him. He lived with Mattioli until their marriage in 1969, after Squires finally granted Moore a divorce. Moore has a daughter and two sons with Mattioli. Moore unexpectedly ended this marriage in 1993. In March 2002 he married former Côte d'Azur neighbour, the Danish-Swedish multi-millionaire Kristina 'Kiki' Tholstrup.
Moore's daughter Deborah Moore played Chief Inspector Hannah Bernstein in two films based on the Sean Dillon novels of Jack Higgins, and later made a guest appearance as a flight attendant in Die Another Day. Elder son Geoffrey Moore is an actor and used to own a restaurant in London; he also co-starred in his father's movie Sherlock Holmes in New York (cast as a son Holmes never knew he had). Younger son Christian Moore is a film producer.
For a period after early success in The Saint, Moore lived in Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, then moved to Surrey before relocating to Hollywood. In the 1960s he lived at Gordon Avenue, Stanmore, Middlesex. At one stage he also lived in Westfield Road, Mill Hill within reach of the Elstree Studios and in the 1970s in Denham, Buckinghamshire, close to Pinewood Studios. During filming of The Spy Who Loved Me, "villain" Curd Jürgens made the offer to Moore to spend some time at his home in Gstaad, Switzerland, which Moore enjoyed having taken up skiing. When he married Kiki Tholstrup, he set up a routine of spending winters in Crans-Montana, Valais (Switzerland) and summers at his apartment in Monaco. After 15 years in Gstaad, he now resides in the winter at his chalet in Crans-Montana, Valais.
Moore was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1993 and following major surgery is now in remission. Moore also has a pacemaker which was fitted in 2003 after he collapsed whilst on stage in New York.
Moore is a lifelong supporter of the Conservative Party, and he publicly endorsed the party during the 2001 general election campaign. In 2011 Moore gave his support to Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron on his policy on the European Union, stating: "I think he's doing absolutely wonderfully well, despite the opposition from many members of his own party. Traitors, I call them. I mean any hardliner within the Conservative Party who speaks out against their leader. You should support your leader."
Health and death
Moore nearly died from double pneumonia when he was five. He had an infection of his foreskin at the age of eight and underwent a circumcison, and had his appendix, tonsils, and adenoids removed.
In 1993, Moore was diagnosed with prostate cancer, and underwent successful surgery for the disease.
Moore collapsed on stage while appearing on Broadway in 2003, and was fitted with a pacemaker to treat a potentially deadly slow heartbeat.
He was left bedridden by pneumonia for weeks in 2012, and had to learn how to walk again.
In 2012 Moore revealed he had been treated for skin cancer several times. He was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2013, which left him unable to drink alcohol.
His family announced his death in Switzerland from cancer on 23 May 2017.
Moore has a friendship with some of the Danish royals; Prince Joachim and his then-wife Alexandra, Countess of Frederiksborg invited him and his wife Kiki to attend the christening of their youngest son, Prince Felix.
On 24 May 2008 he and his wife attended the wedding of Prince Joachim and his French fiancée Marie Cavallier. He was also known to be a friend of King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.
On 1 and 2 July 2011 he and his wife attended the wedding of Prince Albert of Monaco and Charlene Wittstock.
In 1999, Moore was created a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE), and advanced to Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) on 14 June 2003. The citation on the knighthood was for Moore's charity work, which has dominated his public life for more than a decade. Moore said that the citation "meant far more to me than if I had got it for acting... I was proud because I received it on behalf of UNICEF as a whole and for all it has achieved over the years".
On 11 October 2007, three days before he turned 80, Moore was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work on television and in film. Attending the ceremony were family, friends, and Richard Kiel, with whom he had acted in The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker. Moore's Star was the 2,350th star installed, and is appropriately located at 7007 Hollywood Boulevard.
In 2008, the French government appointed Moore a Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
On 21 November 2012, Moore was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Arts degree from the University of Hertfordshire, for his outstanding contribution to the UK film and television industry for over fifty years, in particular film and television production in the County of Hertfordshire.
For his charity work
- 2008: Dag Hammarskjöld Award (from the UN)
- 2005: UNICEF Snowflake Audrey Hepburn Humanitarian Award
- 2003: German Federal Service Cross: for his work battling child traffickers as special representative to UNICEF
- 2003: Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire
- 1999: Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)
Lifetime achievements awards
- 2008: Commander of the National Order of Arts and Letters (France)
- 2007: Hollywood Walk of Fame
- 2004: TELEKAMERA ("Tele Tydzien" Lifetime Achievement Award, Poland)
- 2002: Monte Carlo TV Festival (Lifetime Achievement Award)
- 2001: Lifetime achievement award (Filmfestival, Jamaica)
- 1997: Palm Springs film festival, USA, Lifetime Achievement Award
- 1995: TELE GATTO (Italian TV; Lifetime Achievement Award)
- 1991: GOLDEN CAMERA (German TV; lifetime achievement award)
- 1990: BAMBI (Lifetime Achievement Award from the German magazine BUNTE)
For his acting
- 1981: OTTO (Most popular Film Star; from German Magazine BRAVO)
- 1980: SATURN Award (Most Popular International Performer)
- 1980: GOLDEN GLOBE: World Film Favorite-Male
- 1973: BAMBI (shared with Tony Curtis for "The Persuaders", from the German magazine BUNTE)
- 1973: BEST ACTOR IN TV, award from the French magazine TELE-7-JOURS, shared with Tony Curtis for "The Persuaders"
- 1967: ONDAS-AWARD (Spanish TV for "The Saint")
- 1967: OTTO (Most popular TV-star for "The Saint"; from German magazine BRAVO)
Moore wrote a book about the filming of Live and Let Die, based on his diaries. Roger Moore as James Bond: Roger Moore's Own Account of Filming Live and Let Die was published in London in 1973, by Pan Books. The book includes an acknowledgment to Sean Connery, with whom Moore has been friends for many years: "I would also like to thank Sean Connery – with whom it would not have been possible."
Moore's autobiography My Word is My Bond (ISBN 0061673889) was published by Collins in the US in November 2008. It was published in the UK by Michael O'Mara Books Ltd on 2 October 2008 (ISBN 9781843173182).
On 16 October 2012, Bond On Bond was published to tie in with the 50th anniversary of the James Bond films. The book, with many pictures, is based on Moore's own memories, thoughts, and anecdotes about all things 007.
|Caesar and Cleopatra||Roman Soldier|
|1946||Gaiety George||Member of the Audience|
|Piccadilly Incident||Guest sitting at Pearson's table|
|1949||Trottie True||Stage Door Johnny|
|1951||One Wild Oat||Bit Part|
|1953||Robert Montgomery Presents||French Diplomat|
|1954||The Last Time I Saw Paris||Paul|
|1955||Interrupted Melody||Cyril Lawrence|
|The King's Thief||Jack|
|1956||Diane||Prince Henri (later King Henry II)|
|Ford Star Jubilee||Billy Mitchell|
|Goodyear Television Playhouse||Patrick Simmons|
|1957||Matinee Theater||Scottish man/Randolph Churchill|
|1959||The Third Man||Jimmy Simms|
|Alfred Hitchcock Presents||Inspector Benson|
|The Miracle||Capt. Michael Stuart|
|The Alaskans||Silky Harris|
|1961||The Sins of Rachel Cade||Paul Wilton|
|Gold of the Seven Saints||Shaun Garrett|
|The Roaring 20s||14 Karat John|
|1962||Romulus and the Sabines||Romulus|
|No Man's Land||Enzo Prati|
|1962||The Saint||Simon Templar|
|1968||The Fiction Makers||Simon Templar|
|Vendetta for the Saint||Simon Templar|
|1970||The Man Who Haunted Himself||Harold Pelham|
|1971||The Persuaders!||Lord Brett Sinclair|
|1973||Live and Let Die||James Bond|
|The Man with the Golden Gun||James Bond|
|1975||That Lucky Touch||Michael Scott|
|Shout at the Devil||Sebastian Oldsmith|
|1977||Sherlock Holmes in New York||Sherlock Holmes|
|The Spy Who Loved Me||James Bond|
|1978||The Wild Geese||Lieutenant Shaun Fynn|
|1979||Escape to Athena||Major Otto Hecht|
|1980||North Sea Hijack||Rufus Excalibur ffolkes|
|The Sea Wolves||Captain Gavin Stewart|
|Sunday Lovers||Harry Lindon|
|1981||The Cannonball Run||Seymour Goldfarb as Roger Moore|
|For Your Eyes Only||James Bond|
|Curse of the Pink Panther||Chief Insp. Jacques Clouseau|
|1984||The Naked Face||Dr. Judd Stevens|
|1985||A View to a Kill||James Bond|
|1989||Fire, Ice and Dynamite||Sir George Windsor|
|1990||Bullseye!||Sir John Bevistock|
|1992||Bed & Breakfast||Adam|
|1995||The Man Who Wouldn't Die||Thomas Grace|
|1996||The Quest||Lord Edgar Dobbs|
|1997||The Saint||Voice on Car Radio|
|Spice World||The Chief|
|1999||The Dream Team||Desmond Heath|
|2000||The Secret KGB UFO Abduction Files||Himself|
|2001||The Enemy||Supt. Robert Ogilvie|
|Boat Trip||Lloyd Faversham|
|2004||The Fly Who Loved Me||Father Christmas|
|2010||Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore||Tab Lazenby|
|2011||A Princess for Christmas||Edward, Duke of Castlebury|
- Roger Moore, Why I'm gunning for people who don't talk proper Read Mail Online
- Roger Moore Biography (1927–). Filmreference.com. Retrieved on 18 June 2010.
- Link to www.rogermoore.org. Rogermoore.org (14 October 1927). Retrieved on 18 June 2010.
- Template:London Gazette
- "Right off the Boat", Part 2, The Roaring 20s, [May 20, 1961. Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved on January 20, 2013.
- Roger Moore and Robert S. Baker ever had a contract other than a handshake with Lew Grade.. imdb.com. Retrieved on 3 July 2011.
- More precisely, BBC1, BBC2, the ITV network, Channel 4, and Five, the five 'traditional' terrestrial stations. The series has since been seen shown on the digital terrestrial-only station ITV4. (See ITV4 reference below)
- "ITV4" article, Wikipedia, Version used dated 29 October 2006, retrieved 6 November 2006
- Champlin, Charles (17 September 1989). Roger Moore and Talia Shire Take Sequel Break. latimes.com.
- Why did 'saint' Roger Moore break so many hearts? Daily Mail, 12 October 2007
- Bremner, Rory Beware of Imitations (1999)
- The Fly Who Loved Me (directed by Dan Chambers). Unicef.org.uk. Retrieved on 18 June 2010.
- People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Foundation. Peta.org.uk. Retrieved on 18 June 2010.
- Roger Moore helps Selfridges to Drop Foie Gras. Peta.org.uk. Retrieved on 18 June 2010.
- IMDb – Geoffrey Moore
- IMDb – Christian Moore
- The Man With The Golden Heart. Mag Suisse/roger-moore.com. Retrieved on 3 December 2008.
- official roger moore website
- "You only live twice...unless you're Roger Moore", 11 April 2007. Retrieved on 14 September 2012.
- Roger Moore. Biography IMDb
- Sir Roger Moore: 'I've paid my dues in taxes'.
- Barchfield, Jenny. "Monaco palace releases wedding guest list", Forbes, 30 June 2011. Retrieved on 30 June 2011.
- Template:London Gazette
- Template:London Gazette
- Roger Moore Official Site. Roger-moore.com. Retrieved on 18 June 2010. [dead link]
- University of Hertfordshire News. University of Hertfordshire. Retrieved on 21 November 2012.
- Roger Moore's official website. Roger-moore.com (12 January 2010). Retrieved on 18 June 2010.
- Amazon UK. Amazon.co.uk (9 September 2009). Retrieved on 18 June 2010.
- Sir Roger Moore official website – Fans can ask Sir Roger Moore a question each month on his website. Also contains articles on Roger's work with UNICEF as well as his entertainment career
- MultiMediaFund, chaired by Sir Roger Moore KBE
- Red Carpet Film Fund – Chaired by Sir Roger Moore KBE
- Sir Roger Moore – A Fan Site (since 2002)
- Cinema Retro attends surprise 80th birthday party for Sir Roger Moore
- Sir Roger Moore receives lifetime achievement award at Pinewood Studios 'Spy Who Loved Me' Reunion event
- Sir Roger Moore Inducted Into the Legendary Players Club, New York City
- Review of My Word Is My Bond at Letters On Pages
Rik Van Nutter
|The Saint Actor
|Sherlock Holmes Actor
|Eon Productions James Bond actor
|Jacques Clouseau Actor
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