During the early stages of
his career, Roger Moore collected towels from the hotels he stayed
in. However, he stopped when a British newspaper printed a story
entitled "Roger Moore is a towel thief".
Sir Roger George Moore KBE
(October 14th 1927 May 23rd 2017) was an English actor best
known for playing British secret agent James Bond in seven feature
films from 1973 to 1985, beginning with Live and Let Die. He also
played the main character, Simon Templar, in the British television
series The Saint from 1962 to 1969 and had significant roles in some
American television shows and films in the late 1950s and early
1960s, including replacing James Garner and portraying Beau Maverick
in the Maverick series in 1960 to 61. Moore starred with Tony Curtis
in The Persuaders television series in 1971 to 1972, and had roles in
numerous theatrical films in the 1970s and 1980s.
Moore was appointed a
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 1991 and was knighted by Queen
Elizabeth II in 2003 for services to charity. In 2007, he received a
star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work in television and
film. In 2008, the French government appointed him a Commander of the
Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
Roger Moore was born in Stockwell, London,
only child of George Alfred Moore (1904-1997), a policeman of
Scottish descent (PC168E based in Bow Street, London), and Lillian
"Lily" (Pope; 1904-1986). His mother was born in Calcutta,
India, to an English family. He attended Battersea Grammar School,
but was evacuated to Holsworthy in Devon during the Second World War,
and attended Launceston College in Cornwall. He was further educated
at Dr Challoner's Grammar School in Amersham, Buckinghamshire.
Moore was apprenticed to an animation
studio, but was fired after he made a mistake with some animation
cells. When his father investigated a robbery at the home of film
director Brian Desmond Hurst, Moore was introduced to the director
and hired as an extra for the 1945 film Caesar and Cleopatra. While
there, Moore attracted an off-camera female fan following, and Hurst
decided to pay Moore's fees at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
Moore spent three terms at RADA, where he was a classmate of his
future Bond co-star Lois Maxwell, the original Miss Moneypenny.
During this time there, he developed the Mid-Atlantic accent and
relaxed demeanour that became his screen persona.
18, shortly after the end of the Second World War, Moore was
conscripted for national service. On September 21st 1946, he was
commissioned into the Royal Army Service Corps as a second lieutenant
in the Combined Services Entertainment section, eventually becoming a
captain commanding a small depot in West Germany. There he looked
after entertainers for the armed forces passing through Hamburg. The
same year Moore married a fellow RADA student, the actress and ice
skater Doorn Van Steyn. A taxi drivers daughter whose real name
was Lucy Woodard, Doorn was a 25-year-old divorcee and single mother
with a blossoming career as a circus ice skater when Moore met her at
the drama school towards the end of World War II. Moore fell
passionately in love her, even learning to ice skate so he could
spend more time with her. They married during his first home leave in
December 1946 at Wandsworth Register Office with just a few family
members present. Doorn felt confident enough about her burgeoning
career to write "film actress" in the occupation
box on their marriage certificate, while Moore merely wrote "2nd
Lieutenant, RASC" [Royal Army Service Corps] in reference to
his National Service role. There was no time or money for a honeymoon
and the newlyweds would have to make due with passionate letters
Moore wrote to Doorn while on National Service stationed in Germany.
The letters, along with a marriage certificate and divorce papers
were found in a Forties laundry box by Doorn's son, Shaun (now 73)
after Moore's death.
After Moore left the army he and Van Steyn
(below left) lived in Streatham with her family. Doorns
increasing success as an ice-skating star on international tours
meant Moore was often left behind looking after young Shaun who
vividly remembers the time spent with his stepfather. Shaun was born
during the war and his eardrums were damaged by the shockwaves from
one of Hitlers V2 rockets, leaving him with severe hearing
problems. Moore, he says, was gentle and patient, often using hand
signals to communicate. "In many ways he was more of a parent
than my mother. He was the only father I ever knew," says Shaun,
'I remember him taking me to the funfair at Battersea Park in South
London and to sail my toy yacht on Clapham Common Ponds. He was kind
and loving and funny." When surgeons managed to restore
Shauns hearing when he was nine, it was Roger who was at his
hospital bedside when he came round, holding a stamp album he had
bought for him.
During this time while failing a string of
auditions, Moore worked as a dish-washer and a waiter and took on
small jobs arranged by his wife as a knitwear model and as the
romantic hero in womens magazine true-love photographic
stories. But the amount of time the couple spent apart, money worries
and his wifes lack of faith in Moore's acting ability took
their toll on the relationship. One time as Moore collected Doorn
from Victoria station after one of her tours in the early Fifties she
told him, "Youll never be an actor. Your face is too weak,
your jaws too big and your mouths too small." Moore
and Doorn had a volatile marriage and Shaun vividly recalls some of
the dreadful rows his mother and stepfather had. On one occasion, he
says, Moore was wearing only his underpants when his mother dumped
all his clothes in the bath, turned on the taps, then ordered him out
of the house. Moore had to don wet clothes before leaving. Another
time, his mother dumped the lukewarm contents of a teapot on
Moores head before throwing it at him. She then picked up a
whip and used it to strike Shaun across the legs. It was Roger, he
says, who rescued him. "He picked me up and carried me outside
away from her," Shaun recalled, "We went for a walk
together until she had calmed down."
Moore had some early uncredited
appearances in Perfect Strangers, Caesar and Cleopatra (both 1945),
Gaiety George, Piccadilly Incident (both 1946), and Trottie True
(above right 1949) appearing alongside an uncredited Christopher Lee
(both actors being cast by Brian Desmond Hurst as stage-door Johnnies).
the early 1950s Moore worked as a model, appearing in print
advertisements for knitwear (earning him the nickname "The Big
Knit") and a wide range of other products such as toothpaste -
work that many critics have used to underscore his lightweight
credentials as an actor.
In his book Last Man Standing: Tales from
Tinseltown, Moore states that his first television appearance was on
March 27th 1949 in The Governess by Patrick Hamilton, a live
broadcast, in which he played the minor part of Bob Drew. Other
actors in the show included Clive Morton and Betty Ann Davies.
He had a small role in TV in A House in
the Square, then had uncredited parts in films including Paper Orchid
and The Interrupted Journey in 1949. He was in Drawing-Room Detective
on TV and appeared in the films One Wild Oat and Honeymoon Deferred
Moore met the Welsh singer Dorothy
Squires, who was 12 years his senior, at one of her lavish parties at
her mansion in Wansunt Road, Old Bexley in 1952. Moore divorced his
first wife Doorn Van Steyn the following year and married Dorothy in
New Jersey on July 6th 1953.
Dorothy Squires (born Edna May Squires,
March 25th 1915) was a Welsh singer. Among her recordings were
versions of "A Lovely Way to Spend an Evening", "I'm
in the Mood for Love", "Anytime", "If You Love Me
(Really Love Me)" and "And So to Sleep Again". Born in
her parents' carnival caravan in Pontyberem, Carmarthenshire, Wales,
to a steelworker, Archibald James Squires, and his wife, Emily, she
began to perform professionally as a singer at the age of 16. While
working as a nurse in London, Squires would audition unsuccessfully
for various jobs, during which she met agent Joe Kay, who got her
night time work in various clubs. While working in the East End,
Squires worked at a club which gave her the name Dorothy, which she
liked and used on stage after that time. Squires did most of her work
with the orchestra of Billy Reid, who was her partner for many years.
After she joined his orchestra in 1936, he began to write songs for
her to perform.
the war, Squires (pictured right with Moore) worked on the BBC radio
show Variety Bandbox, which subsequently made her the highest paid
female singer in the UK. Squires and Reid bought a 16-bedroom house
in Bexhill on Sea, and working with Reid recorded the original
version of Reid's composition, "A Tree in the Meadow", best
known in the United States for the recording by Margaret Whiting,
which reached No.1 on the US pop chart. Her version of another
Reid-penned song, "I'm Walking Behind You", was covered by
Eddie Fisher which became a No.1 hit single in the US, and her
recording of "The Gypsy" also became a No.1 hit there after
being recorded by the Ink Spots their biggest hit. It was also
a major hit for Dinah Shore.
Squires took Moore to Hollywood and
introduced him to various people in the film industry, and they
partied with Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly, Doris Day and Rock Hudson.
They would move to the United States in 1954 to further their
careers, but tension developed in their marriage due to their age
difference and Moore's infatuation with starlet Dorothy Provine (whom
he co-starred with in The Alaskans). Squires suffered a series of
miscarriages during their marriage, and Moore later said the outcome
of their marriage might have been different if they had been able to
have children. As his career took off, hers started to slide and
their marriage lasted until 1961 after moving back to England, when
Moore left her for Italian actress Luisa Mattioli. Squires smashed a
guitar over his head after learning of his affair with Mattioli.
Moore was unable to marry Mattioli legally until Squires agreed to a
divorce which she refused to do until 1969.
Squires had a career revival in the late
1960s at the age of 55 with a set of three singles making the UK
Singles Chart, including a cover of "My Way". New albums
and concerts followed included a sell out set of concerts at the
London Palladium. Squires herself had hired the Palladium for a
series of shows, and they exceeded expectations and sold out of
tickets within hours. A double album of the event was issued.
While in the United States in the early
1950s Moore began to work in television appearing in adaptations of
Julius Caesar and Black Chiffon, and in two episodes of Robert
Montgomery Presents, as well as the TV movie The Clay of Kings (all
In March 1954, MGM signed him to a
long-term contract and landed a small role in The Last Time I Saw
Paris (1954), flirting with Elizabeth Taylor (above).
1955 he appeared in Interrupted Melody, a biographical movie about
opera singer Marjorie Lawrence's recovery from polio, in which he was
billed third under Glenn Ford and Eleanor Parker as Lawrence's
brother Cyril. That same year, he played a supporting role in the
swashbuckler The King's Thief starring Ann Blyth, Edmund Purdom,
David Niven and George Sanders.
In the 1956 film Diane (left), Moore was
billed third again, this time under Lana Turner and Pedro Armendariz,
in a 16th-century period piece set in France with Moore playing
Prince Henri, the future king. Moore was released from his MGM
contract after two years following the film's critical and commercial
failure. In his own words, "At MGM, RGM [Roger George Moore] was
NBG [no bloody good]."
Moore freelanced for a time, appearing in
episodes of Ford Star Jubilee (1956), Lux Video Theatre (1957) and
Matinee Theatre' (1957).
Moore's first real success was playing the
eponymous hero, Sir Wilfred of Ivanhoe, in the 195859 series
Ivanhoe, a loose adaptation of the 1819 romantic novel by Sir Walter
Scott set in the 12th century during the era of Richard the
Lionheart, delving into Ivanhoe's conflict with Prince John. Shot
mainly in England at Elstree Studios and Buckinghamshire, some of the
show was also filmed in California due to a partnership with Columbia
Studios' Screen Gems.
at younger audiences, the pilot was filmed in colour, a reflection
of its comparatively high budget for a British children's adventure
series of the period, but subsequent episodes were shot in black and
white. Christopher Lee and John Schlesinger were among the show's
guest stars, and series regulars included Robert Brown (who in the
1980s played M in several James Bond films) as the squire Gurth,
Peter Gilmore as Waldo Ivanhoe, Andrew Keir as villainous Prince
John, and Bruce Seton as noble King Richard. Moore suffered broken
ribs and a battle-axe blow to his helmet while performing some of his
own stunts filming a season of 39 half-hour episodes, and later
reminisced, "I felt a complete Charlie riding around in all that
armour and damned stupid plumed helmet. I felt like a medieval fireman."
Moore spent the next few years mainly
doing one-shot parts in television series, including an episode of
Alfred Hitchcock Presents in 1959 titled "The Avon
Emeralds". He then signed another long-term contract to a
studio, this time to Warner Bros. and in 1959 took the lead role in
The Miracle, a version of the play Das Mirakel, featuring Carroll
Baker as a nun. The part had been turned down by Dirk Bogarde. That
same year, Moore was directed by Arthur Hiller in "The Angry
Young Man", an episode of the television series The Third Man
starring Michael Rennie as criminal mastermind Harry Lime, the role
portrayed by Orson Welles in the film version.
Moore's next television series involved
playing the lead as "Silky" Harris for the ABC/Warner Bros.
195960 Western The Alaskans (above), with co-stars Dorothy
Provine as Rocky, Jeff York as Reno, and Ray Danton as Nifty. The
show ran for a single season of 37 hour-long episodes on Sunday
nights. Though set in Skagway, Alaska, with a focus on the Klondike
Gold Rush around 1896, the series was filmed in the hot studio lot at
Warner Bros. in Hollywood with the cast costumed in fur coats and
hats. Moore found the work highly taxing and his off-camera affair
with Provine complicated matters even more.
He subsequently appeared as the
questionable character "14 Karat John" in the two-part
episode "Right Off the Boat" of the ABC/WB crime drama The
Roaring 20s, with Rex Reason, John Dehner, Gary Vinson, and Dorothy Provine.
In the wake of The Alaskans, Moore was
cast as Beau Maverick, an English-accented cousin of frontier
gamblers Bret Maverick (James Garner), Bart Maverick (Jack Kelly),
and Brent Maverick (Robert Colbert) in the much more successful
ABC/WB Western series Maverick. Sean Connery was flown over from
Britain to test for the part, but turned it down.
Moore appeared as the character in 14
episodes after Garner had left the series at the end of the previous
season, wearing some of Garner's costumes; while filming The Alaskans
he had already recited much of Garner's dialogue, for the Klondike
series frequently recycled Maverick scripts, changing only the names
and locales. He had also filmed a Maverick episode with Garner two
seasons earlier, in which Moore played a different character, in a
retooling of Richard Brinsley Sheridan's 1775 comedy of manners play
The Rivals. In the course of the story, Moore and Garner's characters
switched names on a bet, with Moore consequently identifying himself
as "Bret Maverick" through most of the episode.
debut as Beau Maverick occurred in the first episode of the
196061 fourth season, "The Bundle From Britain", one
of four episodes in which he shared screen time with cousin Bart
(Jack Kelly). Robert Altman wrote and directed "Bolt from the
Blue", an episode featuring Will Hutchins as a frontier lawyer
similar to his character in the series Sugarfoot, and "Red
Dog" found Beau mixed up with vicious bank robbers Lee Van Cleef
and John Carradine. Kathleen Crowley was Moore's leading lady in two
episodes ("Bullet For the Teacher" and "Kiz"),
and others included Mala Powers, Roxane Berard, Fay Spain, Merry
Anders, Andra Martin, and Jeanne Cooper. Upon leaving the series,
Moore cited a decline in script quality since the Garner era as the
key factor in his decision to depart; ratings for the show were also
down. Moore was originally slated to appear with both Jack Kelly and
Robert Colbert in the series but by the time Colbert starred in his
first episode, Moore had already left the series. Numerous early
publicity stills of Kelly, Moore and Colbert posing together exist, however.
Moore was still under contract with
Warners, who cast him in The Sins of Rachel Cade (1961), making love
to a nun played by Angie Dickinson, and Gold of the Seven Saints
(left 1961), supporting Clint Walker. He then went to Italy to make
Romulus and the Sabines (1961).
While filming in Italy, Moore left his
second wife Dorothy Squires for the Italian actress Luisa Mattioli.
Squires refused to accept their separation, and sued Moore for loss
of conjugal rights, but Moore refused the court's order to return to
Squires in 28 days. Squires also smashed windows at a house in France
where Moore and Mattioli were living, and unsuccessfully sued actor
Kenneth More for libel, as More had introduced Moore and Mattioli at
a charity event as "Mr Roger Moore and his wife". Moore and
Mattioli lived together until 1969, when Squires finally granted him
a divorce, after they had been separated for seven years. Moore later
paid Squires's hospital bills after her cancer treatment in 1996, and
upon her death in 1998.
At Moore and Mattioli's marriage in April
1969 at the Caxton Hall in Westminster, London (below), a crowd of
600 people was outside, with women screaming his name.
Moore and Mattioli had three children
during their marriage: Christian, Deborah and Geoffrey. The latter
two would follow in their parents footsteps and become actors.
Deborah made her debut on TV as a child in The Persuaders! episode
"The Long Goodbye". She appeared in such films as Lionheart
(1987), Alien Terminator (1988), the 1990 comedy, Bullseye! (opposite
her father), Chaplin (1992), Into the Sun (1992), and South
Kensington (2001). She has twice made appearances in James
Bond-related productions. She played a secretary in the 1989 biopic
Goldeneye: The Secret Life of Ian Fleming and later made a cameo
appearance as a flight attendant in the 2002 Bond film, Die Another
Day, which was Pierce Brosnan´s fourth and final Bond film. She
also appeared in the 1998 TV movie Merlin: The Quest Begins, opposite
Jason Connery, son of former Bond Sean Connery. Her godfather was the
late actor Robert Brown, her father's co-star in the television
series Ivanhoe and 3 Bond films. Deborah Moore also appeared as
Alfidia, the mother of a fictionalised Livia, in two 2007 episodes of
the HBO/BBC series Rome.
Moore's son Geoffrey acted in several
films through the 1970s and 80s, including the 1976 mystery Sherlock
Holmes In New York, where he would appear opposite his father.
Moore's other son Christian became a producer and his screen credits
include the TV specials The Secret KGB Paranormal Files and The 1999
World Magic Awards.
ENTER THE SAINT
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 in 1963 that he wanted to buy the rights
to 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
to the American market, and its success there (and in other
countries) made Moore a household name. By early 1967, he had
achieved international stardom. The series also established his
suave, quipping style which he carried forward to James Bond. Moore
went 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 after which Moore grew increasingly tired of the role, and
was keen to branch out.
He made two films immediately after the
series ended: Crossplot (1969), 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 greater
versatility than the role of Simon Templar had allowed. In 2004,
Moore said of The Man Who Haunted Himself: "It was one of the
few times I was allowed to act... Many say my best role was in The
Man Who Haunted Himself. Being a modest actor, I won't disagree."
Lew Grade played a part in Moore's next TV
series when he asked him to star alongside Tony Curtis in The
Persuaders!. The show featured the adventures of two millionaire
playboys across Europe and the concept of The Persuaders! originated
in one of the final episodes of The Saint titled "The Ex-King of
Diamonds", wherein Simon Templar (Moore) is partnered with a
Texas oilman (Stuart Damon) in a Monte Carlo gambling adventure.
Pleased with that combination, Robert S. Baker and Lew Grade funded
the new series.
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. 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.
became involved in the series because ITC knew it needed an American
co-star to ensure the series would be picked up by US TV stations.
Initially the role was offered to Rock Hudson and Glenn Ford, but
they each rejected the part. ITC then asked the American Broadcasting
Company for a list of suitable actors that included Tony Curtis. 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.
Despite third-party claims, Curtis and
Moore consistently maintained they had an amicable working
relationship. The pair bonded and remained friends long after the end
of the series, Moore comforting Curtis when the latters son
Nicholas died of a heroin overdose at the age of 23.
In a 2005 interview, Curtis referred to
Moore with affection and stated that he would not participate in a
remake of The Persuaders! without Moore. Sir Roger
Moore was on on hand to present Tony Curtis with his Empire Film
Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006 (below). In an interview at
the Empire Awards ceremony Moore said he owes his life to Curtis, who
encouraged him to follow his example and stop smoking (cigarettes)
when they were working on The Persuaders. Curtis's had famously quit
smoking cigarettes (and had even made PSA commercials about the
dangers of smoking) but still used cannabis and was arrested for
possession on arrival at Heathrow Airport to begin work on The
Persuaders. He was fined £50.
The Persuaders failed in the United
States, where it had been sold to ABC, which Curtis put down to its
showing at the Saturday 10 pm time slot, but it was successful in
Europe and Australia. In Germany, where the series was aired under
the name Die Zwei ("The Two"), it became a hit through
especially amusing dubbing which only barely used translations of the
original dialogue. It was also popular in Britain, although on its
premiere on the ITV network, it was beaten in the ratings by repeats
of Monty Python's Flying Circus on BBC One. Channel 4 repeated The
Persuaders! in 1995. Since then the series has been issued on DVD,
while in France, where the series (entitled Amicalement Vôtre)
had always been popular, the DVD releases accompanied a monthly
magazine of the same name.
BOND, JAMES BOND
Over the years, due to his commitment to
several television shows, in particular The Saint and The Persuaders,
Moore was unavailable to take on the role of James Bond but, in 1964,
he made a guest appearance as James Bond in the comedy series Mainly
Millicent. Moore stated in his autobiography My Word Is My Bond
(2008) that he had neither been approached to play the character in
Dr. No, nor did he feel that he had ever been considered. Only after
Sean Connery had declared in 1966 that he would not play Bond any
longer did Moore become aware that he might be a contender for the
role. After George Lazenby was cast in 1969's On Her Majesty's Secret
Service and Connery was enticed back to the role of Bond again for
Diamonds Are Forever (1971), Moore did not consider the possibility
until it seemed clear that Connery had stepped down as Bond for good.
At that point, Moore was approached, and he accepted producer Albert
Broccoli's offer in August 1972. In his autobiography, Moore writes
that he had to cut his hair and lose weight for the role. Although he
resented having to make those changes, he was finally cast as James
Bond in Live and Let Die (1973).
then made Gold (1974), based on a novel by Wilbur Smith for producer
Michael Klinger and director Peter R. Hunt (who had an editing role
in the first five Bond films and directed On Her Majesty's Secret Service).
Moore made his second Bond movie, The Man
with the Golden Gun (1974), which was a hit, though less successful
than Live and Let Die. It featured Christopher Lee as the main
antagonist. Also appearing are Britt Ekland, Herve Villechaize, and
Maud Adams. He followed the Bond film with a comedy, That Lucky Touch
(1975) which was a box office disaster.
Moore next made an Italian-shot action
film Street People (1976), then went back to South Africa for another Klinger-Hunt
movie from a Wilbur Smith novel, Shout at the Devil (1976), which
was successful in Britain, though less so in the US. Lee Marvin was a
main cast member. Ian Holm was also featured, as well as Barbara Parkins.
Moore returned for a third outing as Bond
in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), which was a massive box-office
success. It also starred Barbara Bach, and Richard Kiel in his first
appearance as the villain, Jaws.
He returned to South Africa for a third
action movie, The Wild Geese (1978), produced by Euan Lloyd and
directed by Andrew V. McLaglen. It was a sizeable hit in Britain and
Europe but, like Shout at the Devil, less so in the US. The cast
featured Richard Burton, who had top billing, and Richard Harris.
Moore played the lead in Escape to Athena
(1979) partly financed by Lew Grade. It was a heist adventure set in
war-time Greece, and stars Telly Savalas and David Niven, and
features mostly American character actors, including Elliott Gould,
Stefanie Powers, Richard Roundtree, Sonny Bono, and Italian actress
Claudia Cardinale. Roger Moore (with top billing) plays a charming
former Austrian antiquities dealer turned crooked camp commandant,
asked to guard Greek antiquities desired by the Third Reich, and also
guard the collection of archaeologists who are being forced to work
to find and recover these objects, but he has other plans for the
treasure he guards and for the people under his watch.
After the success of his fourth outing as
Bond, Moonraker (1979), Moore followed it with an action film North
Sea Hijack (1980) where Moore played a very un-Bond-like hero,
opposite Anthony Perkins. The film was a box-office disappointment.
Better received was The Sea Wolves (1980
above), another World War Two adventure which reunited many of the
crew from The Wild Geese including Euan Lloyd and McLaglen. It was
based on the true story of a March 1943 event in British India and
Portuguese Goa, in which a group of retired members of the Calcutta
Light Horse, coloneled by David Niven's character, assist regular
British Army operatives, played by Moore and Gregory Peck, in
destroying German ships in neutral Mormugao harbor, all the time
surrounded by German spies and Indian nationalist intrigue. Trevor
Howard, Patrick Macnee, and Barbara Kellerman also co-star, with a
who's who lineup of British character actors.
was in two all-star comedies: Sunday Lovers (1980), which flopped at
the box office, and The Cannonball Run (1981), which was a hit. In
the latter, he spoofed his fame by playing a millionaire so obsessed
with Roger Moore that he had had plastic surgery to look like him. It
featured an ensemble cast, including Jackie Chan, Burt Reynolds, Dean
Martin, Dom DeLuise, Sammy Davis Jr, and Farrah Fawcett. Moore also
guested starred on The Muppet Show where Miss Piggy sings a
flirtatious "On a Slow Boat to China" to Moore who
protests, claiming he is not Piggy's type. The song is ended shortly
before Moore's date arrives, and it is none other than Piggy's rival,
Annie Sue. Moore and Annie are going to the opening of Hamlet.
Moore returned for his fifth outing as
Bond in For Your Eyes Only (1981). Following this film, he expressed
a desire to leave the role, and other actors were screen tested, but
Moore was eventually enticed back for Octopussy (1983).
Moore 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").
Then he tried a thriller The Naked Face (1984), written and directed
by Bryan Forbes.
Moore starred in his final Bond film, A
View to a Kill in 1985. Moore was the oldest actor to have played
Bond he was 45 in Live and Let Die, and fifty eight when he
announced his retirement from the role on December 3rd 1985. Moore is
also tied with Sean Connery as the actor who played Bond in the most
movies. They both appeared in seven.
Moore's Bond was very different from the
version created by Ian Fleming. Screenwriters such as George
MacDonald Fraser provided scenarios in which Moore was cast as a
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 of the 1970s. Moore's version of Bond was also known for his
sense of humour and witty one liners as Moore himself said, "My
personality is different from previous Bonds. Im not that
cold-blooded-killer type. Which is why I play it mostly for
laughs." In 1987, he hosted Happy Anniversary 007: 25 Years of
MOORE BONDS: Roger Moore is pictured with
other movie Bonds. Sean Connery (top left), Pierce Brosnan (top
right), Daniel Craig (bottom left) and George Lazenby and Timothy
Dalton (bottom right). The Express reported in 2015 that an
"Expendables' style movie was being floated in which Moore (then
89) would team up with Sean Connery, 84, George Lazenby, 75, Timothy
Dalton, 71, and Pierce Brosnan, 62. The film would follow a similar
format to that of The Expendables, which starred action movie legends
Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis. Sir Roger
revealed: "Id be up for it. But Sean balked at the idea as
I dont think he wanted to be associated with Bond any
more." he added, "But Id need about ten stunt doubles."
James Bond has been the subject of parody
numerous times on The Simpsons. In 22 Short Films About Springfield
(1996) Milhouse goes to the comic book store to use the bathroom, but
has to pay for something in order to use it. Comic Book Guy shows him
various products, including a picture of Sean Connery as Bond signed
by Roger Moore. The picture is very rare and worth $150.
In another episode when Homer got a hair
transplant from Snake, Marge told him that if his fly wasn't open,
he'd look just like Roger Moore.
Moore's friend Audrey Hepburn had
impressed him with her work for UNICEF, and consequently he became a
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 1991, but his support of UNICEF
pre-dates that appointment. His character, Simon Templar, made a
pitch for UNICEF near the end of The Revolution Racket, airing back
on November 5th 1964.
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, led to the
department store Selfridges agreeing to remove foie gras from their shelves.
Moore did not act on screen for five years
after he stopped playing Bond; in 1990, he appeared in several films
and in the writer-director Michael Feeney Callan's television series
My Riviera and starred in the film Bed & Breakfast which was shot
in 1989; and also had a large role in the 1996 film The Quest; in
1997, he starred as the Chief in The Spice Girls movie, Spice World.
the year 2000, Moore played the role of a secret agent in the
Christmas special Victoria Wood with All the Trimmings, shown on BBC
One on Christmas Day. Filming all his scenes in the London Eye, his
mission was to eliminate another agent whose file photo looks like
Pierce Brosnan. At the age of 73, he played a flamboyant homosexual
man in Boat Trip (2002) with Cuba Gooding Jr. In 2004 he was the
voice of Father Christmas in the UNICEF cartoon The Fly Who Loved Me.
The British comedy show Spitting Image
once had a sketch in which their latex likeness of Moore (right),
when asked to display emotions by an offscreen director, did nothing
but raise an eyebrow; Moore himself 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 film spoof, The
Man with the Wooden Delivery, with Moore's puppet receiving orders
from Margaret Thatcher.
In 2009, Moore appeared in an
advertisements for the Post Office. In 2010, Moore provided the voice
of a talking cat called Lazenby in the film Cats & Dogs: The
Revenge of Kitty Galore which contained several references to, and
parodies of, Bond films. In 2011, Moore co-starred in the film A
Princess for Christmas with Katie McGrath and Sam Heughan, and in
2012, he took to the stage for a series of seven 'Evenings with' in
UK theatres and, in November, guest-hosted Have I Got News for You.
In 2015, Moore read Hans Christian
Andersen's "The Princess and The Pea" for the children's
fairy tales app GivingTales in aid of UNICEF, with other British
celebrities, including Michael Caine, Ewan McGregor, Joan Collins,
Stephen Fry, Joanna Lumley, David Walliams, Charlotte Rampling, Paul
McKenna and Michael Ball. Also in 2015, Moore was named one of GQ's
50 best-dressed British men.
Moore's last on-screen performance was in
2017 a brief appearance near the end of a TV pilot of the remake of
"The Saint", of which Moore was also a producer. The pilot
was never bought as a series but was retooled as a TV film, getting
an online release on July 12th 2017 after Roger Moore's death.
Moore and his third wife Mattioli
separated in 1993 after Moore developed feelings for a Swedish-born
Danish socialite, Kristina "Kiki" Tholstrup (above). Moore
later described his prostate cancer diagnosis in 1993 as
"life-changing", which led him to reassess his life and
marriage. Mattioli and Tholstrup had long been friends, but Mattioli
was scathing of her in the book she subsequently wrote about her
relationship with Moore, Nothing Lasts Forever, describing how she
felt betrayed by Tholstrup and discarded by Moore.
Moore remained silent on his divorce from
Mattioli, later saying that he did not wish to hurt his children by
"engaging in a war of words". Moore's children refused to
speak to him for a period after the divorce, but they were later
reconciled with their father. Mattioli refused to grant Moore a
divorce until 2000, when a £10 million settlement was agreed.
Moore subsequently married Tholstrup in 2002. Moore said that he
loved Tholstrup as she was "organised", "serene",
"loving", and "calm", saying, "I have a
difficult life. I rely on Kristina totally. When we are travelling
for my job, she is the one who packs. Kristina takes care of all
that". Moore also said that his marriage to Tholstrup was "a
tranquil relationship, there are no arguments". Tholstrup had a
daughter, Christina Knudsen, from a previous relationship; Knudsen
described her stepfather as a positive influence, saying, "I was
in difficult relationships but that all changed" when her mother
met Moore. Christina Knudsen died from cancer on July 25th 2016, at
the age of 47; Moore posted on Twitter, "We are heartbroken"
and "We were all with her, surrounding her with love, at the end".
politics, Moore stated he was a Conservative and thought that
Conservatism is the way to run a country. The BBC listed Moore prior
to the 2001 UK general election as a celebrity backer of the British
Conservative Party. In 2011, Moore gave his support to Conservative
Prime Minister David Cameron regarding his policy on the European
Union. Despite his Conservative politics, Moore retained membership
of the Entertainment and Media trade union BECTU until his death,
having joined as an apprentice animation technician before his acting
career took off. At his death, he was the union's longest-serving member.
Moore became a tax exile from the United
Kingdom in 1978, originally to Switzerland, and divided his year
between his three homes: an apartment in Monte Carlo, Monaco; a
chalet in Crans-Montana, Switzerland; and a home in the south of
France. Moore became a resident of Monaco, having been appointed a
Goodwill Ambassador of Monaco by Prince Albert II for his efforts in
internationally promoting and publicising the principality. Moore was
scathing of the Russian population in Monaco, saying, "I'm
afraid we're overstuffed with Russians. All the restaurant menus are
in Russian now."
Moore was vocal in his defence of his tax
exile status, saying that in the 1970s, he had been urged by his
"accountants, agents, and lawyers" that moving abroad was
essential because "you would never be able to save enough to
ensure that you had any sort of livelihood if you didn't work"
as a result of the punitive taxation rates imposed on unearned
income. Moore said in 2011 that his decision to live abroad was
"not about tax. That's a serious part of it. I come back to
England often enough not to miss it, to see the changes, to find some
of the changes good... I paid my taxes at the time that I was earning
a decent income, so I've paid my due".
had a series of diseases during his childhood, including chickenpox,
measles, mumps, double pneumonia and jaundice. He had an infection of
his foreskin at the age of eight and underwent a circumcision, and
had his appendix, tonsils, and adenoids removed. Moore was a
long-term sufferer of kidney stones and as a result was briefly
hospitalised during the making of Live and Let Die in 1973 and again
whilst filming the 1979 film Moonraker. In 1993, Moore was diagnosed
with prostate cancer and underwent successful treatment for the disease.
In 2003, Moore collapsed on stage while
appearing on Broadway, and was fitted with a pacemaker to treat a
potentially deadly slow heartbeat. He was diagnosed with type 2
diabetes in 2013. Some years before his final cancer illness, a
tumour spot was found in the liver. Then, in 2017, during his cancer
treatment period, he had a fall which badly injured the collarbone.
Moore's family announced his death in Switzerland, on May 23rd 2017
from another battle with prostate cancer. He died in his home in
Crans-Montana, in the presence of his family.
Moore had friendships with some of
Denmark's royal family; Prince Joachim and his then-wife Alexandra,
Countess of Frederiksborg invited Moore and his wife Kiki to attend
the christening of their youngest son, Prince Felix. On May 24th
2008, Moore and his wife attended the wedding of Prince Joachim to
his French fiancée Marie Cavallier.
Moore also had a long-standing friendship
with Princess Lilian of Sweden, whom he first met on a visit to
Stockholm for UNICEF. Moore's wife Kristina, who was born in Sweden,
was already a friend of Princess Lilian's through mutual friends. In
his autobiography, Moore recalled meeting the princess for tea and
dinners whenever his wife and he visited Stockholm. He spoke of his
recollections at the princess's memorial service at the English
Church in Stockholm, on September 8th 2013.
On July 1st and 2nd 2011, Moore and his
wife attended the wedding of Prince Albert of Monaco and Charlene Wittstock.
Moore was appointed Commander of the Order
of the British Empire (CBE) in the 1999 New Year Honours and was
promoted to Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE)
in the 2003 Birthday Honours for charitable services, especially
UNICEF and latterly Kiwanis International, which had 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 October 11th 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.
On October 28th 2008, the French
government appointed Moore a Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des
Lettres. On November 21st 2012, Moore was awarded an honorary
doctorate from the University of Hertfordshire for his outstanding
contributions to the UK film and television industry for over 50
years, in particular film and television productions in Hertfordshire.
After his death, the Roger Moore Stage was
opened at Pinewood Studios at a ceremony held in October 2017 to
celebrate his life and work. His wife and family were in attendance
along with Bond producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, and
guests at the event included Joan Collins, Michael Caine, Stephen
Fry, Tim Rice and Stefanie Powers.
Sir Roger Moore holds a special spot in
our Neat Stuff Hall of Fame having been a part of Maverick, The
Saint, The Persuaders and James Bond (not to metion a guest shot on
The Muppets). He has achived next to EGOT status in the POP culture
universe. The only thing missing is guest starring in an episode of
Star Trek or a cameo in a Star Wars movie.