Sir Roger Moore has died aged 89, after a short battle with cancer. The British actor died in Switzerland yesterday.
A statement from his family said that: ‘With the heaviest of hearts, we must share the awful news that our father, Sir Roger Moore, passed away today. We are all devastated’ and ‘the love with which he was surrounded in his final days was so great it cannot be quantified by words alone’.
Best known for his iconic 007 role, Sir Roger Moore was famous for injecting a certain sense humour into the world-famous spy films.
“I mean, this man is supposed to be a spy and yet, everybody knows he’s a spy. Every bartender in the world offers him martinis that are shaken, not stirred. What kind of serious spy is recognised everywhere he goes? It’s outrageous. So, you have to treat the humour outrageously as well,” he said.
Not one who looked shy on camera, Sir Roger claimed he was terrified by the stunts he had to perform as James Bond, and would pluck up the courage to do sex scenes by imbibing a mixture of Valium and beer.
Sir Roger made seven Bond films in total, earning around £14 million (A$29 million) for his trouble. At 57, he handed the reins over to Timothy Dalton, then moved to the US and went into semi-retirement, living the life of a millionaire between homes in Los Angeles, Switzerland and the south of France.
In 1989, he took on a new role – goodwill ambassador for UNICEF, where he fought against the sexual exploitation of children. And although he will be fondly remembered for his Bond role, Sir Roger claims that his work with UNICEF was his greatest.
The ‘people’s choice’ for the best Bond is often equated to a Beatles versus Rolling Stones battle, but Sir Roger certainly has equal share of the top honour. The New York Times proudly proclaims Moore as the best Bond, as does famous Bond girl, Brit Ekland.
“I think Roger is the best Bond, of course – not just because of being my Bond, but because if you read the early Ian Fleming books describing him, that’s how he was,” said Ms Ekland.
Whatever your opinion of who played 007 better, Sir Roger will certainly be remembered for playing the role with gusto and a suave sense of sexy humour.
Vale Sir Roger Moore.
Who do you think was the best Bond?