Roger Moore

Roger Moore Headshot

Actor

Birth Date: October 14, 1927

Death Date: May 23, 2017

Birth Place: Stockwell, London, England, UK

Having found great success on British television as the star of "The Saint" (ITV, 1962-69), Roger Moore was a natural and worthy successor to Sean Connery in the role of super-agent James Bond. Taking on the iconic character with a license to kill for "Live and Let Die" (1973), Moore spent 12 years as the suave, womanizing 007, though for part of that time he heard criticism for his campy, tongue-in-cheek characterization. Moore settled into the role nicely with "The Spy Who Loved Me" (1977), and followed it with the science-fiction-influenced "Moonraker" (1979) and the return to basics "For Your Eyes Only" (1981). Meanwhile, Moore continued making films outside the Bond universe with "Shout at the Devil" (1976), "Sherlock Holmes in New York" (1977) and knockabout comedy "The Cannonball Run" (1981), but nothing elevated him to international acclaim like Ian Fleming's spy. Amidst calls that he was becoming too old for the role, Moore made his last Bond movies, "Octopussy" (1983) and "A View to a Kill" (1985), before settling into an increasingly sporadic schedule as a character actor in films ranging from romantic comedy "Bed and Breakfast" (1992) to Bill Condon's thriller "The Man Who Wouldn't Die" (1995) before retiring after his co-starring role in young adult holiday romance "A Princess for Christmas" (2011). Though sometime dismissed by critics when compared to Connery, Moore made the character his own and earned international fame for one of cinema's most sought-after roles. Roger Moore died on May 23, 2017 following a brief battle with cancer. He was 89 years old.

Born on Oct. 14, 1927 in Stockwell, London, England, Moore was raised an only child by his father, George Moore, a policeman, and his mother, Lillian Pope, a homemaker. While attending Battersea Grammar School in South London, he was evacuated to the western township of Holsworthy during the WWII Nazi air raids. Soon after the war ended, Moore was conscripted into service and served as a captain in the Royal Army Service Corp, for whom he commanded a depot in West Germany. He transferred to the entertainment branch and later attended the Royal Academy of the Dramatic Art for a brief time before landing small roles in films like "Caesar and Cleopatra" (1945) and "Perfect Strangers" (1945). He made his first television appearance with "Drawing Room Detective" (BBC, 1950), and continued making motion pictures with a bit part in the British comedy "One Wild Oat" (1951). Moving to Hollywood in 1953, Moore became a contract player for MGM and began working more steadily in films, landing more substantial parts in "The Last Time I Saw Paris" (1954), starring Elizabeth Taylor and Van Johnson, and the biographical drama "Interrupted Melody" (1955) with Glenn Ford and Eleanor Parker.

Following the Lana Turner vehicle "Diane" (1956), Moore began finding work as a male model. Like many actors of the 1950s, Moore started working seriously in the expanding medium of television, landing roles on shows such as "Ivanhoe" (syndicated, 1958-59), in which he portrayed Sir Wilfred of Ivanhoe and "The Alaskans" (ABC, 1959-1960), where he played fast-talking swindler Silky Harris. After star James Garner quit "Maverick" (ABC, 1957-1962) following a contract dispute, Moore was cast to play cousin Beau Maverick opposite Jack Kelly's Bart Maverick for the fourth season. Dissatisfied with the quality of the scripts, however, Moore left the show after just one season. But that move proved fortuitous as he went on to play his most iconic TV role, Simon Templar, on the British series, "The Saint" (ITV, 1962-69). Based on Leslie Charteris' long-running novel series, "The Saint" featured Moore as a suave Robin Hood-like thief who targets corrupt politicians and other wealthy types.

In its early years, the show was shot in black-and-white and saw Moore routinely break the fourth wall by talking directly to the audience. About halfway through the series' run, however, "The Saint" famously switched to color with the actor delivering a more standard voiceover narration. Many felt that Moore's performance as Templar was a sort of training ground to play James Bond. In fact, there was a bit of foreshadowing concerning Moore's eventual takeover of the Bond role, from a gondola ride in Venice a la "Moonraker" with Lois Maxwell - the actress most recognized as Miss Moneypenny - to Templar pretending to actually be James Bond in an early 1963 episode. Meanwhile, the series was so popular in England that NBC picked it up for a U.S. run, though it received a more lukewarm reception in the States.

Moore stepped behind the cameras to direct several episodes of "The Saint," which wound up running for seven years and 118 episodes, making it - alongside "The Avengers" (ITV, 1961-69) - the longest-running series of its kind on British television. Despite this success, Moore grew increasingly tired of the role and was keen to branch out. Further showcasing his inherently sly wit and charm, Moore went on to star on "The Persuaders!" (ITV, 1971-72), which co-starred Tony Curtis. The show featured Moore and Curtis as two wealthy playboys who help solve previously unsolvable cases across Europe. Eventually, Moore became a contender to play James Bond after Sean Connery famously said he would never return to the role after "Diamonds Are Forever" (1971). While there were persistent rumors Moore had been considered for 007 as far back as "Dr. No" (1962), the actor later confirmed that he was never approached or felt in contention until Connery officially left the role behind for good.

Already 46 years old, three years older than Connery, Moore took over as James Bond for "Live and Let Die" (1973), a big box office hit that used Blaxploitation tropes popular at the time in its plot that moved away from megalomaniacal villains bent on world domination in favor of drug-pushing street thugs. Despite its box office success, the actor was criticized for his new characterization of Bond, which moved away from the suave super-agent presented by Connery in favor of a campier version who was as quick with a wisecrack as with his Walther PPK weapon. Throughout his tenure, Moore split audiences and critics over this light-hearted portrayal. Moore returned to the role for "The Man with the Golden Gun" (1974), co-starring Christopher Lee as the villain bent on world destruction and Britt Ekland as the requisite beautiful "Bond girl."

Following non-Bond turns in "Shout at the Devil" (1976) and "Sherlock Holmes in New York" (1977), where he played the titular detective, Moore returned as 007 for "The Spy Who Loved Me" (1977). Featuring the first truly independently minded Bond girl, Anya Amasova (Barbara Bach) - a.k.a. KGB Agent XXX - and fan favorite henchman Jaws (Richard Kiel), "The Spy Who Loved Me" was a major critical and box office hit. Moore followed up with the even more financially successful "Moonraker" (1979), a big-budget "Bond in space" tale aiming to capitalize on the post "Star Wars" (1977) science fiction fad. Full of campy one-liners and extravagant effects, "Moonraker" earned a possibly unfair reputation as being one of the most over-the-top Bond films ever made.

In an effort to return Bond to the more grounded espionage movies of the early Connery period, Moore starred in "For Your Eyes Only" (1981). Also that year, Moore parodied his James Bond image in the comic road picture "The Cannonball Run" (1981) before making his sixth appearance as 007 in "Octopussy" (1983), which focused on Bond's attempts to stop a wealthy Afghan prince (Louis Jordan) from stealing a nuclear weapon. Twelve years after taking up the mantle from Sean Connery, Moore made his last film as 007 with "A View to a Kill" (1985). Once he was finished playing Bond - the role was taken over by Timothy Dalton - Moore reduced his work load considerably, making a new film every few years. These included sports drama "Fire, Ice and Dynamite" (1989), romantic comedy "Bed and Breakfast" (1992) and "The Man Who Wouldn't Die" (1995), a thriller directed by future A-list director Bill Condon. Cameos in comedies like the Spice Girls vehicle "Spice World" (1997) and Cuba Gooding Jr's "Boat Trip" (2002) tweaked his Bond image. Following his final film, young adult holiday romance "A Princess for Christmas" (2011), Moore briefly returned to the spotlight as fans celebrated the 50th anniversary of James Bond films in 2012, but following that burst of publicity, he quietly retired to Switzerland. Roger Moore died following a brief struggle with cancer on May 23, 2017. He was 89.

Credits

Roger Moore: Classic Bond

Guest
Show
2020

The Vision (The Making of the Three Tenors in Concert 1994)

Narrator
Show
2019

Giving Tales

Narrator
Show
2018

The Saint

Actor
Jasper
Movie
2017

When Phillip Met Prince Philip: 60 Years of The Duke of Edinburgh's Award

Guest
Show
2016

Cine Clásico

Actor
Show
2013

Incompatibles

Actor
Roger Moore
Movie
2013

Bond: Extras

Actor
Show
2012

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Classical Music

Actor
Show
2011

A Princess for ChristmasStream

Actor
Edward Duke of Castlebury
Movie
2011

Janine

Self
Show
2010

Michael Winner's Dining Stars

Guest Star
Show
2010

Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore

Voice
Tab Lazenby
Movie
2010

Victoria Wood: Seen on TV

Actor
Show
2009

Piers Morgan's Life Stories

Actor
Show
2009

Piers Morgan's Life Stories

Guest
Show
2009

The G Factor

Host
Show
2008

Eyes on Kenya

Guest
Show
2008

Unlocking Ancient Secrets of the Bible

Host
Show
2008

Giving Is Good

Host
Show
2008

Life Below the Line: The World Poverty Crisis

Guest
Show
2007

The Morning Show With Mike & Juliet

Guest
Show
2007

Here Comes Peter Cottontail: The Movie

Voice
January Q. Irontail
Movie
2005

Secret KGB Files

Host
Show
2003

Boat Trip

Actor
Lloyd
Movie
2003
7%

Top GearStream

Guest
Reality
2002

Banzai

Guest Star
Show
2002

The Story of the First Noel

Host
Show
2001

AliasStream

Guest Star
Edward Poole
Series
2001
86%

The Secret KGB Paranormal Files

Host
Show
2001

The Enemy

Actor
Supt. Robert Ogilvie
Movie
2000

D.R.E.A.M. Team

Actor
Show
1999

The ViewStream

Guest
Talk
1997

Spice World

Actor
The Chief
Movie
1997
35%

The QuestStream

Actor
Lord Edgar Dobbs
Movie
1996
14%

The Man Who Wouldn't Die

Actor
Thomas Grace
Movie
1995

Bed & Breakfast

Actor
Adam
Movie
1991

Fire, Ice and Dynamite

Actor
Sir George
Movie
1990

Un Loup dans la bergerie

Actor
Movie
1990

Fuego, Hielo y Dinamita

Actor
Movie
1990

Bullseye!

Actor
Garald Bradley-Smith/Sir John Bevistock
Movie
1989

The Magic Snowman

Voice
Lumi Ukko (The Snowman)
Movie
1987

The Naked Face

Actor
Dr. Judd Stevens
Movie
1985

A View to a KillStream

Actor
James Bond ("James St. John Smythe," "James Stock")
Movie
1985
37%

Curse of the Pink PantherStream

Actor
Clouseau
Movie
1983
29%

OctopussyStream

Actor
James Bond
Movie
1983
42%

For Your Eyes OnlyStream

Actor
James Bond
Movie
1981
69%

The Cannonball Run

Actor
Seymour Goldfarb, Jr.
Movie
1981
29%

Sunday Lovers

Actor
Harry Lindon
Movie
1981

The Sea Wolves

Actor
Capt. Gavin Stewart
Movie
1980

ffolkes

Actor
Ffolkes
Movie
1980

Escape to AthenaStream

Actor
Major Otto Hecht
Movie
1979

MoonrakerStream

Actor
James Bond
Movie
1979
59%

The Wild Geese

Actor
Lt. Shawn Fynn
Movie
1978

The Spy Who Loved MeStream

Actor
James Bond
Movie
1977
82%

Shout at the Devil

Actor
Sebastian Oldsmith
Movie
1976

Street People

Actor
Ulysses
Movie
1976

Sherlock Holmes in New York

Actor
Sherlock Holmes
Movie
1976

The London Conspiracy

Actor
Lord Brett Sinclair
Movie
1976

Le Veinard

Actor
Movie
1975

That Lucky Touch

Actor
Michael Scott
Movie
1975

Toque de Suerte

Actor
Movie
1975

The Muppet ShowStream

Guest
Series
1974
100%

Gold

Actor
Rod Slater
Movie
1974

The Man with the Golden GunStream

Actor
James Bond
Movie
1974
42%

Live and Let DieStream

Actor
James Bond
Movie
1973
66%

The Persuaders!Stream

Actor
Series
1971

Mission: Monte Carlo

Actor
Lord Brett Sinclair
Movie
1971

The Man Who Haunted Himself

Actor
Harold Pelham
Movie
1970

Crossplot

Actor
Gary Fenn
Movie
1969

The Dick Cavett ShowStream

Guest
Talk
1968

Vendetta for the Saint

Actor
Simon Templar
Movie
1968

The Fiction-Makers

Actor
Simon Templar/The Saint
Movie
1967

British 1958 TV Series Ivanhoe Murder at the Inn starring Roger Moore

Actor
Sir Wilfred of Ivanhoe
Show
1962

The SaintStream

Actor
Simon Templar
Series
1962

The SaintStream

Director
Series
1962

The Tonight Show Starring Johnny CarsonStream

Guest
Talk
1962

Un branco di vigliacchi

Actor
Enzo Prati
Movie
1962

The Sins of Rachel Cade

Actor
Paul Wilton
Movie
1961

Romulus and the Sabines

Actor
Romulus
Movie
1961

Gold of the Seven Saints

Actor
Shaun Garrett
Movie
1961

Rape of the Sabines

Actor
Romulus
Movie
1961

The Alaskans

Actor
Silky Harris
Series
1959

The Miracle

Actor
Capt. Michael Stuart
Movie
1959

77 Sunset Strip

Guest Star
Himself
Series
1958

Ivanhoe

Actor
Sir Wilfred of Ivanhoe
Show
1958

MaverickStream

Actor
Series
1957

Alfred Hitchcock PresentsStream

Actor
Inspector Benson
Series
1955

The King's Thief

Actor
Jack
Movie
1955

Interrupted Melody

Actor
Cyril Lawrence
Movie
1955

Diane

Actor
Prince Henri
Movie
1955

The Last Time I Saw ParisStream

Actor
Paul
Movie
1954
70%

TodayStream

Guest
News
1952

What's My Line?Stream

Guest
Game Show
1950

Due mogli sono troppe

Actor
Movie
1950

News aboutRoger Moore