I had the great pleasure of meeting Sir Roger Moore when he visited London's National Theatre in October 2008 as part of a tour promoting his autobigraphy My Word is My Bond. He signed my copy of the book.
Meeting Sir Roger was especially significant for me. During my days at school, I suffered constant abuse and physical violence - all because I am a bit different. No-one ever helped me. Escaping into a Bond film saved me from total despair. Whilst I regard all the actors who played Bond as special, it was the brilliant repartee of Moore's Bond that always made me laugh.
Roger Moore was born in the Stockwell, South London, in 1927. He was an only child - "You see, they achieved perfection first time round!" He went to art school when he was fifteen, later becoming an apprentice tracer/office boy with the animation company Publicity Picture productions. From 1944 he attended RADA for three terms, after which he joined the Cambridge Arts Theatre repertory company.
From 1944 he attended RADA for three terms, after which he joined the Cambridge Arts Theatre repertory company. In 1945, he was called up for National Service and became a Captain in a Combined Services Entertainment unit in Germany. Following National Service, he worked as an assistant stage manager at the BBC studios at Alexandra Palace, and also as modelled for knitware catalogues to supplement his income.
He returned to England to play the title role in Ivanhoe (1957-58) and from 1958-61 he starred in two US television series The Alaskans and Maverick for Warner Brothers.
From 1963 he played the suave and debonair detective, Simon Templar, in The Saint, the most successful TV series at that time. It ran for 114 episodes, and catapaulted Moore to stardom.
Since 1991, Roger Moore has toured the world as a Special Ambassador to UNICEF, receiving the title of Goodwill Ambassador in 1999. In the same year, he was made a CBE and in 2003 he was give
Moore made fewer films after Bond, though he did star in the US box-office flop, Fire, Ice & Dynamite (1990), the comedies Bullseye! (1990) with Michael Caine, and Bed & Breakfast (1991), The Man Who Wouldn't Die (1994) for TV, and as the charming thief Lord Edgar Dobbs in Jean-Claude Van Damme's The Quest (1996).
During his Bond years, Moore also appeared as Lt. Shawn Fynn, alongside Richard Burton in The Wild Geese (1978) about a group of
to be 'too pretty'. Moore brought a whole new style of character to the role, and breaking away from the Sean Connery image. Moore added humour, wit and his own debonair charm to the part of 007. Indeed, the scripts were deliberately tailored to Moore's personality and acting abilty. After Live and Let Die appeared in 1973, there followed The Man With the Golden Gun (1974), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), Moonraker (1979), For Your Eyes Only (1981), Octopussy (1983) and lastly, A View to a Kill (1985), which Moore decided would be his last Bond film, as he felt that he had become too old for the role.
West End theatre roles in Mister Roberts and The Little Hut were followed by his Broadway debut in A Pin To See the Peepshow, and this lead to a Hollywood contract with MGM.
Sir Roger has been married 4 times: to ice skater Doorn Van Steyn, singer Dorothy Squires, actress Luisa Mattioli and currently to Kiki Tholstrup. He has 3 children, Deborah, Geoffrey and Christian, and 2 granddaughters. His autobiography My Word is My Bond was published in 2008.
Whilst concentrating on his UNICEF work in recent years, he continues to work in film, TV and on the stage. Recently, he has voiced animated characters in the films Here Comes Peter Cottontail, The Fly Who Loved Me, and Agent Crush. He has also appeared in the West End and on broadway as a special guest in The Play What I Wrote.
The Saint didn't really catch on in America and in an effort to change this, he agreed to star as Lord Brett Sinclair in The Persuaders! (1971) with Tony Curtis. Although the series was extremely popular in Europe, again it was less successful in the US and was cancelled.
cancelled. Prior to making The Persuaders, Moore starred in the The Man Who Haunted Himself (1970), which proved there was far more to him than the light-hearted roles he had previously accepted.
In 1972 he was cast as James Bond. He had in fact already been considered for the first James Bond film Dr No in 1962, but was judged
Sir Roger Moore as James Bond
Roger Moore & Gloria Hendry in Live And Let Die
Roger Moore in Live And Let Die
Roger Moore in The Man With the Golden Gun
Roger Moore in The Spy Who Loved Me
Roger Moore & Richard Kiel in
The Spy Who Loved Me
My signed photo of Roger Moore
Roger Moore as James Bond in
The Man With the Golden Gun
Roger Moore and Richard Kiel
Photograph from Moonraker signed by
Roger Moore as Bond in Moonraker
Roger Moore with Barbara Bach and Caroline Munro in The Spy Who Loved Me
Roger Moore & Douglas Wilmer in Octopussy
Roger Moore & Cassandra Harris in
For Your Eyes Only
Roger Moore in Octopussy
Roger Moore & Desmond Llewellyn in Octopussy
Maud Adams, Roger Moore & Louis Jourdan
Roger Moore in Octopussy
Roger Moore, Desmond Llewellyn and
Patrick Macnee in A View to a Kill
Roger Moore & Grace Jones in A View to a Kill
Roger Moore & Tanya Roberts in A View to a Kill
Baby Roger and his father
Roger Moore models knitwear
Roger Moore with a script from The Saint
Roger Moore as Sir Wilfred of Ivanhoe
in The Alaskans
Roger Moore as Silky Harris
Roger Moore as Beau Maverick
As Simon Templar in The Saint (1964)
As Simon Templar in The Saint (1966)
in The Persuaders
Roger Moore as Lord Brett Sinclair
Roger Moore as Harold Pelham in
The Man Who Haunted Himself (1970)
Moore as James Bond on the
cover of Films Illustrated
of mercenaries hired to bring down a vicious Central African dictator. He also appeared as the eccentric, cat-loving adventurer Rufus Excalibur Ffolkes in the oil-rig thriller North Sea Highjack (1979 with a US release in 1980 under the title Ffolkes). Despite Moore's success as Bond, American filmgoers didn't completely take to him until he starred as the car-racer Seymour Goldfarb Jr. in The Cannonball Run (1981) alongside Burt Reynolds.
As Ffolkes in North Sea Highjack (1979)
Roger Moore sent this photo dedicated to me & my mum!
Roger Moore as Lt. Shawn Fynn in The Wild Geese (1978)
As Lord Edgar Dobbs in The Quest
As Gerald Bradley-Smith in Bullseye!
Roger Moore with his daughter Debbie
after receiving his CBE
Roger Moore in Zambia
given a knighthood for his charity work, saying "I accepted this title on behalf of the many thousands of volunteers and workers at Unicef who dedicate their lives to helping the millions of children in need around the world today."
Above - with Dorothy Squires
Left - with Luisa Mattioli
Sir Roger Moore with his wife Kiki
Roger Moore and his wife Kiki with his star on
the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Sir Roger Moore signed my copy of his book at London's National Theatre
on October 16th 2008
In October 2007, just three days before his 80th birthday, Sir Roger Moore was honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame. His plaque is appropriately situated in front of 7007 Hollywood Boulevard!
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Sir Roger Moore