- Roger Moore
Sir Roger Moore
Roger Moore in 2010
Born Roger George Moore
14 October 1927
Stockwell, London, England
Occupation Actor Years active 1945–present Spouse Doorn van Steyn
Sir Roger George Moore KBE (born 14 October 1927), is an English actor, perhaps best known for portraying British secret agent James Bond in seven films from 1973 to 1985. He also portrayed Simon Templar in the long-running British television series The Saint.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Career
- 3 Humanitarian work
- 4 Personal life
- 5 Royal circles
- 6 Honours
- 7 In music
- 8 Awards
- 9 Publications
- 10 Filmography
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Moore was born in Stockwell, 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 World War II and was then educated at Dr Challoner's Grammar School. 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 the war, Moore was conscripted for National Service. He was commissioned as an officer and eventually became a Captain. Moore served in the Royal Army Service Corps, commanding a small depot in West Germany. He later transferred to the entertainment branch (under luminaries such as Spike Milligan), and 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 (1946–1959)
In the early 1950s, Moore worked as a male 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 series The Alaskans, as well as playing Beau Maverick, an English-accented cousin of frontier gamblers Bret Maverick (James Garner) and Bart Maverick (Jack Kelly) in Maverick.
The Saint (1960–1969)
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 TV 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! As Roger Moore frankly explains in his autobiography My Word Is My Bond (2008) on page 172, he had neither been approached to play James Bond in Dr. No, nor had he felt that he had been considered. It was only after Sean Connery had declared 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 Sean 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 of 1972. Moore says in his autobiography he had to cut his hair and to 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. He is also the oldest actor to play Bond: he was 45 when he started, and 58 when he announced his retirement on 3 December 1985.
James Bond was different during this era because times had changed and the scripts were different. Authors 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 supposed to serve the contemporary taste (or zeitgeist) and Roger Moore made it work.
In 2004, Moore was voted 'Best Bond' in an Academy Awards poll and won with a large 62% of votes whilst in late 2008.
During Moore's Bond period he starred in 13 other films, including the thriller Gold (1974) and 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. 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 (1985–present)
His post-Bond acting career has been light, though most of his career post-Bond has been devoted to UNICEF. In the words of his friend Michael Caine, with whom he co-starred in the unsuccessful Bullseye! (1990), "Now he can't get a job." At the age of 74, Moore was given the chance to go against type with his portrayal of a flamboyant homosexual (with James Bond characteristics) 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, and 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 May 2010 the MultiMediaFund was launched (which is aimed at institutional investors). The Advisory Board of the fund is chaired by Sir Roger Moore KBE.
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 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 12 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. 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, later[when?][where?] marrying 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 and then moved to Surrey before relocating to Hollywood. In the 1960s he lived at Gordon Avenue, Stanmore within reach of the Elstree Studios and in the 1970s in Denham, close to Pinewood. During filming of The Spy Who Loved Me, "villain" Curt 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 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 is also known to be a friend of King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.
In 1999, Moore was created a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE), and a 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.
- The Kinks song "Daylight", which appears on their 1973 album Preservation Act 1 refers to Roger Moore's desirability to lonely spinsters.
- Amy Winehouse's 2007 single "You Know I'm No Good" refers to tearing men down like Roger Moore.
- Scouting For Girls' song "I wish I was James Bond" refers to wanting to be like Roger Moore.
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).
- ^ "Roger Moore Biography (1927–)". Filmreference.com. http://www.filmreference.com/film/21/Roger-Moore.html. Retrieved 2010-06-18.
- ^ "Link to www.rogermoore.org". Rogermoore.org. 1927-10-14. http://www.rogermoore.org/. Retrieved 2010-06-18.
- ^ "Roger Moore and Robert S. Baker ever had a contract other than a handshake with Lew Grade.". imdb.com. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0066701/trivia?tr0702967. Retrieved 2011-07-03.
- ^ 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
- ^ Why did 'saint' Roger Moore break so many hearts? Daily Mail, 12 October 2007
- ^ Bremner, Rory Beware of Imitations (1999)
- ^ http://www.multimediafund.com
- ^ Screen Daily article about Sir Roger Moore KBE joining Red Carpet Film Fund
- ^ "The Fly Who Loved Me (directed by Dan Chambers)". Unicef.org.uk. http://www.unicef.org.uk/theflywholovedme/. Retrieved 2010-06-18. [dead link]
- ^ "People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Foundation". Peta.org.uk. http://www.peta.org.uk/feat/RogerMoore.asp. Retrieved 2010-06-18.
- ^ "Roger Moore helps Selfridges to Drop Foie Gras". Peta.org.uk. http://www.peta.org.uk/features/victory-selfridges-drops-foie-gras/. Retrieved 2010-06-18.
- ^ IMDb – Geoffrey Moore
- ^ IMDb – Christian Moore
- ^ "The Man With The Golden Heart". Mag Suisse/roger-moore.com. http://www.roger-moore.com/magsuisse-article.htm. Retrieved 3 December 2008. [dead link]
- ^ http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000549/bio
- ^ Barchfield, Jenny (30 June 2011). "Monaco palace releases wedding guest list". Forbes. http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2011/06/30/entertainment-eu-monaco-royal-wedding_8544841.html. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
- ^ London Gazette: . 30 December 1998. Retrieved 17 October 2009.
- ^ a b London Gazette: . 14 June 2003. Retrieved 17 October 2009.
- ^ "Roger Moore Official Site". Roger-moore.com. http://www.roger-moore.com/etoile-hollywood2007.htm. Retrieved 2010-06-18. [dead link]
- ^ "Roger Moore's official website". Roger-moore.com. 2010-01-12. http://www.roger-moore.com/. Retrieved 2010-06-18.
- ^ "Amazon UK". Amazon.co.uk. 2009-09-09. http://www.amazon.co.uk/. Retrieved 2010-06-18.
Official James Bond Actor
- 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)
- Roger Moore at the Internet Movie Database
- 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
Actors who have played James Bond EON Productions Other productions
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