Thursday, 25 May 2017

In Memory of Roger Moore (1927-2017)

Roger Moore (1927-2017)

Hello movie bloggers, I regret to inform you that British film and television actor Roger Moore, the man known for being Simon Templar in the television show 'The Saint' and his longest serving portrayal of secret agent James Bond in the film series of 1973 to 1985 has passed away after bravely losing battle with cancer on May 23rd 2017 at 89 years old. I have nothing against the late movie star except that he wasn't the best actor to play 007 but was more British, less brutal and memorable than any interpretation that were conceived by Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig.

Moore's early years of his acting career began in 1945 where he was but an extra in the film 'Caesar and Cleopatra'. Moore had his first televised appearance in 1949 and found work on modelling for print advertisements. In 1954, he signed a seven-year contract with MGM and got third billing and a supporting role in 'Interrupted Memory', The King's Thief' and 'Diane'. The latter film flopped and Moore was released by the studio two years after. A few years later, Moore has starred in one-hour parts in episodes of TV programs and various little known movies. Moore's involvment with television grew as he featured in lead roles include 'Ivanhoe', 'The Alaskans' and 'Maverick'. Moore was cast in the main role of Simon Templar in the television spy-fi drama 'The Saint'  by producer Lew Grade. The show was broadcasted in 1962 in the U.K. where it was filmed and even America, that got its widespread attention. Because of its success, Moore had gotten international stardom in 1967. The series was originally produced in black-and-white before it went to colour in 1967 and ran for six seasons with 118 episodes. In addition to his main acting in the show, Roger Moore has also directed several episodes which he starred in. In 1971, Moore went on to star in another espionage thriller series opposite Tony Curtis in 'The Persuaders'. Unlike his previous fame in 'The Saint', the series was a success only in the U.K. and Australia but never in America where it was pre-sold to ABC and failed. 

In 1972, when producers Harry Saltzman and Albert R. Broccoli first contacted the actor after Sean Connery stepped down from the role of 007, Roger accepted their offer of portraying that titular character in 1973, starting with 'Live and Let Die'. After its release, he continued with his interpretation of the character in films like 'The Man with the Golden Gun', 'The Spy Who Loved Me', 'Moonraker', 'For Your Eyes Only', 'Octopussy' and 'A View to a Kill'. He was 45 years old in 'Live and Let Die' and was 58 in 1985 when he retired from that role and was considered the oldest actor to portray James Bond. During his tenure as Bond, Moore had other movies in mind such as 'Gold', 'The Wild Geese', 'Escape from Athena', 'North Sea Hijack', 'The Sea Wolves' and 'The Cannonball Run'. He also appeared in a cameo appearance as Inspector Clouseau on 'The Curse of the Pink Panther' under the pseudonym. After his retirement from being James Bond, Moore took a career hiatus for five years and would not continue to do more film appearances until 1990 in several movies. He was seen in other movies like 'The Quest' with Jean Claude Van Damme and 'Spice World' and was among the voice talents of 'Cats & Dogs: Revenge of Kitty Galore'. 

Despite his celebrity status, Moore was made Goodwill Ambassador of UNICEF in 1991. Among other honours, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth as "Sir Roger Moore" for his "services to charity" in 2003 and in 2008, he was appointed by the French Goverment as Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

To family and friends of Roger Moore, we deeply miss him and we are grateful to have seen his work including James Bond. May he ever be immortalised in film.

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