Sir Roger Moore, Dead at 89

 

Roger Moore was never one to take himself, or his acting, too seriously.

“I have three expressions,” he said, “left eye, right eye and none moving at all.” Of the six men who have officially taken on the persona of James Bond on film, his was the lightest of touches. His was the Bond of the double entendre, the raised eyebrow and, uh, keeping the British end up.

While never praised as widely as Sean Connery or Daniel Craig, his Bond was the most enduring, spanning seven films over a twelve year period. Before that he was a television star in ITV’s The Saint, which ran from 1962-69. The first two seasons ran in the US in syndication before being added to NBC’s prime time lineup.

Based on Leslie Charteris’ books and successful movie franchise of the 1930s and 40’s, Moore played an affable thief, a sort of Robin Hood who kept the money for himself. Its  success in the US market was notable for the fact that ITV switched to color production long before color transmission was approved in the UK. There have been attempts to revive the character (with Ian Olgivy in 1978 on CBS and with Val Kilmer in the 1997 feature film) but without Moore both efforts fell flat.

None of Moore’s films or television appearances will ever be mistaken for high art, but they remain durable for his style and the era that they reflect.

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Published in Entertainment
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  1. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    I’m partial to ffolkes myself.

    • #1
  2. Slug A Thug Inactive
    Slug A Thug
    @Pseudodionysius

    • #2
  3. Nanda Panjandrum Member
    Nanda Panjandrum
    @

    AWWWW!  The Saint goes marchin’ in… :-(  (Enjoyed The Persuaders, too, actually.)  Have to give a shout-out to Simon Dutton’s turn in a British-German co-produced series in the late-80s, early-90s, too.

    • #3
  4. Dave Sussman Contributor
    Dave Sussman
    @DaveSussman

    The Saint and 007 with Dad … A major part of my childhood.

    For those of us born late 60’s, we loved Connery, but starting with Live and Let Die, Moore was the first Bond we saw at the cinema. A new Bond film was a VERY big deal. For Your Eyes Only may have been my favorite, but enjoyed them all … second only to Cannonball Run ;)

    • #4
  5. Jamie Lockett Inactive
    Jamie Lockett
    @JamieLockett

    Damn it.

    • #5
  6. DocJay Inactive
    DocJay
    @DocJay

    A worthy actor who entertained us all.  RIP sir.

    • #6
  7. Manny Coolidge
    Manny
    @Manny

    Ah, sad but 89 is not a bad age to live to.  May he rest in peace.

    • #7
  8. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Judge Mental (View Comment):
    I’m partial to ffolkes myself.

    ffolkes was pretty good.

    Admiral Brindsen: I suppose you’re one of those fellows who does the Times crossword puzzle in ten minutes.
    ffolkes: I have never taken ten minutes.

    • #8
  9. Umbra Fractus Inactive
    Umbra Fractus
    @UmbraFractus

    Manny (View Comment):
    Ah, sad but 89 is not a bad age to live to. May he rest in peace.

    Curiously, my friend and I learned today that Sean Connery is actually three years younger than Moore.

    RIP, Mr. Goldfarb. ;)

    • #9
  10. Johnny Dubya Inactive
    Johnny Dubya
    @JohnnyDubya

    I, too, was going to mention ffolkes.  According to Wikipedia, “Moore once said in an interview that he preferred this film to all the James Bond movies he had starred in while acknowledging that he had been miscast in the lead role.”

    I disagree that he was miscast.  While the film is just OK, his performance is so delightful – because it is light years away from his Bond persona – that ffolkes should be seen by anyone who enjoyed Moore’s work.

    • #10
  11. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    Sir Roger Moore Death: Bond Girl Jane Seymour Pays Tribute

    “The first leading role I ever had as a Bond girl was such a new and frightening world and Roger held my hand and guided me through every process,” wrote Seymour, 66, on Instagram. “He taught me about work ethic and humility.”
     She continued, “He was so funny, kind and thoughtful to everyone around him and in that Roger taught me what a movie star really was and should be.”

    • #11
  12. Quinn the Eskimo Member
    Quinn the Eskimo
    @

    There was a lovely story I heard about him.  Years ago, though after his Bond days were behind him, he was working on a movie and the star was behaving terribly towards the cast and crew.  Moore took at the actor aside and told him that there was no need for that kind of behavior.  The star replied that he was not there give a great performance, not win Miss Congeniality and Moore told him that given where things were going, Miss Congeniality might be sometime to shoot for.

    That’s the mark of a good guy.

    • #12
  13. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    Johnny Dubya (View Comment):
    I, too, was going to mention ffolkes. According to Wikipedia, “Moore once said in an interview that he preferred this film to all the James Bond movies he had starred in while acknowledging that he had been miscast in the lead role.”

    I disagree that he was miscast. While the film is just OK, his performance is so delightful – because it is light years away from his Bond persona – that ffolkes should be seen by anyone who enjoyed Moore’s work.

    Moore was the original choice for Bond; he was what they envisioned Bond should be.  Wasn’t available so they went another way.

    But I liked ffolkes because he’s so insufferable.

    • #13
  14. John Peabody Member
    John Peabody
    @JohnAPeabody

    He also enjoyed parodying his Bond role while working with Olivier-like actors Burt Reynolds and Dom DeLouise in “Cannonball Run”.

    • #14
  15. Nanda Panjandrum Member
    Nanda Panjandrum
    @

    Dad P. took Mom P. out to see both “Octopussy” and “For Your Eyes Only” as date nights.  When I watched on TV later, with her, I understood why. :-)

    • #15
  16. Umbra Fractus Inactive
    Umbra Fractus
    @UmbraFractus

    Nanda Panjandrum (View Comment):
    Dad P. took Mom P. out to see both “Octopussy” and “For Your Eyes Only” as date nights. When I watched on TV later, with her, I understood why. ?

    I was five years old in 1983. I didn’t know who James Bond was or what the movie was about, but I remember thinking, Octopussy was a fun word to say. :)

    • #16
  17. DavidL Member
    DavidL
    @DavidL

    Like others here, Roger Moore was the Bond I grew up with.  Apparently he was a notorious practical joker on-set, whose favorite target was Desmond Llewelyn (who played “Q”.)  A typical trick was to replace his cue cards with gibberish or rude words to try to put him off.

    Whatever role I saw him in, he always seemed to be enjoying himself.  He’ll be missed.  RIP.

    • #17
  18. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Roger Moore’s character Sean Finn delivers an anti-drug message in The Wild Geese:

    • #18
  19. ctlaw Coolidge
    ctlaw
    @ctlaw

    Moonraker was the first Bond I saw in a theater. Live and Let Die is one of my favorites.

    • #19
  20. Jeff Peterson Member
    Jeff Peterson
    @PatJefferson

    Here’s another charming story about an actor who seems to have been a true gentleman.

    • #20
  21. Quinn the Eskimo Member
    Quinn the Eskimo
    @

    Jeff Peterson (View Comment):
    Here’s another charming story about an actor who seems to have been a true gentleman.

    To all passersby…click this link.  It will make your day.

    • #21
  22. Django Member
    Django
    @Django

    First impressions stick with one: To me, he was Beau Maverick, the “white sheep” of the Maverick clan.

    • #22
  23. Johnny Dubya Inactive
    Johnny Dubya
    @JohnnyDubya

    Here’s a nice interview from 2015.

    A quote to make a Ricocheteer’s heart go pitty-pat:

    Sir Roger left the UK in 1978 to avoid 80 per cent tax rates. But he’s always taken a keen interest in British politics. “I’m a Conservative. I’m not one of those Bolshies!”

    • #23
  24. Roberto Inactive
    Roberto
    @Roberto

    Rest in Peace Mr. Moore.

    • #24
  25. Steve C. Member
    Steve C.
    @user_531302

    Percival (View Comment):
    Roger Moore’s character Sean Finn delivers an anti-drug message in The Wild Geese:

    Not a particularly good movie. Still, as my college roommate said after we saw it, “Tomorrow we are going to have some beers and then we are coming back here to see it again!”

     

    • #25
  26. cqness Member
    cqness
    @cqness

    A film of his I liked was “Gold” from 1974 co-starring Susannah York and Ray Milland.  Moore plays the superintendent of a South African gold mine. A group of gnomes in London are conspire to cause a mine disaster which will flood the mine and kill a lot of miners, so they can profit from the rise in price of gold. One of the gnomes is John Gielgud who only has brief screen time unfortunately.

    • #26
  27. JL Inactive
    JL
    @CrazyHorse

    And there’s fourth horseman, not shaken nor stirred.

    RIP Roger Moore — there’s a special place in Heaven for the 2nd best Bond. Let’s hope it isn’t raking Sir Connery’s grass.

    • #27
  28. ctlaw Coolidge
    ctlaw
    @ctlaw

    A&E biography:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=poycCqKkreM

     

    • #28
  29. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo
    @BossMongo

    And he was a big part of one of my all time favor-ite movies: 1978’s The Wild Geese.

    • #29
  30. Joseph Stanko Coolidge
    Joseph Stanko
    @JosephStanko

    DavidL (View Comment):
    Like others here, Roger Moore was the Bond I grew up with.

    Same here, and mainly for that reason he was my favorite Bond.  Plus I prefer his lighter touch, the Bond movies are too farcical to take seriously as spy thrillers, I like a Bond who’s in on the joke and doesn’t take himself too seriously, either.

    Requiescat in pace.

    • #30
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