Sir Roger Moore, who starred in the iconic James Bond movie franchise in the 1970s and ’80s, has died after a “short but brave battle with cancer,” his children said. He was 89 years old.
“With the heaviest of hearts, we must share the awful news that our father, Sir Roger Moore, passed away today. We are all devastated,” they posted on his official Twitter account Tuesday morning.
His children — Deborah, Geoffrey and Christian Moore — added in a letter attached to the tweet, “The love with which he was surrounded in his final days was so great it cannot be quantified into words alone.”
“Thank you Pops for being you, and for being so very special to so many people,” they continued.
Moore was best known in the Citroën world for his antics as James Bond driving a 2CV with co-star Melina Havelock in the film “For Your Eyes Only”.
It was a souped up 2CV with a GS 4-cylinder engine installed, and much of what you see on screen was rigged for the shoot.
Nevertheless, it is was an iconic moment for the Tin Snail in cinema. You can view the scene here:
This wasn’t the first time Moore battled cancer. In 1993 he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and had surgery to remove his prostate. He said in interviews that the cancer changed his life.
Shortly after his first cancer battle, Moore began seeing Kristina “Kiki” Tholstrup, whom he married in 2002. She remained his confidante for the rest of his life, helping him with his professional life in addition to his personal one.
Moore, who began his career in the 1940s, appeared in films like “The Miracle” in 1959, then in TV shows like “Maverick.” He starred as Simon Templar in the series “The Saint,” which ran from 1962 to 1969.
In 1973’s “Live and Let Die,” Moore began his seven-film run as Bond, after Sean Connery’s decision to step down as the British intelligence agent.
From that point on, Moore was synonymous with the role, starring in hits like “The Man With the Golden Gun” and “Moonraker,” ending with 1985’s “A View to a Kill.”
Though Moore said Connery was the “best” Bond, he tried to differentiate himself as the new 007.
“Sean was Bond. He created Bond,” Moore said in “Bond on Bond: Reflections on 50 Years of James Bond Movies,” an anniversary book that came out in 2012. “I always said Sean played Bond as a killer and I played Bond as a lover.”
After Bond, Moore was a voracious worker who never stopped doing what he loved. Whether it was in a role in the 1999 series “The Dream Team” or in a voice-over part in the 2010 kids’ film “Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore,” he kept working right up until he died. He had several projects in pre-production and a movie set to come out next year.
Outside of acting, Moore was passionate about helping children and supporting charities like UNICEF. He was very vocal about keeping such causes in the spotlight.
“It’s easy to raise money for an emotive issue when it’s happening and is on the front pages of the newspapers, but it gradually fades away towards the back pages. So it’s up to us — spokespersons for UNICEF — to, when it’s a silent one, make sure that people know what we’re doing,” he told The Guardian in 2015.
Moore is survived by his wife and three children.