Toronto – When he wasn’t being Bond, James Bond, he was being Roger Moore, talented actor who had inhabited the role of the dashing super spy in seven films. Moore succumbed to cancer at the age of 89, Tuesday, according to his official Twitter account, in his beloved Switzerland.
His last appearance was on the stage of London’s Royal Festival Hall in November of 2016, just a short distance from where the actor was born.
Moore’s children Deborah, Geoffrey and Christian, issued a statement saying “It is with a heavy heart that we must announce our loving father, Sir Roger Moore, has passed away today in Switzerland after a short but brave battle with cancer. The love with which he was surrounded in his final days was so great it cannot be quantified in words alone.”
The statement confirmed that, of all his considerable career accomplishments, Moore considered his work for UNICEF to be his greatest source of professional pride.
Moore famously, never took his turn as the dashing but deadly James Bond too seriously, at one time saying, “To me, the Bond situations are so ridiculous, so outrageous.” He regularly made fun of the character saying, “you have to treat the humour outrageously as well.”
He came to the role in 1973 after fan-favourite Sean Connery grew tired of playing the part. Previously he had enjoyed years of success playing Simon Templar in the British series The Saint in the 1960’s.
In 1991, Moore became a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF, thanks to the late Audrey Hepburn. In 1996, he spoke at the World Congress Against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children where he disclosed that he himself had been a victim of childhood abuse. He received several awards for his humanitarian work and in 2008, published his autobiography, My Word is My Bond.
In accordance with Sir Roger Moore’s wishes, the funeral will be a private, family service in Monaco.