Roger Moore, the British actor who played the famous spy in seven James Bond films including Live and Let Die and A View to a Kill, eclipsing his television career, died on Tuesday in Switzerland. He was 89.
Sir Roger’s family confirmed the news on Twitter, saying he had died after “a short but brave battle with cancer”.
The statement, from his children, read: “Thank you Pops for being you, and being so very special to so many people.”
“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 said in a Twitter post.
With the heaviest of hearts, we must share the awful news that our father, Sir Roger Moore, passed away today. We are all devastated. pic.twitter.com/6dhiA6dnVg
— Sir Roger Moore (@sirrogermoore) May 23, 2017
The veteran star, who died in Switzerland, will have a private funeral in Monaco in accordance with his wishes, his children said.
“The love with which he was surrounded in his final days was so great it cannot be quantified in words alone,” read the statement from Deborah, Geoffrey, and Christian.
“Our thoughts must now turn to supporting Kristina [Tholstrup, his wife] at this difficult time.”
The statement added: “We know our own love and admiration will be magnified many times over, across the world, by people who knew him for his films, his television shows, and his passionate work for UNICEF which he considered to be his greatest achievement.
Roger George Moore was born on Oct. 14, 1927, in Stockwell, South London, the only child of George Alfred Moore, a London police officer who dabbled in amateur theater, and the former Lily Pope. Early on, Roger expressed interest in becoming a commercial artist and worked while a teenager at an animation company. But he fell into movie extra work, was encouraged by a director to pursue acting and entered the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 1944.
Sir Roger was also well known for his humanitarian work – he was introduced to Unicef by the late Audrey Hepburn and was appointed as a goodwill ambassador in 1991
Mr. Moore was the oldest Bond ever hired for films in the official series — although David Niven was in his 50s when he played Bond in the spoof “Casino Royale” — taking on the role when he was 45.
From 1962 to 1969, Mr. Moore was Simon Templar, the title character of “The Saint,” a wildly popular British series about an adventurous, smooth-talking thief. It did so well in syndication in America that NBC adopted it for its prime-time schedule from 1967 to 1969. Two years later, Mr. Moore and Tony Curtis starred in ABC’s one-season series “The Persuaders” as playboy partners solving glamorous European crimes.
After surrendering the Bond role to Timothy Dalton, Mr. Moore appeared in a half-dozen largely unexceptional movies, made a few television appearances and did voice work in animated films. Mostly, however, he turned his attention elsewhere, becoming a Unicef goodwill ambassador in 1991. He was made a Commander of the British Empire in 1999 and was knighted in 2003.