Bond actor Sir Roger Moore dies at 89
James Bond actor Sir Roger Moore has died after a “brave battle with cancer”, his family have said.
Sir Roger, 89, died in Switzerland on Tuesday, a statement signed by his three children said.
“It is with a heavy heart that we must announce our loving father, Sir Roger Moore, has passed away today after a short but brave battle with cancer,” said the statement, which was published on his Twitter page.
“The love in which he was surrounded in his final days was so great it cannot be quantified in words alone.”
:: Tributes to ‘King of Cool’ Sir Roger Moore
Sir Roger was famous for his roles in The Saint and the James Bond movies. The latter made him one of the most successful actors of his generation.
He played the womanising MI6 agent more than any other actor, having portrayed 007 in seven films.
He was also the oldest actor to ever take on the famous spy role, making his Bond debut at the age of 45.
His first Bond was Live And Let Die (1973), which the producers made him lose weight, get fit and cut his hair for.
Sir Roger’s 007 was known for his elegance and cold ruthlessness.
He went on to make The Man With the Golden Gun (1974), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), Moonraker (1979), For Your Eyes Only (1981) and Octopussy (1983) – before signing off after A View to a Kill in 1985 when he was 57.
But Sir Roger first achieved worldwide fame as smooth-talking adventurer Simon Templar in the TV series The Saint.
He also starred alongside Tony Curtis in the 1970s crime series The Persuaders.
London-born Sir Roger once joked he could not act “in the Olivier sense”.
“When I was doing The Saint on television I had two expressions; as Bond I’ve managed to work up to four,” he said.
He was also a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF, a role he took on after a visit to India.
After receiving a knighthood in 2003 in recognition for his work with the organisation, Sir Roger said it had “meant far more to me than if I had got it for acting”.
“I was proud because I received it on behalf of UNICEF as a whole and for all it has achieved over the years,” he said.
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 statement from his children also said: “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.
“The affection our father felt whenever he walked on to a stage or in front of a camera buoyed him hugely and kept him busy working into his 90th year,” they added.
“The capacity crowd cheered him on and off stage, shaking the very foundations of the building just a short distance from where he was born.
“Thank you Pops for being you, and for being so very special to so many people.”
A private funeral will be held for Sir Roger according to his wishes, his family said.
He is survived by his fourth wife, Kristina Tholstrup, who he married in 2002, and his three children.