To me, Roger Moore (and Sean Connery) was James Bond. George Lazenby, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig were/are all portraying a different character who just so happens to have the same name. Roger Moore died on May 22nd, 2017. Moore was born on October 14th, 1927. He was the only child of George Alfred Moore and Lillian "Lily" Pope. Lily was born in Calcutta, India but she was British. Moore got his start in acting as a young man. His father, a policeman, was investigating a burglary. The crime had been at the home of director Brian Desmond Hurst. Upon first meeting Roger Moore, he was impressed enough to enough and liked him enough to hire him as an extra in the 1945 film "Ceasar And Cleopatra". Hurst even paid for Moore's entrance into the Royal Academy Of Dramatic Arts. Moore was to spend three years there. It was there that Moore met a fellow student for the first time named--Lois Maxwell. Maxwell would, of course, one day appear alongside of Roger Moore as the inimitable Ms. Moneypenny.
Moore was conscripted into National Service at the age of 18 years old. This was on September 21st, 1946. It was during the waning days of World War 2. Moore joined the Royal Army Service Corps as a Second Lieutenant. Moore would eventually rise to the rank of Captain in the Combined Services Entertainment Section (an interesting bit of Roger Moore trivia--Moore's service number was 372394). After the war, Moore found work filming commercials. He filmed commercials for toothpaste and knitwear (the latter earned him the nickname of "Big Knit") In 1954. Moore signed with MGM for a seven year contract. However, his movies were unsuccessful. Moore later quipped: "At MGM, RGM (Roger George Moore, Moore's full name) was NBG (No Bleeding Good)!" Moore did get to star alongside of such luminaries as Ann Blyth, Edward Purdom, David Niven and George Saunders! They were all in one film--1955's "The King's Thief ".
Moore mad a definite mark on the small screen as well. At first, Moore starred in series' that failed to catch on with the viewers and were only on the air for one season. These were shows such as "Ivanhoe" in 1958-1959 and "The Alaskans" in 1959 and 1960. Moore also played the role of Beau Maverick, a cousin to the three Maverick Brothers - Brett, Bart and Brent on the TV Series "Maverick" (another interesting bit of trivia, Sean Connery had flown in to try for the part and was turned down). Then in 1962, Roger Moore landed the lead role in the TV series that first brought him to national attention. The series was called "The Saint" and would run for a full five seasons for a total of 118 episodes! After that, Moore accepted a co-starring role alongside Tony Curtis in the cult hit TV series "The Persuaders". The show only lasted for 24 episodes from 1971-1972.
And then in 1973, Moore was cast in his most famous role--that of secret agent James Bond 007 in "Live And Let Die". Moore brought a more genteel approach to his portrayal of Bond. Most fans do not know that Moore kept a diary of his day to day experiences in shooting the film! The book is published by Fawcett Gold Medal publishing and has two sections of pictures from both the filming and the actual scenes from the movie. The book is full of interesting elements of the filming. For instance, Moore tells of how he got the role. Moore received a call from Harry Saltzman informing him that he was in contention for the role and that he was Saltzman's pick. But Cubby Broccoli was not sold on Moore (Broccoli thought Moore was overweight and that his hair was too long for the part). So, Moore lost weight and cut his hair. Soon, Saltzman called Moore and told him that it was a done deal. Roger Moore was to be the new James Bond!
Moore's Diary has a few passages on racial relations at the time. During the filming in Louisiana, many people gained some local notoriety by proclaiming that they would NOT see the film. Why? Because there are love scenes between Bond and "Rosie Carver", played by Gloria Hendry. Hendry was/is a black woman. Moore said that this caused him to want to do the love scenes even more than before! Filming was further complicated on Day 18. Moore had a severe attack of kidney stones and ended up being rushed to the hospital! X-Rays revealed a stone just about to pop into Moore's bladder, while another stone had just exited his kidney. After spending the night in the hospital, Moore awoke the next morning fully refreshed and eager to return to work! Those are just a few of the fascinating behind the scenes details from the making of the film!
Moore would play the role of James Bond from 1973-1985 in seven Bond films. Moore later became a great humanitarian. He became a Unicef Goodwill Ambassador in 1991. Moore also narrated a film for PETA in which he protests against the production and wholesale of Foie Gras. Moore was married four times and had three children (two sons and a daughter). On October 11th , 2007, Moore finally received a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame (last bit of trivia--Moore's star is the 2,350th star installed. It was placed, appropriately enough, at 7007 Hollywood Boulevard)!
Mr. Bronze Age and ENR says a fond farewell to Sir Roger Moore! Rest In Peace, Sir Roger !!