Sir Roger Moore dies of cancer aged 89
Tributes have flooded in to former James Bond star Sir Roger Moore who has died following a short battle with cancer. He was 89.
Former Bond girl Jane Seymour led the tributes to Sir Roger, whom she fondly described as “my Bond”.
The 007 actor died in Switzerland on Tuesday at the age of 89 after a short battle with cancer.
Seymour starred with Sir Roger in 1973’s Live and Let Die, his first as the M16 agent, and she spoke of her devastation upon learning of his death.
Along with a picture of the two of them together, the actress wrote on Instagram: “I am devastated to learn of Roger Moore’s passing.
“The first leading role I ever had as a Bond girl was such a new and frightening world and Roger held my hand and guided me through every process.”
She said he taught her “about work ethic and humility”, adding that he was “funny, kind and thoughtful to everyone around him”.
“In that Roger taught me what a movie star really was and should be,” she added.
“Through his lifelong work with Unicef he showed me the true meaning of being a humanitarian and giving back.
“He was my Bond.”
Adding to the tributes was TV star and ChildLine founder Dame Esther Rantzen, a friend of Sir Roger, who told the Press Association that she will remember him “with a smile”.
She said: “I think the smile, particularly because humour was his trademark, not that he was bland. He was very bright, but it was always such a pleasure to meet him and see him in action films.
“You just remember him and his smile.
“I think the extraordinary thing about him was that he seemed to be without vanity and was always relaxed, funny and charming.”
Sir Roger’s three children Deborah, Geoffrey and Christian confirmed the actor’s death in a post shared on his official Twitter account.
The statement read: “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.”
They said they would focus their attentions on supporting his wife, Kristina, and added that there will be a private funeral held in Monaco in “accordance with our father’s wishes”.
Sir Roger was the longest-serving actor to play the womanising spy, having portrayed 007 in seven films.
Last year, during a question-and-answer session at London’s Southbank Centre, he admitted that, despite winning the coveted role of the martini-swirling secret agent, one part he wished he had landed was Lawrence of Arabia.
The debonair star, who added a distinct light-hearted touch to the 007 role, also admitted that, while he thought Sir Sean Connery had been the greatest Bond, fans were “lucky” to have the current star of the franchise, Daniel Craig.
While arguably best-known for his role as 007, Sir Roger will also be remembered for his work in TV’s The Saint in the 1960s.
Despite having been criticised somewhat throughout his decades-long career for having a lack of depth, Sir Roger remained self-deprecating.
He once said he could not act “in the Olivier sense”, although he described himself as a good technician.
Along with Bond films including Moonraker, A View To A Kill and The Man With The Golden Gun, Sir Roger appeared in movies such as The Cannonball Run, Spice World, The Boat That Rocked and The Man Who Wouldn’t Die.
Off-screen, he was respected for his charity work. He was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1999 and a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) in 2003.
His knighthood was given for his humanitarian work, his main focus for many of his final years.
At the time, he said the citation “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”.
Tributes to Sir Roger have been led by The James Bond International Fan Club, which has said “nobody did Bond better”.
Film organisations such as the British Film Institute and Bafta also remembered him fondly on their social media accounts,
Pinewood Studios described Moore as a “force of nature”, adding that “his humour and spirit will be missed by all of us”.
Unicef paid tribute to Sir Roger, a long-term supporter and goodwill ambassador for the charity, in which they said the “world has lost one of its great champions for children”.
A statement from Unicef’s executive director Anthony Lake said: “In his most famous roles as an actor, Sir Roger was the epitome of cool sophistication, but in his work as a Unicef goodwill ambassador he was a passionate - and highly persuasive - advocate for children.
“He once said that it was up to all of us to give children a more peaceful future. Together with (his wife) Lady Kristina, he worked very hard to do so.
“All of us at Unicef extend our deepest sympathies to the Moore family, and join his many friends and admirers from around the world in paying tribute to his life and mourning his loss. He will be deeply missed.”