Roger Moore: When the actor who died was the best Bond

Written by on May 24, 2017 in Leisure - Comments Off on Roger Moore: When the actor who died was the best Bond

In 1979, a bunch of teenagers from a British school in Mexico City, including the author of these lines, was driven to a cinema, located in the San Angel neighbourhood. This time, the guy who was smiling down from the movie poster was not John Travolta, but Roger Moore. In big letters, it said “Moonraker”. We had no idea we were about to watch the best James Bond movie of all time.

Not only was NASA’s Space Shuttle flown in this flick, before it would actually fly in reality. Not only did this James Bond film show us the nicest places on Earth, including Rio de Janeiro. The main reason for the fascination this movie spread was Roger Moore.

In “Live and Let Die” or “The Man with the Golden Gun”, Moore had still been trying to be a theatre actor in front of the camera. His acting had been a little tense. But in “Moonraker”, all of that had disappeared. This was the most convincing 007 flick we would ever see. At the same time, it was the funniest one.

Until today, Moore has been the longest serving James Bond, with a total of six movies. When he took over from his good friend Sean Connery, Moore modernised the 007 character.

But Roger Moore was also Simon Templar and The Saint. Queen Elizabeth II made him a knight, not because he was convincing in “Moonraker”, but because of his charity work afterwards. The French government made him a Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. Très bien.

On October 14, 1927, he was born in London. His education ran into problems, due to World War II. At age 18, just after the war, he joined the army. His career started when the young Roger Moore, a good looking chap indeed, became a model. His first TV appearance in 1949 led to a stunning film career, which would last for decades.

Moore was Maverick. He was many things. In “The Persuaders!”, a series about two millionaire playboys and their adventures in all of Europe, he joined Tony Curtis. They did not get along so well, but the series was a success, at least in Europe. The dubbed German version was even funnier than the English one, since it improved the dialogues. This was probably the first and only case in film history, in which films dubbed in German were better than the original.

In the 1981 comedy Cannonball Run, Roger Moore played himself. For the first time, his character was not the one beating people up, but rather the one being beaten up. A pretty funny flick. Many other motion pictures followed.

Later in life, Moore was known as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and for other charity work.

There were several health scares throughout his life. Yesterday, his family announced he died after a brief battle with cancer.

When the best Bond and a former idol dies, it is a sad day.

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About the Author

Imanuel Marcus, the founder of foreignersandfriends.com, is Associate Editor of The Sofia Globe.