Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

Arts and Entertainment

Roger Moore, Who Starred As James Bond Seven Times, Dies At 89

LAist relies on your reader support.
Your tax-deductible gift today powers our reporters and keeps us independent. We rely on you, our reader, not paywalls to stay funded because we believe important news and information should be freely accessible to all.

Sir Roger Moore, best known for playing James Bond in seven films, died Tuesday in Switzerland. The British actor was 89. He died after "a short but brave battle with cancer," according to a statement from his family.

Moore, who played the secret agent in iconic movies including Live and Let Die and The Spy Who Loved Me, went to space and underwater as Bond, staved off crocodiles and fought Christopher Walken and a man with a golden gun.

His movies were by far the most humorous of the Bond films, and the ones where the gadgetry and hijinks truly took over the series. Although his character didn't have the dangerousness of his predecessor Sean Connery's Bond, or the emotionality of George Lazenby's Bond, he brought a tongue-in-cheek wit to the character. He was, as critic Matt Zoller Seitz noted on Twitter, "an underrated comic action lead who never took himself too seriously. His Bond was perfect for the glitzy, naughty '70s."

Support for LAist comes from

Moore was also the longest-serving Bond in the franchise's history, filling the 007 role from 1973 (Live and Let Die) to 1985 (A View to a Kill). He was succeeded in the role by Timothy Dalton. For those feeling nostalgic, Entertainment Weekly has an excellent rundown of Moore's 10 best moments as Bond.

“I would say your average hero has a super ego, an invincible attitude and an overall death wish,” he told The New York Times in 1970. “He’s slightly around the twist, isn’t he?”

Moore was born in South London in 1927, the only son of a London police officer with a penchant for amateur theater. The young actor enrolled in the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art as a teenager, and later served as a second lieutenant in the Royal Army Service Corps after being drafted during the final year of World War II. He left England for the United States in 1953 and made his film debut the following year, playing a small role opposite a young Elizabeth Taylor in The Last Time I Saw Paris .

Support for LAist comes from

He was also known for his work in television series The Persuaders and The Saint, along with his humanitarian work. According to the BBC, he was introduced to UNICEF by the late actress Audrey Hepburn, and was appointed as a goodwill ambassador for the organization in 1991.

He is survived by his wife Kristina Tholstrup, sons Geoffrey and Christian, daughter Deborah, and grandchildren.