The Spy Who Loved Me
A courteous actor of British heritage, Roger Moore is famous as an icon of the James Bond franchise and even earned a Saturn nomination for his performance in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977). First appearing as the famous spy in Live and Let Die (1973), Moore reprised his signature role in The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), Moonraker (1979), For Your Eyes Only (1981), Octopussy (1983) and A View to a Kill (1985). Still portraying a well-mannered, modern hero, he caught the attention of TV viewers as Simon Templar in the series “The Saint” (1962-1969). Moore also became a hit after playing Lord Brett Sinclair in the series “The Persuaders” (1971-1972), a role he reprised on the big screen version of the series. Thanks to his exceptional acting, the veteran actor was awarded a Television Award for Best Actor from the 1967 Ondas awards, a World Film Male Favorite from the 1980 Golden Globe awards and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the 2002 Jamerican International Film Festival.
Outside the spotlight, the actor is famous for his never-ending work as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF, which started back when he filmed Octopussy (1983) in India. Surprised at the level of poverty for some people, Moore has been engaged in UNICEF humanitarian projects. A recipient of the CBE (Commander of The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) title and an honorary doctorate from Ryerson Polytechnic University, the veteran actor also earned the status of Knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II on October 9, 2003, for his charitable efforts.
On a more personal note, the actor has had three failed marriages. He was once married to Doorn Van Steyn, Dorothy Squires, and Luisa Mattioli. The father of three (two sons and a daughter), Moore is now the husband of Kristina Tholstrup, who in October 1999 was injured in a car accident while driving with him in France.
Childhood and Family:
The only child of George Moore (police officer) and Lillian Pope, Roger George Moore was born on October 14, 1927, in Stockwell, London. He attended Dr Challoner’s Grammar School in Amersham, Buckinghamshire, England, and continued his studies at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.
Graduating from the college, he first worked as a tracer and filler-in for an animated film company, but was later dismissed. He then tried acting before serving in the entertainment branch of British army during World War II.
As for his married life, the charming actor has been married four times. After divorcing Doorn Van Steyn in 1953, he married singer Dorothy Squires (died of cancer on April 14, 1998). In 1968, the couple separated and Roger tied the knot with Luisa Mattioli a year later. Ending their relationship in 1995 (divorce was settled in 2002), Roger and Luisa share a daughter, actress Deborah Maria Moore (Deborah Barrymore, born 1963) and two sons, actor Geoffrey Moore (born 1965) and Christian Moore (born 1973). On March 9, 2002, the actor walked down the aisle with actress Kristina Tholstrup (born in 1942).
Roger Moore kicked off his acting journey by accepting unaccredited extra roles in several movies, like Perfect Strangers (1945), Piccadilly Incident (1946), Trottie True (1949), Due mogli sono troppe (1950) and One Wild Oat (1951). He also became a model during the early 50s in print advertisements for toothpaste and knitwear products.
In 1953, Moore made a small screen debut with a guest appearance in two episodes of “Robert Montgomery Presents.” Flying to the US, he acquired a supporting role as pro tennis player Paul Lane in the drama The Last Time I Saw Paris (1954), starring Elizabeth Taylor, and followed it up with the roles of Cyril Lawrence in the musical drama Interrupted Melody (1955) and Billy in his TV film debut, This Happy Breed (1956).
After appearing in “Lux Video Theatre” (1957), the newcomer received his first title role, as a knight living in the reign of evil Prince John, in the syndicated adventure series “Ivanhoe” (1958-1959). He then played adventurer Silky Harris in “The Alaskans” (1959-1960), for which he also composed the original music. The suave actor gained even more popularity when he was cast as Simon Templar/The Saint in the acclaimed series “The Saint” (1962-1969). In the course of the show, he directed five of the episodes, produced the last 47 episodes and helped write the screenplay (unaccredited).
While working with the long-running series, he also went to Italian movies and had leading roles in Il Ratto delle Sabine (1961, as Romulus the founder of Rome) and the war movie Un Branco di Vigliacchi (1962, played Enzo Prati). A guest star of “The Trials of O’Brien” (1965), Moore reprised his popular turn as Simon Templar in the self-produced motion pictures Vendetta for the Saint (1968) and The Fiction Makers (1968).
The recipient of the Television award for Best Actor from the 1967 Ondas awards, the charming performer took the leading turn in Crossplot (1969) and The Man Who Haunted Himself (1970, as Harold Pelham), before thriving on the small screen with the part of wealthy playboy Lord Brett Sinclair, opposite Tony Curtis, in “The Persuaders” (1971-1972, also directed 2 episodes, co-produced and designed his costume).
Moore’s name stood out and rose to world recognition when director Guy Hamilton cast him as the legendary, flamboyant spy James Bond in the adaptation of Ian Fleming’s novel Live and Let Die (1973). For over a decade, he reprised his famous role in six other James Bond movies: The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977, received a Saturn nomination for Best Actor), Moonraker (1979), For Your Eyes Only (1981), Octopussy (1983) and A View to a Kill (1985).
Aside from his lucrative work in the franchise, Moore also reprised his small screen turn as Lord Brett Sinclair in Mission: Monte Carlo (1974), Sporting Chance (1976, TV) and London Conspiracy (1976). He also appeared as Lt. Shawn Fynn in the war movie The Wild Geese (1978), starred as Major Otto Hecht in the action Escape to Athena (1979), played a sex-obsessed chauffeur named Harry in the comedy Sunday Lovers (1980) and costarred with Burt Reynolds and Farrah Fawcett in The Cannonball Run (1981). The actor then took a part as Chief Insp. Jacques Clouseau in Blake Edwards’ Curse of the Pink Panther (1983), where he was credited as Turk Thrust II.
The winner of the 1980 Golden Globe for World Film Male Favorite, the debonair performer took a turn as psychiatrist Judd Stevens in the big screen version of Sidney Sheldon’s novel, The Naked Face (1984). Three years later, he detoured to family movies by voicing Lumi Ukko the Snowman in The Magic Snowman (1987), before costarring with Michael Caine in the comedy Bullseye (1990).
Moore also starred in his two self-produced films, the romantic comedy Bed & Breakfast (1992, as Adam) and the made-for-TV thriller The Man Who Wouldn’t Die (1994). He, however, was criticized after appearing in such flops as The Quest (1996) and Spice World (1997, earned a Razzie nomination for Worst Actor). Returning to TV series, Moore undertook the role of Desmond Heath in the secret agent-themed adventure “The Dream Team” (1999). Following the silver screen thriller The Enemy (2001, costarred as Supt. Robert Ogilvie), the veteran actor guest starred in the popular series “Alias” (2002).
Still in 2002, Moore was handed a Lifetime Achievement award from the Jamerican International Film Festival for his commitment to acting. Two years later, billed as Sir Roger Moore, the performer lent his voice for Father Christmas in the short animated film The Fly Who Loved Me (2004), which was made by UNICEF. Subsequent to his turn as the butler in the TV short comedy Foley & McColl: This Way Up (2005), the skilled actor will do voice-over work once more in the animated adventure Agent Crush (2006), as Burt Gasket. In the upcoming movie, he is set to work alongside Neve Campbell, Ewan McGregor and Brian Cox.
- Jamerican International Film Festival: Lifetime Achievement Award, 2002
- Golden Globe: World Film Favorite – Male, 1980
- Ondas: Television Award - International Television - Best Actor, 1967