Former James Bond actor and UNICEF ambassador Sir Roger Moore has passed away at the age of 89. His family released a statement on Tuesday that said the following:
“It is with a heavy heart that we must announce our loving father, Sir Roger Moore, has passed away today 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.”
At a young age, Moore became interested in acting after initially having wanted to become an artist. At age 15, Moore dropped out of high school to become an animation artist for the Publicity Picture Productions film company in London. His debut in film came in 1945 when he starred in Caesar and Cleopatra. Before he could take another step into his acting career, however, he was called into service by the British military during World War II–a position he served in for the next three years.
Roger Moore’s most notable break in television came in 1962, when he was cast as cousin Beau in the hit series The Saint. In 1971 he went on to star in The Persuaders before accepting the role as James Bond in the 007 film series. For the next 12 years, the English actor would play the famed character, though his performance did not immediately become a success in the United States. After his last Bond film, A View to a Kill (1985), Moore went on to perform in several other films and documentaries.
Sir Moore certainly held a sense of humor throughout his life. He once commented on his more comedic approach to playing James Bond by saying: “I do not believe in Bond as a hero. It's a load of nonsense. How can you be a spy when any bar you walk into, the bartender says, ‘Ah, Mr. Bond shaken, not stirred?’”
Aside from his acting career, Moore was appointed as the Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1998 and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2003. In speaking on his knighthood, Moore said, “I am so proud to be the recipient of this great honor. I accept this title on behalf of the many thousands of volunteers and workers at UNICEF who dedicate their lives to helping the millions of children in need around the world today.” Moore particularly considered his work for UNICEF as his greatest achievement.
His children Deborah, Geoffrey, and Christian released the statement earlier Tuesday morning, adding, “The love with which he was surrounded in his final days was so great it cannot be quantified in words alone.”