Roger Moore will perhaps always be remembered as the man who replaced Sean Connery in the James Bond series, arguably something he never lived down.
Roger George Moore was born on October 14, 1927 in Stockwell, London, England, the son of Lillian (Pope) and George Alfred Moore, a policeman. His mother was born in Calcutta, India, to a British family. Roger first wanted to be an artist, but got into films full time after becoming an extra in the late 1940s. Moore also served in the British military during the Second World War. He came to the United States in 1953. Suave, extremely handsome, and an excellent actor, he received a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. His initial foray met with mixed success, with movies like Diane (1956) and Interrupted Melody (1955), as well as The Last Time I Saw Paris (1954).
Moore went into television in the 1950s on series such as Ivanhoe (1958) and The Alaskans (1959), but probably received the most recognition from Maverick (1957), as cousin Beau. He received his big breakthrough, at least internationally, as The Saint (1962). The series made him a superstar and he became very successful thereafter. Moore ended his run as the Saint, and was one of the premier stars of the world, but he was not catching on in America. In an attempt to change this, he agreed to star with Tony Curtis on ITC’s The Persuaders! (1971), but although hugely popular in Europe, it did not catch on in the United States and was canceled. Just prior to making the series, he starred in The Man Who Haunted Himself (1970), which proved there was far more to Moore than the light-hearted roles he had previously accepted.
Despite his fame from the Bond films and many others, the United States never completely took to him until he starred in The Cannonball Run (1981) alongside Burt Reynolds, a success there. After relinquishing his role as Bond, his work load tended to diminish a little, though he did star in the American box office flop Fire, Ice & Dynamite (1990), as well as the comedy Bullseye! (1990). He did the overlooked comedy Bed & Breakfast (1991), as well as the television movie The Man Who Wouldn’t Die (1994). Although his film work slowed down, he was still in the public eye, be it appearing on television chat shows or hosting documentaries.
Roger Moore died of cancer at the age of 89 on 23 May, 2017 in Switzerland.