2017-05-23 14:43:46 UTC
LONDON—Roger Moore, the suavely insouciant star of seven James Bond films,
has died in Switzerland. He was 89. The British actor died Tuesday after a
short battle with cancer, according to a family statement posted on Moore’s
official Twitter account. “We know our own love and admiration will be
magnified many times over, across the world, by people who knew him for his
films, his television shows and his passionate work for UNICEF, which he
considered to be his greatest achievement,” the statement said.
Moore’s relaxed style and sense of whimsy, which relied heavily on the
arched eyebrow, seemed a commentary on the essential ridiculousness of the
Bond films, in which the handsome British secret agent was as adept at
mixing martinis, bedding beautiful women and ordering gourmet meals as he
was at disposing of supervillains trying to take over the world.
“To me, the Bond situations are so ridiculous, so outrageous,” he once said.
“I mean, this man is supposed to be a spy and yet, everybody knows he’s a
spy. Every bartender in the world offers him martinis that are shaken, not
stirred. What kind of serious spy is recognized everywhere he goes? It’s
outrageous. So you have to treat the humour outrageously as well.”
While he never eclipsed Sean Connery in the public’s eye as the definitive
James Bond, Moore did play the role of secret agent 007 in just as many
films as Connery did, and he managed to do so while “finding a joke in every
situation,” according to film critic Rex Reed.