Sir Roger Moore, who played James Bond from 1973–1985 (far longer than any other actor), died on Tuesday from cancer. He was 89.
“It is with a heavy heart that we must announce our loving father, Sir Roger Moore, has passed away today in Switzerland after a short but brave battle with cancer,” his children Deborah, Geoffrey, and Christian wrote in a statement released on Twitter. “The love with which he was surrounded in his final days was so great it cannot be quantified in words alone.”
Moore, who was the third actor to play 007 (fourth if you include David Niven’s Casino Royale), starred in many of the franchise’s most well-known titles, including Live and Let Die, The Man with the Golden Gun, The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker, For Your Eyes Only, and Octopussy. But even before the suave Moore slipped into Bond’s iconic tuxedo, he was well known in Britain for playing Simon Templar in The Saint and Brett Sinclair in The Persuaders!, which briefly made him one of the highest-paid TV actors in the world.
In 1991, the knighted actor, who appeared in everything from Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore (where he voiced a cat named… Tab Lazenby) to Alias in his later years, also became a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, which he “considered to be his greatest achievement,” according to his kids.
“The affection our father felt whenever he walked onto a stage or in front of a camera buoyed him hugely and kept him busy working into his 90th year, through to his last appearance in November 2016 on stage at London’s Royal Festival Hall. The capacity crowd cheered him on and off stage, shaking the very foundations of the building just a short distance from where he was born. Thank you Pops for being you, and for being so very special to so many people.
Moore will be buried at a private funeral in Monaco. Look for a longer appreciation later today.