I’m heartbroken at the death of Roger Moore. He was my Bond. Not Fleming’s Bond, as Bond is in the books, but the nicest Bond and Bond as he ought to be. With a charming, witty performance, Moore established himself as the quintessential English gentleman. The heir to David Niven.
He wasn’t a one part wonder, though. Moore was famous before he was Bond for playing Ivanhoe and Simon Templar, AKA The Saint, and had established himself as a matinee idol. My grandmother had a crush on him from back when he was a knitwear model and claimed, when she was working as a clairvoyant, to have read his palm (I think this was a lie).
Those early TV roles were generally two dimensional but any doubts that Moore could act are confounded by watching The Man Who Haunted Himself, an existential 1970 movie about a man undergoing a terrifying midlife crisis. He also showed he could do comedy in The Cannonball Run. He was the only good thing about 1983’s Curse of the Pink Panther (and he was very, very good).
Moore’s career as Bond didn’t start too well. Taking over from Sean Connery in 1973’s Live and Let Die was tough and his first two movies forced Moore to play Bond as he is in the books: callous and unlovely.
But when they suddenly got it right in The Spy Who Loved Me, they cracked a formula that, for my money, produced the best Bond film of the lot.
Read more at Telegraph.