October 14, 1927
Born in: Stockwell, London
Career: Actor, UNICEF Ambassador
Sir Roger George Moore KBE is a very well-known English actor, best known for his portray of ‘Simon Templar’, in the television series ‘The Saint’. He is also very much acclaimed for playing the role of James Bond in seven Bond movies, lasting from 1973 to 1985. Since 1991, he has been involved with UNICEF, as a ‘Goodwill Ambassador’. Moore was honored with Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1999, and Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) in 2003. Both the honors were given to Moore in appreciation of the charity work done by him, on behalf of UNICEF.
Roger Moore was born as ‘Roger George Moore’ on 14th October 1927, in Stockwell, London. He is the son of George Moore, a policeman, and his wife Lillian "Lily", a housewife. Initially, Moore went to Battersea Grammar School. However, the occurrence of World War II led to his being taken to Holsworthy (Devon), when he attended Dr Challoner's Grammar School. He also attended college, though for a very short time, when he went to University of Durham's College of the Venerable Bede.
As soon as he reached the age of 18, Moore was called up for National Service. He was initially commissioned as an officer, but ultimately rose to the post of a Captain. He served in the Royal Army Service Corps, commanding a small depot in West Germany. Later, Moore was moved to the entertainment branch. Just before his National Service, he had a brief stint at RADA (the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art), where Lois Maxwell was a classmate. It is said that his fee for RADA was paid by gay film director Brian Desmond Hurst.
Moore’s romance with the entertainment industry started during the mid to late-1940s, when he appeared as an extra. At the age of 17, he appeared as an extra in the films ‘Caesar and Cleopatra’ and ‘Perfect Strangers’. The decade of the 1950s started with Moore working as a male model. He appeared in print advertisements, for a wide range of products. He was also seen on television, in ‘Drawing Room Detective’, along with Alec Ross and Michael Ripper. During this time, he also won a contract with MGM.
Moore was seen in a number of MGM films, though none of them turned out to be a major success. However, he did receive due recognition in television, appearing in serials like ‘Ivanhoe’, ‘The Alaskans’, ‘Maverick’, etc. It was only in the year 1961 that Moore became a household name, when Lew Grade cast him in a new adaptation of ‘The Saint’. Later, he also got involved in the direction of several episodes of the series. After running for six seasons and 118 episodes, ‘The Saint’ became one of the longest-running series on British television.
Immediately after ‘The Saint’ came to an end, Moore was seen in two back to back movies, ‘Crossplot’ and ‘The Man Who Haunted Himself’. Though the movies brought out the versatility in his acting style, they gathered little business. He turned back to television once again, with ‘The Persuaders!’. For the series, Moore was paid the sum of one million pounds, making him the highest paid television actor in the whole world. As luck would have it, the series failed in America, but was quite popular in Australia and Europe.
Career as James Bond
After years of speculation, Moore starred as James Bond in 1973, in the movie ‘Live and Let Die’. This was followed by six other Bond films, namely ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’ (1974), ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’ (1977), ‘Moonraker’ (1979), ‘For Your Eyes Only’ (1981), ‘Octopussy’ (1983) and ‘A View to a Kill’ (1985). After doing seven Bond movies, in a span of 12 years, he became the longest-serving James Bond actor. Moore was and still is the oldest actor to play Bond, debuting at the age of 46 and retiring at 58.
Later Career and UNICEF
After retiring from the Bond series, the film career of Moore was remarkably undistinguished. He continued to appear in films every now and then, but none of them was very successful or critically acclaimed. However, a stay in India, for the shooting of a film, made a major change in his life. Appalled by the extent of poverty prevailing in the country, he became interested in the Third World humanitarian effort.
Impressed with the work done by friend Audrey Hepburn with UNICEF, he also joined the organization as a Goodwill Ambassador, in 1991. Presently, Moore appears occasionally in films or on television. He can mainly be seen in chat shows, which he does chiefly for the purpose of promoting the work of UNICEF. In the year 2003, he was awarded ‘German Federal Service Cross’, for his work as the UNICEF Ambassador. In 2007, he became one of the actors to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Moore’s first marriage was with skater Doorn Van Steyn. However, he left her for singer Dorothy Squires. Though she was several years his senior, she was also much more famous than he was. Later, in the year 1961, he broke up with Dorothy and started living with actress Luisa Mattioli. The couple got married eight years later, in 1969. With Luisa, Moore has one daughter - Deborah Moore and two sons, one of them being Geoffrey Moore. He ended his marriage with Luisa in 1993 and later, married Christina Tholstrup.
1979 - Golden Globe Award: ‘World Film Favorite-Male’
2003 - German Federal Service Cross: for his work battling child traffickers, as special representative to UNICEF
2007 - A star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
1945 - Perfect Strangers, Caesar and Cleopatra
1946 - Gaiety George, Piccadilly Incident
1949 - Paper Orchid, Trottie True
1950 - Honeymoon Deferred
1951 - One Wild Oat
1954 - The Last Time I Saw Paris, Interrupted Melody, The King's Thief
1956 - Diane
1959 - The Miracle
1961 - The Sins of Rachel Cade, Gold of the Seven Saints
1962 - Romulus and the Sabines, No Man's Land
1968 - Vendetta for the Saint, The Fiction Makers
1969 - Crossplot
1970 - The Man Who Haunted Himself
1973 - Live and Let Die
1974 - Gold, The Man with the Golden Gun
1975 - That Lucky Touch
1976 - London Conspiracy, Sherlock Holmes in New York, Street People, Shout at the Devil
1977 - The Spy Who Loved Me
1978 - The Wild Geese
1979 - Escape to Athena, Moonraker
1980 - North Sea Hijack, The Sea Wolves, Sunday Lovers
1981 - The Cannonball Run, For Your Eyes Only
1983 - Octopussy, Curse of the Pink Panther
1984 - The Naked Face
1985 - A View to a Kill
1987 - The Magic Snowman (voice)
1990 - Fire, Ice and Dynamite, Bullseye!
1992 - Bed and Breakfast
1994 - The Man Who Wouldn't Die (TV)
1996 - The Quest
1997 - The Saint, Spice World
2001 - The Enemy
2002 - Na Svoji Vesni, Boat Trip
2005 - Charles Lindbergh: The True Story (documentary), Here Comes Peter Cottontail: The Movie (voice, direct-to-DVD)