Roger is most famous for playing James Bond, The Saint, Brett Sinclair in The Persuaders and many other fine acting roles and was appointed a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 1991.
He was born in Stockwell, south London on October 14, 1927, the son of a policeman. At 15, he entered art school with the intention of becoming a painter. He delved into acting as an extra in crowd scenes in the mid 1940’s. He studied at the Royal Academy of Drama (RADA) and appeared in some plays in the West End, before being inducted into the British Army. He served as 2nd Lieutenant with a Combined Services Entertainment Unit in Germany at the end of World War II. After release from the military, he worked in theatre, radio and television, and as a model and salesman.
Sir Roger Moore KBE went to the U.S. in 1953, where he got a film contract with MGM, playing supporting roles in several films. His first big TV series was Ivanhoe, followed by Maverick. But it was his role as suave and debonair Simon Templar in the TV series The Saint that catapulted him to stardom. His contract with that show prevented him from being chosen to play James Bond in 1962. But the Bond role returned to Moore in 1972, when Sean Connery said for a second time that he was finished as Bond. Moore was hired as his successor for Live and Let Die.
It has been said that Moore is closer to Ian Fleming’s original concept of Bond, as a disenfranchised member of the British Establishment, than Connery’s more rough-and-tumble Bond. Indeed, the tone of the series changed under Moore’s aegis, with the scripts being tailored to his personality and acting ability. Moore made 7 Bond films (1 more than Sean Connery), retiring as 007 after A View to a Kill in 1985. He was succeeded by Timothy Dalton the following year.
He succeeded the late Audrey Hepburn in the role of Special Representative for the Film Arts for UNICEF, raising funds for children in underdeveloped countries.
Though most of Moore’s career post-Bond has been devoted to UNICEF, he continued to work in diverse productions. In 1990 he appeared in writer-director Michael Feeney Callan’s television series My Riviera, and in 1991 in the film Bed and Breakfast.
Moore was involved in the production of a video for PETA that protests against the production and wholesale of foie gras. Moore narrates the video. His assistance in this situation, and being a strong spokesman against foie gras, has led to the department store Selfridges agreeing to remove foie gras from their shelves.
Moore confirmed he has completely retired from acting in an article for The Sunday Telegraph magazine in April 2009. In a commercial for London’s 2012 Olympic bid, Moore once again suited up as James Bond. He appeared alongside Samantha Bond, who played Miss Moneypenny in the Bond films during the Pierce Brosnan era. He still appears regularly on chat shows, chiefly to promote the work of UNICEF.
He also played the role of a secret agent in the Victoria Wood Christmas Special on BBC1 show over the festive period in 2009. Filming all his scenes in the London Eye, his mission was to eliminate another agent whose file photo looks just like Pierce Brosnan.
In 2012 he is taking to the stage for a series of 7 “Evenings With” in UK theatres.
Roger was also the first James Bond to be honored by the British government, receiving a CBE (Commander of the British Empire) award in March 1999. He was awarded a knighthood in June 2003 for his work with UNICEF.