Sir Roger Moore
(1927 - )

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Roger George Moore was born in London on October 14, 1927, the son of a policeman. At 15, he entered art school with the intention of becoming a painter, and later became an apprentice at an animation studio. 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. There he served in the rank of 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, but also worked as a model and salesman to make ends meet.

Though in childhood Moore had been mercilessly teased by friends and family alike for being fat, by the time he was ready to start his career, he had become an exceptionally handsome man with a toned, well-muscled body. Signed on the basis of his good looks to an MGM contract in 1954, Moore began making appearances in American films, none of which amounted to much dramatically; his biggest success of the 1950s was as star of the British-filmed TV series Ivanhoe. Signed by Warner Bros. Television for the 1959 adventure weekly The Alaskans, Moore became the latest of a long line of James Garner surrogates on Maverick, appearing during the 1960-1961 season as cousin Beau.

After a few years making European films, Moore was chosen to play Simon Templar in the TV-series version of Leslie Charteris' The Saint. Moore remained with the series from 1963-1967, occasionally directing a few episodes (he was never completely comfortable as simply an actor, forever claiming that he was merely getting by on his face and physique). The saint was a massive success and set Moore up for another role, this time with Tony Curtis in ‘The Persuaders’ (1971). Again this TV show was very popular with the British public and even greater things were about to beckon for this talented actor.

He was selected in 1972 to replace Sean Connery in the James Bond films. His first Bond film was ‘Live and Let Die’ (1973), but the consensus (in which the actor heartily concurred) was that Moore didn't truly ‘grow’ into the character until 1977's The Spy Who Loved Me. 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 [more than Connery's 6], retiring as 007 after A View to a Kill in 1985. He was succeeded by Timothy Dalton the following year. If you haven’t seen any of Moores work as a Bond (what have you been doing with your life…?) and I would suggest a good starting point is the Spy who loved me (1977).







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