Roger Moore, who brought out James Bond’s wry side in seven films featuring 007, and before that was known for his portrayal of Simon Templar in The Saint, has died. He was 89.
Moore’s death after a brief battle with cancer was confirmed by his children in a statement.
With the heaviest of hearts, we must share the awful news that our father, Sir Roger Moore, passed away today. We are all devastated. pic.twitter.com/6dhiA6dnVg— Sir Roger Moore (@sirrogermoore) May 23, 2017
Moore’s last appearance in a Bond film was in 1985’s A View to Kill, and in the years since then he appeared in a smattering of movies, and spent much of time doing humanitarian work for which he was named a UNICEF goodwill ambassador in 1991. His approach to work was summed up in this quote to The New York Times in 1970, well before he achieved global stardom for the Bond movies. “Noel Coward once gave me a memorable bit of advice—‘Accept every thing,’” Moore told the newspaper. “If you're an actor, keep working. That's what Coward said. Glorious advice.”
Moore had taken that advice to heart. Following a short stint as a model in the 1950s, Moore appeared in small roles on television and films with little success—commercial or critical. His acting breakthrough came in 1958 with Ivanhoe, a British TV show based on the novel by Sir Walter Scott. Other roles followed, but the show that made him a household name came in 1962 with The Saint. He played Simon Templar, a sophisticated thief that fights villains with his wits and bon mots, for seven years in the series based on the Leslie Charteris novels.