Entertainment
Celebrity Then And Now
Publication: . Posted by Lexi Schwartz
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Entertainment
Celebrity Then And Now
Publication:
Posted by Lexi Schwartz
760a631d0dea2ae92cb6e9f7b157b927
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Roger Moore

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Famous For:
The Saint, The Spy Who Loved Me, Octopussy
Networth:
$110 Million
Currently Known For:
Deceased
Famous Years:
1945 - 2013
Birthdate:
October 14, 1927
Roger Moore


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  famous for:
The Saint, The Spy Who Loved Me, Octopussy

  networth:
$110 Million

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"Teach love, generosity, good manners and some of that will drift from the classroom to the home and who knows, the children will be educating the parents."

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Once you've been James Bond, you've made it. To have had the producers actually wait to cast you as James Bond because of prior commitments is an even bigger deal. As with many James Bond actors, Roger Moore never really surpassed his iconic turn as the famous superspy, but, again, once you've played James Bond, do you really need to? You're already film royalty, and everything else is icing on the cake.

Fame Before The Fame

"My father believed in toughness, honesty, politeness and being on time. All very important lessons."

Born October 14, 1927 in London to policeman George Alfred Moore and mother Lillian Pope, from Calcutta, Roger Moore's family was evacuated during World War II to Devon where he attended Holsworthy. He would then go on to Launcestor College, moving to Cornwall, and finish his education at Dr. Challoner's Grammar School in Buckinghamshire.

Believe it or not, Roger Moore's first job in entertainment was not acting. He was an apprentice animator. Unfortunately, the job wouldn't last. He botched a task at the studio and was let go. He made his way into live action film thanks to a chance encounter with director Brian Desmond Hurst. Roger's father had been investigating a robbery at the director's home, and a meeting was arranged.

Moore was hired to work on Caesar and Cleopatra (1945) as an extra. Some actors dream of being "discovered" while doing background work. It has almost never happened, but it did happen for Moore. He wound up developing a following of his own, picking up female fans despite not even being a star of the film. Seeing the effect the young Roger had on women, Brian Hurst invested in Moore's career, paying for his tuition at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Here, Moore studied with the future Miss Moneypenny, Lois Maxwell, and developed his trademark "Mid-Atlantic accent," which modern audiences may recognize as the "Frasier accent," a manner of speaking not native to any particular place or culture, but developed specifically for the stage, emphasizing clarity and enunciation.

After graduating from the Academy, Roger Moore paid his dues with small roles wherever he could find them, including a print advertisement for a line of knitwear, and a TV version of Julius Caesar (1953). By the mid-1950s, Moore had a contract with MGM, featuring with Elizabeth Taylor in a small role in The Last Time I Saw Paris (1954), and getting his first taste of action stardom in The King's Thief (1955). The contract only lasted two years, and Moore would ultimately consider his work with the studio to be far from his best output. From there he continued to take whatever roles he could find, finally finding a home at Warner Bros. who started him out in a number of supporting roles. His big break finally came with the lead role on Maverick (1960-61), where he replaced previous series star James Garner as Beau Maverick, having proven himself a capable western actor on The Alaskans (1959-1960), a show which had often repurposed unused Maverick scripts.

While Moore's run on Maverick was short, only lasting a year, the series allowed Moore to prove himself as a capable lead, someone who could truly carry a show. On Maverick, he was saddled with the task of replacing a beloved lead. On his new series, The Saint (1962-1969), he would be able to start fresh and make the character his own. 

As superspy-for-hire Simon Templar, Roger Moore quickly became a world-famous TV superstar. What's more, the series proved Roger Moore had all the makings of a fine James Bond: suave, sophisticated, handy with the gadgets, quick with a one-liner, and he looked great in a designer suit. Sean Connery announced in 1966 that he was through playing 007 (though he did make one last outing as the character in Diamonds are Forever (1971), and right away, Eon Productions wanted Moore for the part, but they would have to wait until Moore's commitments to The Saint had ended.

Bond and Beyond

In 1973, Moore made his debut as the secret agent in Live and Let Die (1973). Bolstered by that incredible Paul McCartney song, the movie was a hit, with Moore being praised as on-par with Sean Connery. Moore was instructed to cut his hair and lose a few pounds in order to play the character. He wasn't too excited about those demands, but ultimately found the compromise to be a worthy tradeoff.

Moore followed Live and Let Die with The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), pitting Moore against Christopher Lee, The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), co-starring Richard Kiel as the iconic Jaws, Moonraker (1979), and For Your Eyes Only (1981). Like Connery before him, Moore announced he was now done with the character, and like Connery before him, he was convinced to pick up the martini yet again for Octopussy (1983) and A View to a Kill (1985), his final film in the series. By now, Moore was fifty-eight years old, and though he might not have looked his age, he felt he was getting a little too old to be wearing tuxedos and chasing terrorists around.

Furthermore, he was just about done with Hollywood in general. He took a five year hiatus from acting, and returned only for the occasional cameo or supporting role, often in comedies like Spice World (1997) and Boat Trip (2002), playing off of his status as an iconic Bond actor. You can hardly blame the man for taking it easy in his golden years. Not only had he played James Bond, Maverick, and The Saint, he'd also been knighted by the Order of the British Empire on behalf of UNICEF, been made a Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government, and held an honorary doctorate from the University of Hertfordshire.

Though his run as James Bond may be the most iconic of his work, Moore led an accomplished life on and off screen, and his legacy lives on at the Roger Moore Stage in Pinewood Studios.

"Being eternally known as Bond has no downside."