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Roger Moore Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (4) | Trade Mark (6) | Trivia (127) | Personal Quotes (78) | Salary (10)

Overview (4)

Born in Stockwell, London, England, UK
Died in Crans-Montana, Valais, Switzerland  (cancer)
Birth NameRoger George Moore
Height 6' 1" (1.86 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Roger Moore will perhaps always be remembered as the man who replaced Sean Connery in the James Bond series, arguably something he never lived down.

Roger George Moore was born on October 14, 1927 in Stockwell, London, England, the son of Lillian (Pope) and George Alfred Moore, a policeman. His mother was born in Calcutta, India, to a British family. Roger first wanted to be an artist, but got into films full time after becoming an extra in the late 1940s. Moore also served in the British military during the Second World War. He came to the United States in 1953. Suave, extremely handsome, and an excellent actor, he received a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. His initial foray met with mixed success, with movies like Diane (1956) and Interrupted Melody (1955), as well as The Last Time I Saw Paris (1954).

Moore went into television in the 1950s on series such as Ivanhoe (1958) and The Alaskans (1959), but probably received the most recognition from Maverick (1957), as cousin Beau. He received his big breakthrough, at least internationally, as The Saint (1962). The series made him a superstar and he became very successful thereafter. Moore ended his run as the Saint, and was one of the premier stars of the world, but he was not catching on in America. In an attempt to change this, he agreed to star with Tony Curtis on ITC's The Persuaders! (1971), but although hugely popular in Europe, it did not catch on in the United States and was canceled. Just prior to making the series, he starred in The Man Who Haunted Himself (1970), which proved there was far more to Moore than the light-hearted roles he had previously accepted.

He was next offered and accepted the role of James Bond, and once audiences got used to the change of style from Connery's portrayal, they also accepted him. Live and Let Die (1973), his first Bond movie, grossed more outside of America than Diamonds Are Forever (1971); Connery's last outing as James Bond. He went on to star in another six Bond films, before bowing out after A View to a Kill (1985). He was age 57 at the time the film was made and was looking a little too old for Bond - it was possibly one film too many. In between times, there had been more success with appearances in films such as That Lucky Touch (1975), Shout at the Devil (1976), The Wild Geese (1978), Escape to Athena (1979) and ffolkes (1980).

Despite his fame from the Bond films and many others, the United States never completely took to him until he starred in The Cannonball Run (1981) alongside Burt Reynolds, a success there. After relinquishing his role as Bond, his work load tended to diminish a little, though he did star in the American box office flop Feuer, Eis & Dynamit (1990), as well as the comedy Bullseye! (1990), with Michael Caine. He did the overlooked comedy Bed & Breakfast (1991), as well as the television movie The Man Who Wouldn't Die (1994), and then the major Jean-Claude Van Damme flop The Quest (1996). Moore then took second rate roles such as Spice World (1997), and the American television series The Dream Team (1999). Although his film work slowed down, he was still in the public eye, be it appearing on television chat shows or hosting documentaries.

Roger Moore was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire on December 31, 1998 in the New Years Honours for services to UNICEF, and was promoted to Knight Commander of the same order on June 14, 2003 in the Queen's Birthday Honours for services to the charities UNICEF and Kiwanis International.

Roger Moore died of cancer on 23 May, 2017, in Switzerland. He was 89.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Pedro Borges

Spouse (4)

Christina 'Kiki' Tholstrup (10 March 2002 - 23 May 2017) (his death)
Luisa Mattioli (11 April 1969 - 29 April 1996) (divorced) (3 children)
Dorothy Squires (6 July 1953 - 25 November 1968) (divorced)
Doorn Van Steyn (9 December 1946 - 1 March 1953) (divorced)

Trade Mark (6)

Self-deprecating wit
Charming debonair persona
Habitually raising his eyebrows
Refined English accent
Deep smooth voice
Tinted gold-rimmed spectacles (worn in later years)

Trivia (127)

During the early stages of his career, Roger collected towels from the hotels he stayed in. However, he stopped when a British newspaper printed a story entitled "Roger Moore is a towel thief". He revealed on So Graham Norton (1998) that he still had the collection in his Swiss home.
He succeeded Audrey Hepburn as goodwill ambassador for UNICEF.
He was the father of Geoffrey Moore, Christian Moore and Deborah Moore.
He was created a Commander of the Order of the British Empire on December 31, 1998 in the New Year Honours list for services to UNICEF and on June 14, 2003, in the Queen's Birthdays honours, was promoted to Knight Commander of the same order his services to the charities UNICEF and Kiwanis International.
He was scheduled to make his musical theatre debut as Sir George in "Aspects of Love" in 1990. He left the production days before his escape clause expired due to his own concerns over his singing ability. He was replaced by Kevin Colson.
He received an International Humanitarian Award from the London Variety Club for his charity work in 2000.
His father, George Alfred Moore, was a policeman.
Whilst doing National Service, Moore served with Military Intelligence.
In just a few days after he had arrived in the United States in 1952, he appeared in the television play World by the Tail (1953).
He was good friends with Lois Maxwell, who played Miss Moneypenny in the James Bond movies. They first met in mid 1940s at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, where they were in the same class in 1944.
On January 13, 2001, Moore and his then companion, Christina 'Kiki' Tholstrup, escaped injury when another vehicle collided with the actor's car. Airbags were attributed to preventing injury. They married the next year.
In 1990, he participated as a guest host in "33 Zecchino d'Oro".
He received an honorary degree from Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada (1999).
His contract for the 007 films provided him with an unlimited supply of Montecristo cigars during filming. The bill for this typically ran to thousands of pounds.
He lived in Switzerland and Monte Carlo with his wife Christina 'Kiki' Tholstrup (2002).
In 1954, he was offered contracts with the Royal Shakespeare Company or MGM. Noël Coward advised him to go for the money.
Despite playing James Bond in seven Bond films, he never ordered a vodka martini shaken not stirred.
He was the oldest person to debut as James Bond. He was age 45 when Live and Let Die (1973) was filmed.
On May 21, 1964, he was Air France's 8,000,000th passenger.
On May 7, 2003, he collapsed during a matinee performance of the Broadway comedy "The Play What I Wrote", but finished the show after a 10-minute break. Roger was playing the role of the mystery guest star, which the cameo role is filled by celebrities, when he fainted toward the end of the second act. He was taken to hospital after the show. The next day, he was fitted with a pacemaker - something he had been previously told he would eventually have to get.
He was best man at friends Bryan Forbes and Nanette Newman's wedding.
Ironically for his first Razzie nomination (Worst Supporting Actor in Spice World (1997)), he went head to head with another former Bond, Sean Connery in The Avengers (1998), also receiving his first Razzie nomination. However, neither man won.
He was older than any other actor to play James Bond when he portrayed him age 57 in A View to a Kill (1985). Sean Connery was age 52 when he last played Bond in Never Say Never Again (1983).
A close friend of the Danish Royal Family, especially the Grevinde Alexandra, attended the Christening of Princess Alexandra and Prins Joachim's youngest son, Felix. Attended the wedding of the Danish Kronprins Frederik and Kronprinsesse Mary on May 14, 2004.
He was born in the same Labour Ward in London as the actor Brian Weske, five years previously.
He attended the wedding of Joan Collins and Percy Gibson. Collins had first met him when her father was his agent and described him in her autobiography as her first crush.
He underwent surgery for prostate cancer in 1993.
He spoke Italian perfectly, former wife Luisa Mattioli is an Italian citizen.
He was cast in two roles that were originally offered to Patrick McGoohan: Simon Templar in The Saint (1962) and James Bond in Live and Let Die (1973).
He often spent summers in Hornbæk, Denmark, where his wife Christina 'Kiki' Tholstrup has a summer house.
He detested doing scenes that involve him shooting firearms - which caused him to ruin countless 007 takes.
He quit smoking cigarettes in 1971 following a stern lecture from Tony Curtis on the set of The Persuaders! (1971).
Both he and his daughter, Deborah Moore, have acted in the James Bond franchise. She played the air hostess in Die Another Day (2002).
He officially announced his retirement from playing James Bond on December 3, 1985, as it was agreed by all involved in the franchise that Moore had got too old for the role by that point. Moore himself was quoted as saying that he felt embarrassed to be seen performing love scenes with beautiful actresses who were young enough to be his daughters. He said in an interview for This Morning (1988) that he felt too old from his second Bond film, The Man with the Golden Gun (1974).
He took part in a special celebrity edition of Blind Date on The Prince's Trust 30th Birthday: Live (2006). He and actor Richard E. Grant lost to The X Factor (2004)'s Chico Slimani, who got to date Dame Edna Everage (aka Barry Humphries).
He was a lifelong supporter of the British Conservative Party, which he put down to having a father in the police force.
He chose a Swedish conference on child abuse to announce to the world that he too was a victim. He said he was molested as a child, but not seriously. He waited until he was age 16 to tell his mother because he said he was "ashamed".
He rode in or drove a motor-powered boat in every James Bond movie he appeared in.
He played James Bond in seven movies of the official EON series, the most of any actor to date (Sean Connery also played Bond in seven films, but one of them, Never Say Never Again (1983), was unofficial).
He never drove the most famous of all James Bond cars in a Bond film i.e. a 1964 silver birch Aston Martin DB5 or any other Aston Martin model. The DB5 was made famous by the Sean Connery James Bond movies Goldfinger (1964) and then Thunderball (1965) with later models appearing in some subsequent Bond pictures. However, Moore, who played James Bond seven times, has only ever been seen on screen with this make once and that was in The Cannonball Run (1981) where he self-parodies his James Bond persona. In this movie, the DB5's license plate number was 6633PP.
Following the suggestion that fugitive train robber Ronald Biggs make a cameo appearance in the Brazil episode of Moonraker (1979), he replied in rather colorful terms that he did not want the escaped prisoner anywhere near the film, as his own father had been a London policeman.
All the scenes in which showed Moore running in his seven Bond movies were performed by doubles, since the actor felt he looked awkward running.
When presenting the Best Actor Oscar awards at the The 45th Annual Academy Awards (1973), Moore ended up taking home the Oscar accidentally. The winner of the award, Marlon Brando, refused the award, and Sacheen Littlefeather, who Brando sent to make a speech to refuse the Oscar, also publicly refused to take the statuette from Moore.
He nearly died from double pneumonia when he was five.
He underwent three operations to remove kidney stones in his thirties.
He named The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) as his favorite Bond movie of the seven he starred in, and A View to a Kill (1985) as his least favorite.
He attended the funeral of Sir John Mills in Denham, Buckinghamshire on April 27, 2005.
He was close friends and neighbours with the late Sir Peter Ustinov.
He quit smoking cigars after undergoing major surgery for prostate cancer when he was age 65.
Ironically, for an actor who played a weapons-wielding James Bond in no fewer than seven movies, Moore suffered from hoplophobia (fear of firearms). He also professed a strong dislike of blood sports.
He intended For Your Eyes Only (1981) to be his final Bond movie, since he was nearly age 54.
He was close friends with David Niven, Tommy Cooper, Dudley Moore and Sir Elton John. Niven would play James Bond in the spy spoof 'Casino Royale' (1967) whilst Elton John appeared with Moore in the Spice Girls film 'Spiceworld'.
Although Moore claimed to have quit smoking cigarettes while filming The Persuaders! (1971), a filmed interview from on the set of For Your Eyes Only (1981) shows him smoking a cigarette.
Future EastEnders (1985) star Mike Reid worked as his underwater stunt double in The Saint (1962), but was fired after making fun of Moore's thinning hair.
He hated being wet when acting. In Moonraker (1979), he had to do a whole scene wet, in the "Mayan pyramid".
Although critics often accused him of not looking tough enough to play superspy James Bond, he once beat up legendary American hellraiser Lee Marvin while they were filming Shout at the Devil (1976). Marvin recalled, "The guy is built like granite. Nobody will ever underestimate him again.".
He used to own a house in Eaton Square in London, but was only allowed to spend a maximum of ninety days a year there for tax reasons.
While filming the interrogation scene opposite Richard Burton and Richard Harris in The Wild Geese (1978), Moore made the unheard of request to have a cut in his lines. After another take he suggested all his lines should be cut. When the director Andrew V. McLaglen asked him why, he replied, "Do you seriously think I want to act against these guys? I'll just sit here and puff on my cigar.".
The Living Daylights (1987) was originally written for him, but the script was changed slightly to suit Timothy Dalton after Moore announced his retirement from the role.
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7007 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on October 11, 2007 (three days before his 80th birthday).
In March 1996, when his former wife Dorothy Squires underwent surgery for bladder cancer at the BUPA Hospital in Cardiff, he picked up the £6,000 bill. He did not attend her funeral two years later, but instead sent a bouquet of purple tulips, lilies of the valley and orange flowers with a card saying: "I've said it with flowers. Roger.".
Prior to the release of The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), Moore filed a lawsuit against his ex-wife Dorothy Squires to prevent her from publishing a book about their life together. She would eventually be declared bankrupt in 1986.
In 1964, eight years before he took over the movie role, Moore played James Bond in a hilarious sketch on the BBC comedy show, Mainly Millicent: Episode dated 17 July 1964 (1964). In the sketch, Bond is on holiday at a resort, when he encounters a female Russian spy (played by Millicent Martin, the star of the show), who is also on holiday. Bond and the female spy spend the sketch trying to do each other in. The sketch is included in the "Live and Let Die" Ultimate Edition DVD.
While a struggling young actor in the early 1950s, he briefly worked as a truck driver. Many years later, he impressed the crew on the set of A View to a Kill (1985) with his truck driving skills.
He had intended to act in A Bridge Too Far (1977), but was forced to pull out after production on The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) was delayed by a year.
He has always been very honest about the fact that he did not perform any of his own stunts as Bond, unlike Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Timothy Dalton and Daniel Craig.
His least favourite of his films is The Quest (1996).
He considered himself to be miscast in Escape to Athena (1979) and ffolkes (1980).
He was a close friend and admirer of the right-wing writer William F. Buckley.
He confessed in a television interview that when he first traveled to the United States in the 1950s, he landed a supporting role in the Broadway production of "A Pin to See the Peepshow", a show that both began and ended on the same day (September 17, 1953).
He said he would like to play a villain in a Bond movie starring Daniel Craig, but accepted that it could never happen.
His popularity as Bond led to him starring in several movies during the 1970s and early 1980s. However, although some were financially successful, most received poor reviews.
He confirmed in an interview with the Sunday Telegraph magazine that he'd completely retired from acting in 2009.
In 1954, he signed a seven year contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. However, he was released from this contract after only two years following the massive critical and commercial failure of Diane (1956).
He made no secret of the fact that he loved the old basic British snack of baked beans on toast.
He adored the comedy of Dawn French and Billy Connolly, to name a few.
He appeared in episodes of three different series with Patrick Troughton: Ivanhoe (1958), The Saint (1962) and The Persuaders! (1971). Both actors are most famous for playing iconic British screen heroes. Troughton played the Second Doctor in Doctor Who (1963) and Moore was the third James Bond.
He denied being approached for the role of James Bond from the very beginning.
He never had to audition for the role of Simon Templar on The Saint (1962).
Moore's fear of firearms stemmed from a childhood incident when his brother shot him in the leg with an air rifle by accident when he was age 14.
By the late 1970s he was the most bankable British film personality. Like many other big stars, he left the UK and moved the family to Geneva in Switzerland when he refused to pay inflated British taxes, which stood at 83% on income for top earners between 1974 and 1979 when Labour were in power under Harold Wilson and James Callaghan. Curd Jürgens, who played the Bond villain Stromberg in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), had become a good friend of his and loaned Moore his chalet until the family found a new home.
Moore and his agent accepted each Bond movie on a film to film basis, instead of signing on for several.
He was awarded Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters by French culture minister Christine Albanel in 2008.
When Moore had to take Marlon Brando's Oscar home with him, people outside the ceremony thought Moore had won instead. The Academy sent cars around to his house the next morning to retrieve it.
He admitted to being a hypochondriac and suffered from vertigo.
By 1985, Moore owned three different houses.
He remained close friends with Albert R. Broccoli right up until Broccoli's death.
In 1986, Moore was named the New York Friars Club's Man of the Year.
He was made a captain in the police by the captain of the Maine state police force. He retains the power to arrest.
He owed much of his success to Lew Grade.
He and his wife Christina 'Kiki' Tholstrup love the theatre.
He had a pacemaker just like his father.
His stepdaughter's boyfriend Janus Friis invented Skype.
A huge fan of Rudyard Kipling, Moore was invited to the Nobel Museum in 2007 and gave a 90 minute lecture on Kipling. Appearing as a guest on 'The Paul Whitehouse Show' he was able to recount Kipling's poem 'Tommy' (about the ill-treatment of soldiers in peacetime by the public) from memory.
He had his first child Deborah Moore at age 36.
In 2005 Germany awarded Moore the Federal Cross of Merit.
He was the final guest ever on The Muppet Show (1976). In his autobiography he implies he may have had an affair during his appearance with Miss Piggy.
He lived with Luisa Mattoili from 1961 before marrying her in 1968 during which time they had the first two of their three children.
Moore was conscripted into National Service after World War II and did not serve during the war. He eventually became a Captain.
He was the only actor to have played both James Bond and Sherlock Holmes.
He is mentioned in the song "You Know I'm No Good" by Amy Winehouse.
He divided his time between his homes in Monaco (summer) and Switzerland (winter).
He was the only James Bond actor to be older than the man he replaced in the series, being three years older than Sean Connery.
He visited Iceland for a UNICEF program to help educate children in Africa in 2005.
Like his predecessor Sean Connery, he wore a hairpiece in all his Bond films.
He received an honorary degree (Doctor of Laws) from the University of Hertfordshire on November 21, 2012.
He has a number of favourites from his own era in the James Bond franchise. His favourite gadget is the magnetic watch from Live and Let Die (1973). His favourite villain is Christopher Lee's Francisco Scaramanga from The Man with the Golden Gun (1974). His favourite girl is Barbara Bach's Anya Amasova from The Spy Who Loved Me (1977). His favourite henchman was Richard Kiel's Jaws from The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Moonraker (1979). He has stated more or less that anything from A View to a Kill (1985) is his least favourite.
He had to learn to walk again after a severe bout of pneumonia in 2013.
He was offered the role of Lieutenant General Brian Horrocks in A Bridge Too Far (1977) but he was forced to decline due to a scheduling conflict with The Spy Who Loved Me (1977). He became available when the shooting of the Bond film was delayed. However, Horrocks had approval over the casting and turned Moore down. The role instead went to Edward Fox. Coincidentally, Moore's Bond predecessor Sean Connery played Major General R.E. Urquhart in A Bridge Too Far (1977).
In an episode of The Persuaders! (1971), a stolen briefcase is opened to find the contents of the original case have been substituted with 10 James Bond novels. Three of the visible titles are Bond movies that Roger Moore would later portray the famous spy. Live and Let Die (1973), For Your Eyes Only (1981) Octopussy (1983).
He named the lowbrow sitcom Married with Children (1986) as a guilty pleasure, and was a friend of star Katey Sagal's father, director Boris Sagal.
He was the oldest actor to play Bond in the official EON canon and the first to pass away.
His death was announced on the day following the terrorist attack on the Manchester Arena in England which killed 22 people and injured 59, therefore overshadowing the death of the British screen legend in the news coverage.
When he secured the role of James Bond, Moore was living in a house in Denham, South Buckinghamshire, which had the prophetic telephone number of 2007.
Daniel Craig paid tribute to Moore by simply and succinctly writing "Nobody Does It Better", a reference to Moore's legendary Bond theme performed by Carly Simon.
He was the first English actor to play James Bond on film. The second was Daniel Craig.
He remained close friends throughout his life with Bernard Coote, the producer of Ivanhoe (1958), his first British TV Series.
To pay tribute to the passing away of Sir Roger Moore, two James Bond films, The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and For Your Eyes Only (1981), Moore's two favorite of his Bond films, as well as the two he considered his best, were re-released on select play-dates in select territories around the world within weeks of his passing, with 50% of the proceeds going to Moore's beloved charity UNICEF, of which he was a Goodwill Ambassador for.
Moore passed away in 2017, the 40th Anniversary year of one his favorite Bond movies, The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), which along with For Your Eyes Only (1981), he considered to be one of his two best Bond films.
Upon his death British satirical magazine Private Eye honoured him with an uncharacteristically warm cartoon tribute. It featured a dinner suited figure with a halo appearing at the gates of heaven and St Peter declaring 'We've been expecting you Mr Moore'.
He revealed in 2012 that he had been treated for skin cancer several times.
Had a notorious sweet tooth and suffered from diabetes in later life. In his autobiography he recalls his delight at discovering the existence of specially made chocolate for diabetics and his subsequent consternation at discovering that when eaten in large amounts it also served as a laxative.
Began wearing a small hairpiece at the back of his head in the 1960s.
His favourite film was The Man Who Haunted Himself.
He did his Army National Service training at Bury St Edmunds.
One of his grandfathers was an RSM in WW1.
His mother was born in army barracks in India.

Personal Quotes (78)

(1998) Over the last year I've rather enjoyed making documentaries for a company called Associated Television, run by a man called David Mackenzie. And we shot a couple in Russia, one in Moscow and one in St. Petersburg... they are called "The KGB Files".
To me, the Bond situations are so ridiculous, so outrageous. I mean, this man is supposed to be a spy and yet, everybody knows he's a spy. Every bartender in the world offers him martinis that are shaken, not stirred. What kind of serious spy is recognized everywhere he goes? It's outrageous. So you have to treat the humor outrageously as well. My personality is entirely different than previous Bonds. I'm not that cold-blooded killer type. Which is why I play it mostly for laughs.
I must tell you the truth - I have not seen them, and for a very good reason. Knowing that I would get asked questions like that, I'm always desperately honest. If I didn't like the performance, I don't know how I would answer. I do know Timothy, and he is a very, very pleasant chap and a good actor. - When asked for his opinion about the James Bond movies featuring his successor Timothy Dalton
[his explanation for his comical approach to James Bond] I don't believe in Bond as a hero. It's a load of nonsense. How can you be a spy when any bar you walk into, the bartender says, "Ah, Mr Bond. Shaken, not stirred?".
[on his son who owns the London restaurant "Hush"] You could say he has a "License to Grill".
[after seeing Pierce Brosnan playing James Bond on the set of the film GoldenEye (1995)] Both Sean and I will be forgotten after everybody sees Pierce.
My personality is entirely different than his. I can't play the cold-blooded killer that Sean can do so well, which is why I play it for laughs. - Comparing his portrayal of James Bond with Sean Connery's
Today I am completely opposed to small arms and what they can do to children. I played every role tongue-in-cheek because I don't really believe in that sort of hero. I don't like guns.
I'm delighted to hear that Daniel Craig has been appointed the new 007. It's a very exciting time and I would like to wish everyone at Eon much success, and welcome Daniel to the family.
You're not a star till they can spell your name in Vladivostok.
A lot of actors didn't make their start until in their prime - I remember Buster Merryfield - who played Uncle Albert in Only Fools and Horses.... (1981) - saying that it wasn't until he retired as a bank clerk that he got involved with amateur dramatics, and then acting on television.
A lot of my reading over the next few months will be the works of Hans Christian Andersen - I have been appointed an ambassador for the bicentenary celebrations of his birth next year.
Bond was escapism, but not meant to be imitated in real life.
But if asked which of my co-stars had the biggest effect and impact on me, I say - without hesitation - Eleanor Parker.
I was pretty - so pretty that actresses didn't want to work with me.
My acting range? Left eyebrow raised, right eyebrow raised.
If I kept all my bad notices, I'd need two houses.
I've never received a nomination for an Academy Award - and that after I went to the trouble of learning two more facial expressions.
[on saving Elstree Studios]: Hertsmere Council extended it a lifeline when it needed it most, and invested heavily. Now that they are seeking to pass on the ownership, I hope that an equally passionate and caring owner can be found; and help take the studio into one of the most exciting periods of film and new media production.
[Comparing his interpretation of "James Bond" to Sean Connery's] Sean's jokes come from left field and I let people know a joke was coming. I basically said "I'm have a good time doing this, and I hope you're having a good time watching me have a good time.".
[on For Your Eyes Only (1981)] I was starting to feel I was a bit long in the tooth even then.
Of course, I do my own stunts. And I also do my own lying.
I suppose I was just window-dressing at MGM. You might call me Taylor's dummy. I wore Walter Plunkett's costumes beautifully though. I was the last of the Englishmen, after Edmund Purdom and Stewart Granger, both of whom had been giving them trouble in Hollywood. I very quickly learned that I had to be highly humble and obsequious and grovel a lot.
[on finally deciding to leave the role of James Bond after seven 007 movies] I think it was the interminable farewell tour of the variety artists, you know? You can't keep on saying that you're not doing any more and then doing another one. So I just had to say that was it. I had done enough. I mean, for the last three I was getting a little restless. But I had an absolute splendid time doing the Bond films. I played a lot of backgammon, managed to steal a lot of wardrobe, and got well paid. Nothing could beat it! (Interview with author David Giammarco, "For Your Eyes Only: Behind the Scenes of the James Bond Films")
[on A View to a Kill (1985)] I was horrified on the last Bond I did. Whole slews of sequences where Christopher Walken was machine-gunning hundreds of people. I said "That wasn't Bond, those weren't Bond films." It stopped being what they were all about. You didn't dwell on the blood and the brains spewing all over the place.
Sadly, I had to retire from the Bond films. The girls were getting younger, or I was just getting too old.
I have no idea. I had never met Ian Fleming, but I remember when the search for Bond was going on. I really wasn't aware of Bond until then. I was doing The Saint (1962) and The Daily Express was conducting a search for Bond. However, since I was involved with The Saint (1962) I would not have been available, although Cubby told me later that I had been on 'the short list.' (when asked if Ian Fleming had originally considered him for the role of James Bond)
It used to take them hours and hours in make-up to give me character. Now I've got the character, they take it all out.
I like Bond. But it's silly to take it seriously. It's just a great big comic strip.
[on A View to a Kill (1985)] I was only about four hundred years too old for the part.
People don't realize how physically demanding the role is. I'm still amazed how many people ask me to this day if I did my own stunts. I tell them if I did or Sean did or Pierce did then we would have been physically dead by the end of the first reel of every film!
Sean and I never discussed our experiences... not even with the leading ladies! Actors don't really sit around discussing the parts they've played -- just in case someone says, "That was crap!".
I have seen Daniel Craig in a number of films. He is a thundering good actor. The movie Casino Royale (2006) showed me that he is one hell of an athlete.
I am disappointed by what is happening today in television. We seem to have gone into an age of cruelty where everything is put down. Even I notice dear Cilla Black has got a new format. Now they have 'ditch' - a poor girl comes up and if you don't like her face, get rid of her. I think it's absolutely terrible. It's appalling. It's humiliating.
I've not planned my funeral. I'm not the Queen. A procession through the streets of Stockwell would be nice, I suppose. But when I go, I'd just like everyone to say: "He lived longer than anyone I knew.".
The wonderful thing about age is that your knees don't work as well, you can't run down steps quite as easily and obviously you can't lift heavy weights. But your mind doesn't feel any different. I read the obituary columns and I think "Oh goodness, he was only 93!".
As a child, I had mumps and the measles. Chickenpox. Tonsils out. I didn't learn the alphabet until I was 11. I was circumcised at eight. Much better than having it done later, like my old friend in the army, Captain Hornby of the Royal Artillery. Afterwards I said to Matron, "You can't call Hornby 'old cock' anymore!".
I'm the worst Bond, according to the Internet. Generally hated! I was too funny, too light. Didn't take it seriously enough. Well, I mean, this is a man who is supposed to be a spy. And yet he turns up in bars and hotels around the world, and everyone says, "Ah, Mr. Bond, we've been expecting you." Everybody knows who he is and what he wants to drink. It's the same with the Bond girls. All the new ones say, "Oh, I'm going to be different from the others", but before long it's always the same - "Oh, James!".
[on Quantum of Solace (2008)] I am happy to have done it, but I'm sad that it has turned so violent. That's keeping up with the times, it's what cinema-goers seem to want and it's proved by the box-office figures.
Of course, I was getting long in the tooth. I was 58 when I finished. My god, Gary Cooper was seemingly an old man when he was about 56 doing Love in the Afternoon (1957) with Audrey Hepburn. And I started to realize. When the leading ladies came in and they were younger than my daughter, I thought "Hmm, this is getting on a bit." And then... God, I could have had them as granddaughters. It becomes rather disgusting - dirty old man. Well, I still got paid, and had a lot of laughs. I didn't regret any of it. I note that occasionally when I look at the Internet and I've typed in a reference and then suddenly up comes my name again and then I see the blogs where people write that I was too light and I was too old.
I would love to be remembered as one of the greatest Lears or Hamlets. But, as that's not going to happen, I'm quite happy I did Bond.
[on his knighthood] I am so proud to be the recipient of this great honour. I accept this title on behalf of the many thousands of volunteers and workers at Unicef who dedicate their lives to helping the millions of children in need around the world today.
Lew (Lew Grade) was quite simply a gem. When he was at the height of his powers his energy was enormous. He would get off a plane without any jet lag and just go straight to work. His health regime consisted of never having butter and smoking cigars all day long.
I like to play things for humour. Particularly as I was playing a hero because I consider myself to be devoutly unheroic to the extent of being a sheer coward. I think any heroism I have is the fact that I did things physically that I was absolutely petrified of doing.
I was as surprised as everyone else was to be cast as Bond, particularly since I was already forty-five at the time.
[on the death of his friend and The Persuaders! (1971) co-star Tony Curtis] He'll be remembered as a very good actor when people start reflecting on the amount of work he did both in drama and comedy. He certainly was wonderful in Some Like It Hot (1959) and he was quite brilliant in The Boston Strangler (1968) and in the film that he did with Sidney Poitier, The Defiant Ones (1958).
[on why he took the role of James Bond] When I was a young actor at RADA, Noël Coward was in the audience one night. He said to me after the play, "Young man, with your devastating good looks and your disastrous lack of talent, you should take any job ever offered you. In the event that you're offered two jobs simultaneously, take the one that offers the most money." Here I am.
[on leaving the role of James Bond] I left the role when I realized that my female co-stars had mothers who were younger than I was.
[on Quantum of Solace (2008)] I didn't like the last Bond film, it was like a long, disjointed commercial.
Sean (Sean Connery) is a good actor, it's a pity I can't understand what he's saying.
I'm a Conservative. I always have been. Most young people that were brought up with parents who were in jobs like the police force are Conservative in their thinking. You don't have to be rich, wealthy, high income to be Conservative. I just think that Conservatism is the way to run a country.
I would have been very upset if we had had to take the Queen off our currency. They'd probably have to take her off the stamps and everything. I am British and I'm fiercely independent and I think we should be independent.
I jokingly said once that the reason the banks were in trouble, particularly the Royal Bank of Scotland, was that Sean Connery had drawn out all his money in cash.
I come back to England often enough not to miss it, to see the changes, to find some of the changes good. I paid my taxes at the time that I was earning a decent income, so I've already paid my due.
(Asked what would make him return to the United Kingdom) Being able to afford a house in the country. I would come back like a shot.
I seem to replace everyone.
[what it was like working with Grace Jones on A View to a Kill (1985)] I've always said if you've nothing nice to say about someone, then you should say nothing. So I'll say nothing about Grace Jones.
[after witnessing the poverty in foreign countries] I can never leave the tap running while cleaning my teeth.
If I can use what celebrity I have to open doors for the betterment of children's lives, than my career in movies has produced an added bonus. I have now been working with UNICEF for 19 years and have yet to meet a hard-headed person in the organization.
Food has always been a passion of mine - see the waistline for proof.
I've often been asked what I might like my epitaph to be. Well that's easy. I've no intention of going anywhere so won't need one!
UNICEF is the most rewarding thing I've ever done.
[on being awarded Knighthood for his charity work] I am doubly proud because this is an acknowledgment of UNICEF, an organization I am honored to work for.
I loved Casino Royale (2006) and Daniel Craig. He is a wonderful actor, certainly the best actor to play Bond. I have never been guilty of method acting or even acting if you want to argue a point.
Bond is an enigmatic character. My only real clue to his personality was a line from one of the books, where he said that he didn't particularly enjoy killing people, but he took pride in doing it well. So that was how I played him.
[on George Lazenby] Well, Lazenby had a big disadvantage in that he hadn't been an actor before, but he was a model. He did look good, and that is how he came into the role.
Of course, I do not regret the Bond days. I regret that sadly heroes in general are depicted with guns in their hands, and to tell the truth, I have always hated guns and what they represent.
(on David Cameron) I think he's doing absolutely wonderfully well, despite the opposition from many members of his own party. Traitors, I call them. I mean any hardliner within the Conservative Party who speaks out against their leader. You should support your leader.
I do not have time to sit down and regret anything although sometimes I wish I had been able to see more of my parents while they were alive and have done more for them.
(on the Russian population of Monaco) I'm afraid we're overstuffed with Russians. All the restaurant menus are in Russian now.
(on Die Another Day (2002)) I thought it just went too far - and that's from me, the first Bond in space! Invisible cars and dodgy CGI footage? Please! They gave the public what they wanted, though maybe they too realised there was only so far they could push it before Bond became a caricature of himself, and the funeral directors were called in.
Of course I have great pride in being English. We were brought up with the idea that 'We are the best', which is not quite true. I'm proud to be British. I said English, but I meant British.
So I did four films with MGM with my face never moving. I went on to make the Saint TV series and no-one was telling me I couldn't do this or that. I've got three expressions - left eyebrow up, right eyebrow up, both eyebrows up together. They always say that I'm the one eyebrow actor, which is true. I don't do it so much these days. I find gravity weighs things down and it's much more difficult.
I wouldn't want to get into a fist fight with Sean. He's big.
[on Daniel Craig playing James Bond]I think we're very lucky to have him because he is quite extraordinary. I always say that Sean Connery looked like a killer but Daniel Craig would finish it off.
[on seeing Daniel Craig in Casino Royale (2006)]I thought that he did more action in the first seven minutes than I did in seven movies!
[on Tanya Roberts] If you can't say anything good about someone, don't say anything at all... I won't say anything.
[on his battle with pneumonia] It took them quite a while to discover the right antibiotic. I had so many antibiotics pumped into me and was bed-bound, and it ended up I had to be taught to walk, literally. And also my hair started to fall out rapidly, which it has done ever since.

Salary (10)

The Governess (1949) GUIN 23
Drawing-Room Detective (1950) GUIN 15
Live and Let Die (1973) $1,000,000
The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) $1,000,000
The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) $1,000,000
Moonraker (1979) $4,000,000
The Cannonball Run (1981) $1,000,000
For Your Eyes Only (1981) $3,000,000 + 5% of the net US profits ($4,607,500 total salary)
Octopussy (1983) $4,000,000 + 5% of the net US profits ($5,265,800 total salary)
A View to a Kill (1985) $5,000,000 + 5% of the US gross ($7,515,000 total salary)

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