British actor Roger Moore died aged 89 Photograph: (Reuters)
British actor Roger Moore, who will forever be remembered for playing James Bond
British actor Roger Moore, who will forever be remembered for playing James Bond, died Tuesday aged 89, his family announced in a statement on Twitter.
"It is with a heavy heart that we must announce our loving father, Sir Roger Moore, has passed away today in Switzerland after a short but brave battle with cancer," they said.
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
The son of a London policeman, Moore once said the upper-crust image he portrayed both on and off the screen was a carefully nurtured cover for his shyness and timidity. He also said he was terrified of playing the sex scenes which were a key part of the Bond movies.
Moore's big breakthrough as an actor came in 1962, when he won the part of ""The Saint" in a popular television series of the same name. In this role, he honed his image of the urbane Englishman with a stream of damsels to rescue from distress.
In 1973 came the coveted part of James Bond, writer Ian Fleming's action man spy 007, who held cinemagoers across the world in thrall. The Bond films were said to have earned Moore 14 million pounds ($22 million).
He moved to the United States to become a tax exile.
"I don't see why a chap shouldn't do what he likes and live where he wants on his money, and the British government, which allows talent to go abroad because of taxation, has only itself to blame," he said in an interview in 1989.
After handing over the role of Bond to Timothy Dalton, Moore went into semi-retirement, living a millionaire's life and travelling between his homes in Los Angeles, Switzerland and the south of France.
In 1991, he became an ambassador for the United Nations Children's Fund.
Moore is survived by his fourth wife, Scandinavian socialite Kristina "Kiki" Tholstrup, whom he married in 2002.