British actor Roger Moore, known for his role as James Bond, died today in Switzerland at age 89.
Mr. Moore’s family announced the actor’s death in a statement, writing that his death occurred following “a short but brave battle with cancer.” The family will hold a private funeral for Mr. Moore in Monaco, the statement indicated.
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 third in a line of actors to play British secret agent James Bond, Mr. Moore, a Stockwell, South London, native, took up the 007 moniker with 1973’s Live and Let Die. Mr. Moore would go on to appear in six more Bond films, and is credited with bringing more humor to the character. Sean Connery, a predecessor of Moore’s in the Bond role, appeared in five films in the series.
Several of Mr. Moore’s Bond film were considered blockbusters, including 1977’s The Spy Who Loved Me ($185.3 million worldwide), 1979’s Moonraker ($202 million), and 1981’s For Your Eyes Only ($194 million), as Variety notes. After lesser successes with 1983’s Octopussy ($183.7 million), and A View to a Kill in 1985 ($150 million), Mr. Moore ended his run as 007, passing the torch to Timothy Dalton.
Following his time as James Bond, Mr. Moore appeared in films including The Man Who Wouldn’t Die (1995), Spice World (1997), and A Princess for Christmas (2011). Mr. Moore also expanded his resume into television, working on shows such Alias in 2003, the television film The Saint in 2013 (an updated version of the 1960s series in which Mr. Moore played protagonist Simon Templar).
Mr. Moore also joined UNICEF as a goodwill ambassador in 1991, where he worked to advance children’s causes. The British government recognized Mr. Moore’s charity work in 1999, honoring him with the title of Commander of the Order of the British Empire. He was later advanced to Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2003.
“All of us at UNICEF extend our deepest sympathies to the Moore family, and join his many friends and admirers from around the world in paying tribute to his life and mourning his loss,” UNICEF executive director Anthony Lake said of Mr. Moore in a statement. “He will be deeply missed.”
Mr. Moore is survived by wife Kristina “Kiki” Tholstrup, daughter Deborah Moore, and sons Geoffrey and Christian Moore.