The producers behind the James Bond movies paid tribute to Roger Moore, who died on Tuesday at age 89. The producers said they were “heartbroken” by the news, noting that he was a real-life hero as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. Pierce Brosnan, who also played Bond, penned an open letter to Moore on Facebook.
Moore reinvented the role of Bond in 1973’s Live and Let Die, adding charm and wit to a character previously played by Sean Connery and George Lazenby. Moore appeared in six more Bond movies, ending his run with 1985’s A View to Kill. All of Moore’s Bond movies were part of the official Eon Pictures canon, with Michael G. Wilson and Albert R. Broccoli producing. When Broccoli died in 1996, daughter Barbara took over production.
Wilson and Barbara Broccoli said:
We are heartbroken at the news of Sir Roger Moore’s passing. On the screen, he reinvented the role of James Bond with tremendous skill, charisma and humour. In real life, he was a genuine hero working as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for many years dedicating his life to alleviating the suffering of children all over the world. He was a loyal and beloved friend and his legacy shall live on through his films and the millions of lives he touched. We shall miss him enormously. Our love and thoughts are with Deborah, Geoffrey, Christian his grandchildren and his wife Kristina.
Gary Barber, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., also paid tribute to Moore. All of Moore’s Bond films are distributed by MGM. Barber said:
I am deeply saddened by the news of Roger Moore’s passing. Roger was a beloved part of the MGM family for decades and leaves behind a legacy of iconic film and television performances that will be revered for generations to come. His suave sophistication in his defining role as James Bond was matched only by his generosity and kindness. He bettered the lives of countless individuals around the world through his long-standing involvement with UNICEF as a Goodwill Ambassador. Roger will be sorely missed but always remembered, and our thoughts are with his family.
Here is the statement Pierce Brosnan shared on Facebook:
Dear Sir Roger Moore, It is indeed with a heavy heart that I hear the news of your passing this morning. You were a big part of my life, from The Saint to James Bond.. .you were a magnificent James Bond and one that lead the way for me, the world will miss you and your unique sense of humor for years to come. My sincerest condolences to your family and children. RIP
Moore, who also served in the military briefly before acting, started appearing in films in the 1950s. Before he joined the Bond franchise, he starred in TV shows Ivanhoe, Maverick, The Saint and The Persuaders!. He is survived by his fourth wife, Kristina Tholstrup, and three children.
Moore died after a short battle with cancer. He also fought prostate cancer, pneumonia and Type 2 diabetes. He is the first 007 actor from the Eon Productions Bond films to die.