Quick, name the actor who starred in more James Bond flicks than any other? If you guessed Connery, Brosnan or Craig, you are sorely mistaken.
The leader in the clubhouse is Sir Roger Moore, who succumbed to cancer today at the age of 89. Dude starred in 7!
It wasn’t like he got an early start, either; already in his mid-40s when he shot 1973’s Live and Let Die, Moore rode the gig for more than a decade, bowing out with ’85’s A View to a Kill when he was nearly 60!
Now, he was never my favorite Bond and maybe he wasn’t yours either, but you’ve gotta admire that kinda longevity. How’d he pull it off? Well, he always looked great in a suit, for one, and his South London accent was perfect for the role, but the real secret, to me, is something we can all learn from: No matter how wacky things got (and they got pretty wacky!), Moore maintained a certain level of confidence, class and humor that allowed him to shine in even the oddest of circumstances.
Which brings to mind one of my favorite Bond scenes of all time, the classic ski chase that cold opens The Spy Who Loved Me. From the moment he gets an urgent message (somehow printed out of his digital wristwatch) and extracts himself from a double-crossing blonde lover, Moore inhabits the role. “James, I need you,” she pleads. “So does England,” he responds, slipping into a banana yellow skiing onesie and striding out the mountain cabin door.
And even though it’s 1977, he’s not doing his own stunts and he’s wearing the aforementioned banana yellow skiing onesie, Moore commits to the cutaways in a manner that makes the insane sequence that follows somehow believable. It’s that level of aplomb that enabled a guy known for very little else to have a longer run as Bond than some of the more recognized names in the canon.
Helluva run. Rest in peace, Sir.