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Rediff.com  » Movies » Roger Moore: On Her Majesty's Service

Roger Moore: On Her Majesty's Service

Last updated on: May 24, 2017 16:51 IST

In photos: Monali Sarkar remembers the longest-serving James Bond.

Roger Moore

Photograph: Peter Ruck/Getty Images


The spy with Indian connections

'Roger Moore was a university by himself'

'The ultimate James Bond'


Roger Moore Live and let Die

Photograph: Keystone/Getty Images

Live and Let Die (1973)

Roger Moore on the sets of his debut James Bond adventure Live and Let Die in 1973.

Legend has it that Moore, who had many television commitments through the 1960s, was considered to play Bond in Dr No and On Her Majesty's Secret Service by the producers, but things only fell into place when Sean Connery, the first Bond, dropped out of the franchise after Diamonds Are Forever (1971).

When it came time to cast the next 007 for Live and Let Die, the filmmakers considered many actors, but producer Albert 'Chubby' Broccoli picked Moore, who accepted the part in August 1972.

According to the BBC, 'Out went the harder, crueller edge of Sean Connery's 007 to be succeeded by sardonic humour and the inevitable raised eyebrow.'

Live and Let Die was the 10th James Bond film.

It saw Moore's Bond travel deep into the bayous of New Orleans to battle a drug lord.

Did you know? Moore was the third James Bond. Australian George Lazenby stepped in to play Bond in On Her Majesty's Secret Service after Connery stepped down. Connery returned as Bond once more before Moore took over.

Roger Moore the man with the golden gun

The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)

Moore's second innings as Bond saw him go after the Solex Agitator, a device that could harness the sun's power, and face the assassin Francisco Scaramanga aka the 'Man with the Golden Gun'.

The film met with savage criticism, but Moore went on to become one of the most commercially successful Bonds of the franchise.

Did you know? Moore made a guest appearance as Bond in Mainly Millicent, a comedy series, in 1964.

Roger Moore the spy who loved me

Photograph: Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

Moore and Barbara Bach with now-famous 'amphibious' Lotus Esprit of The Spy Who Loved Me.

The film, which saw Bond team up with a KGB agent to take on the villainous Karl Stromberg intent on destroying the world and creating one under the sea, pleased the audience, most critics and awards juries.

Did you know? Michael Billington, who was a frontrunner for Bond after Connery's exit, essayed a cameo in the pre-credit sequence of The Spy Who Loved Me.

Roger Moore Moonraker

Moonraker (1979)

The film took the agent with the licence to kill into outer space.

The plot revolved around Bond facing off the evil Hugo Drax when the investigation of the theft of a space shuttle unveils the plot to wipe out the world's population and re-create humanity as we know it.

Metro, which ranked Moore as the best Bond for his 'relaxed and light-hearted approach' to the role, picked this as Moore's best Bond moment: 'Attempting re-entry in Moonraker.'

Did you know? James Bond's creator Ian Fleming reportedly based Moonraker on an early manuscript and wanted it to be a film even before he finished writing the story in 1954.

Roger Moore for your eyes only

For Your Eyes Only (1981)

For Your Eyes Only brought Bond back to basics after the sci-fi Moonraker and had him locate a British encryption device and keep it from enemy hands.

Moore had separated himself from Connery's legacy by underlining the humour and absurdity of Bond.

'My whole reaction was always -- he is not a real spy,' he told The New Yorker. 'You can't be a real spy and have everybody in the world know who you are and what your drink is. That's just hysterically funny.'

Did you know? Moore considered himself only the 'fourth best Bond'.

Octopussy Roger Moore

Octopussy (1983)

The adventure that brought 007 to India.

Shot in Agra and Udaipur, it follows Bond as he unravels a jewel-smuggling operation -- headed by the mysterious Octopussy -- only to uncover a plot to use a nuclear weapon.

Did you know? Kabir Bedi, who played one of the villains in the film, felt Octopussy would do for him what Lawrence of Arabia did for Omar Sharif. Alas!

Roger Moore A View to a Kill

Photograph: Larry Ellis/Getty Images

A View to a Kill (1985)

Moore on the sets of A View to a Kill in Paris with half a car in August 1984.

His last turn as Bond saw him stopping a power hungry businessman intent on destroying Silicon Valley.

By the time Moore left the franchise -- handing over the reins to Timothy Dalton -- he was the longest-serving Bond actor, as well as the oldest actor to have played 007.

He was 45 when he began and 58 when he announced his retirement in December 1985.

Did you know? Despite reports of him being considered for the part of Bond for years before it finally happened, Moore said in his autobiography My Word Is My Bond that he believed he had never been considered for the part before.

Monali Sarkar / Rediff.com