Well, I knew this day would come eventually, but it hurt just as bad as I thought it might anyway. Just before I left on my trip to NYC, the news broke that Roger Moore, perhaps best known as the suave super-spy James Bond, had passed away in Switzerland after a short fight with cancer at the age of 89.
Of all the Bond actors to date, Moore played the role the longest, appearing in a record SEVEN films, though by his own admission the seventh time (A View to a Kill) was a mistake as he had aged too much for the part by 1985. Moore also had the distinction of being the oldest Bond, as he was already 45 when he took up the role in Live and Let Die. Moore’s run as Bond remains one of my personal favorites, as it includes the wonderful films: Live and Let Die, Moonraker, The Spy Who Loved Me and Octopussy (my guilty pleasure).
If I’m honest, I didn’t watch much of Roger Moore’s work outside of James Bond, though I did love his satirical portrayal of himself as a James Bond/Roger Moore hybrid in The Cannonball Run (1981).
Moore’s death leaves me sad for another reason as well. Believe it or not, in all the years of the Bond franchise, they have never gotten all of the Bond actors in the same place at the same time. Allegedly, they tried to do it for the 50th anniversary of Bond at the Oscars, but someone (*cough* Connery and Brosnan *cough*) balked and it didn’t happen. And now sadly, it never will.
Maybe this is a national thing, and maybe not, but in my hometown on the last page of the newspaper, there would be a single panel cartoon that usually made some kind of joke about current political affairs. But it would also be used to commemorate the death of a very important person. I remember special panels for Pope John Paul II and President Reagan among others. When I think of Moore passing away, I’d like to imagine I would have seen something like this in that cartoon panel: Moore, dressed as Bond in his signature tuxedo, is standing outside the heavenly gates, which are cracked open to allow the light to shine out. And from inside, a voice says “Good Evening 007.”
Though I wasn’t able to write about his death right away, I did watch Moonraker in tribute that evening. It’s so hard to imagine that he isn’t here now, but at least we have the movies to remember him. Rest in peace Sir Roger Moore, you are deeply missed.