The family of former James Bond actor, Sir Roger Moore, have confirmed that he has died aged 89. His family wrote on Twitter that he had died after “a short but brave Battle With Cancer”. He portrayed the famous spy, created by Ian Fleming, on seven occasions including For Your Eyes Only and Moonraker and is the longest serving James Bond to date. He took the character of James Bond in a more humorous direction than his predecessor Sean Connery.

In accordance to his wishes, Sir Roger will have a private funeral held in Monaco. He died in Switzerland surrounded by his family.

The Career of Sir Roger

In a statement, his children have said “thank you Pops for being you, and being so very special to so many people.” The Twitter post said “with the heaviest of hearts, we must share the awful news that our father, Sir Roger Moore, passed away today. We are all devastated”. Sir Roger’s appeal as James Bond was more suave and humorous than Sean Connery’s and that allowed the character to develop even further as a personality.

He was appointed a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 1991, knighted by the Queen in 2003, given an Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government in 2008 and in the same year, received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He has undertaken humanitarian work with PETA by being involved in the production of a video that protests the wholesale production and sale of foie gras, his involvement led to the famous department store, Selfridges, removing it from their shelves.

During his long career, he has portrayed Sherlock Holmes in the 1977 production, Sherlock Holmes in New York and Beau Maverick in the 1959 American TV series, Maverick, but before his TV and film debuts, he worked as a model for knitwear earning him the nickname ‘The Big Knit. The more unknown aspects of his work include playing Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau from the Curse of the Pink Panther in 1983, and a brief appearance in Spiceworld in1997.

His last film appearance came in the 2011 production of A Princess for Christmas.

Awards and a tribute

He has won various roles around the globe for his acting but in 1980 he won the Golden Globe in the World Film Favourite-Male category and in the same year the Saturn for Most Popular International Performer. He has been given various Lifetime Achievement awards in countries such as Poland, Germany, Jamaica, Italy, USA and the Principality of Monte Carlo.

His charity work has earned him UNICEF’s Audrey Hepburn Humanitarian Award and the Dag Hammarskjöld Inspiration Award.

He was a man who dedicated his life to his work must be respected. A man of passion for acting and whilst his relationships have not been ideal throughout his life, this is a tribute to the man who took James Bond to a level that we still see in portrayals now. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.