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Roger Moore - Biography

The legendary James Bond actor was born in October 1927

Sir Roger Moore smiling looking to the right wearing tinted glasses
Hannah Watkin
Content Writer
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Born on 14 October 1927, James Bond actor Roger George Moore was the only child of George Moore, a London based policeman, and his wife Lillian. After leaving school when aged 15 to apprentice at an animation studio, Sir Roger was educated at RADA, but on graduating in 1945 (before he could take any new acting roles) he was conscripted for national service following the end of the Second World War.

Television career

However, by the 50s, Roger's film profile had moved up several notches. His first romantic lead came in the Lana Turner romance, Diane, and was followed by a number of TV productions including 1957's Ivanhoe and in the adventure show The Alaskans. 

In the course of the next decade Roger's career looked set to remain with television. He starred in one season of the Western Maverick before hitting the big time in 1962 playing Simon Templar, better known as The Saint. When the weekly series ended in 1969, he returned to the big screen on a couple of occasions, but returned to TV with The Persuaders. His final transition into a major silver screen role, however, could not have gone more smoothly...

James Bond

In 1973, Sir Roger made his debut as world famous gentleman agent James Bond, picking up where his much loved-predecessor Sean Connery left off. Live And Let Die and the six subsequent films brought Roger international fame and made him forever Bond, despite the fact that he took on other roles in between. 

The first English actor to play the character in the MGM films, he last starred in the role when aged 58 in 1985's View To A Kill, after which he passed the torch on to fellow RADA-trained actor Timothy Dalton. After so much success with Bond, what made him move on? "An accumulation of having done more than I had anticipated," he said in one interview, "and figuring I was doing good to have survived seven movies. And figuring I'd better get out while the going was good." 

Later career

Roger's post-Bond career found him back on the small screen, mostly hosting special programmes and appearing in the occasional made-for-TV flick, though he has also turned in the odd feature film appearance, such as that in 1996's The Quest. However, Roger also chose to dedicate much of his time to his work with UNICEF, continuing the commitment shown by his close friend and fellow Goodwill Ambassador, the late Audrey Hepburn. His extensive philanthropic work with the organisation helped earn him a CBE in 1999, and helped make him a knight in 2003.

Personal life

Over the course of his varied life, Roger made four trips to the altar. The first, in 1946, was to marry Doorn Van Steyn, a fellow student who he met at RADA. This marriage lasted until 1953, and in the same year he married his second wife, the singer Dorothy Squires. They were together until 1968.

Roger's longest marriage was to his third spouse, Luisa Mattioli, whom he divorced in 2000, 30 years after they tied the knot om 1969. He had three children with Luisa: a daughter Deborah, an actress, and two sons, Geoffrey (also an actor) and Christian. In 2002, Roger married socialite Kristina Tholstrup.


Sir Roger died 23 May 2017, aged 89. Shortly after news of his death was broken, tributes poured in from across the industry and from fellow James Bond actors from over the years. His funeral was held at Saint Paul's Church, Monte Carlo, and he was buried in Monaco Cemetery.

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