R.I.P. Sir Roger Moore (1927-2017). In this picture he poses in front of Khufu Pyramid, the largest of Egypt’s three Pyramids on the Giza plateau south of Cairo, 2 July 1999. Moore, 72, is in Egypt to promote the country’s tourist attractions after a bloody attack on foreign tourists in Luxor in 1997 left the industry in tatters. The longest tenured James Bond is no stranger to Egypt.
Sir Roger Moore died today at the age of 89, after what his family described as a “short but brave battle with cancer.” Like most people, I just assumed that everyone who played James Bond is immortal, so this death is particularly damaging to the psyche. Moore is one of my favourite actors. Not just for his contributions to the Bond universe, for which he should receive our eternal gratitude, but for his work in Wild Geese, Sea Wolves, and Escape From Athena, to name a few. Not to mention his long-running role as Simon Templar on television show “The Saint.”
News of his death broke like a thunderclap, leaving me absolutely shattered in a way I haven’t felt since Christopher Hitchens died in late 2011. Like any normal child, I was raised with the Bond films, from Connery on through to Craig. Some of my fondest memories are watching Moore’s outings with my grandfather.
As it happens, a friend and I are slowly going through all the Bond films. Most recently we watched Moonraker, which despite being totally outrageous is something of a masterpiece. Next up is For Your Eyes Only, which I expect will be much more emotional than it otherwise would have been.
With the news of Moore’s passing still fresh, I got into a street fight with a hipster who did not even know who Roger Moore was. They said that given that Moore had 89 years relatively good health for most of his life and had a great career, we should all be pleased that he was able to go on that long. He leaves behind a wonderful legacy and all that. Besides, he hasn’t acted in a film since 2011.
All of this may be true but it is beside the point. There are just some people who, just by continuing to live, make the world a better place, even if they are completely idle. Roger Moore was one of those people. The world is a much bleaker place without him.