The spy who entertained me: 40 things you didn’t know about Sir Roger Moore

By Jamie Lam

Sir Roger Moore has passed away at the age of 89 after a short battle with cancer. In remembrance of his life, here are 40 facts you may not have known about the man who was Bond. James Bond

By Jamie Lam |

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Roger Moore poses in front of his helicopter with the logo of His Majesty's Secret Service agent 007.

1. He didn’t originally set out to be an actor. He'd only tagged along with some friends to be an extra on the set of Caesar and Cleopatra (1945) and caught the eye of someone on the crew.

2. Loved Cadbury's milk chocolate as a child and admits to having been an overweight kid.

3. Told The Telegraph in 2016: "I was so pretty, actresses didn't want to work with me." 

4. Modelled for products such as knitwear and toothpaste early on in his career.

5. Wasn't always an in-demand star! Moore was released in 1956 from his seven-year contract with MGM after only two years.

6. Life does not imitate art. Despite playing one of the world's most famous action spy-heroes, he had never been in a real fight before.

7. His first major success was on British TV series The Saint in which he played Simon Templar, a Robin Hood-like criminal who steals from the corrupt rich.

8. His character from The Saint drove a Volvo P1800, which Volvo happily supplied for its promotional value.

Photo: Volvo UK

9. He played the iconic James Bond in seven films: starting with Live and Let Die in 1973. His last time playing Bond was in A View to a Kill in 1985.

10. At 58 for A View to a Kill, he is the oldest actor to have played James Bond so far.

11. While we're on Bond, he once said he had nothing in common with “that cold-blooded killer type”, and preferred instead to “play the role mostly for laughs”.

12. He never actually auditioned for the role of Bond. Moore told Yahoo Movies in 2014 that the studio knew he was available, and that he was cheap!

13. He was required to cut his hair and lose weight to play Bond.

14. Moore is tied with Sean Connery for the most stints as James Bond - both with seven.

15. When comparing himself to the previous Bond - Sean Connery in Diamonds Are Forever (1971) - he said "Sean was a killer; I was a lover."

16. Parts of The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) were filmed in Hong Kong.


17. The partly submerged wreck of the RMS Queen Elizabeth in Victoria Harbor acted as the MI6 base in The Man with the Golden Gun.

18. Moore pilots a Lotus Esprit that famously transforms from a car into a submarine in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977).

19. The Lotus Esprit was bought by Tesla founder Elon Musk in 2013. Talk about a fanboy!

20. Although the next scheduled movie after The Spy Who Loved Me was to be For Your Eyes Only (1981), Moonraker (1979) replaced it in the schedule instead to capitalise on the space craze started by Star Wars (1977). 

21. He drives a hovercraft gondola around St Mark's Square in Venice in Moonraker. Yes, a hovercraft gondola. So. Extra.


22. In For Your Eyes Only, the snow for the big ski scene was delivered from elsewhere because it wasn't snowing at the time in the Italian Alps.

23. When asked whether he performed his own stunts, Moore joked, "Of course I do my own stunts. And I also do my own lying."

24. When asked about his place among all of the Bond actors, he described himself as "the fouth best James Bond".

25. Had a stunt double for running scenes because he feels he looks funny when running.

26. He and his A View to a Kill (1985) co-star Grace Jones did not get along. When asked to elaborate, he said, "If you can't say something nice about somebody, don't say anything."

27. His favourite game to play at a casino is the dice game, craps.

28. His father was a policeman in London.

29. He served in the Royal Army Service Corps near the end of WWII and rose to the rank of captain. (Captain. Captain Roger Moore. There's a certain ring to it, no?)

30. He was introduced to humanitarian work with Unicef through his friend Audrey Hepburn.

31. He became a Unicef Goodwill Ambassador in 1991.

Photo: AFP

32. He was knighted in 2003 by Queen Elizabeth for his charity work.

33. Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2007.

34. Moore had four marriages, his last to Kristina Tholstrup from 2002 until his death.

35. When asked what he had learnt from his four marriages, he replied, "Well, I don't think I learnt too much, otherwise I wouldn't have been married four times."

36. Moore had all three of his children with his third wife, Italian actress Luisa Mattioli.

37. He authored four books about his life and career, the latest entitled Last Man Standing: Tales from Tinseltown (2014).

38. He considers his role in the 1970 psychological thriller The Man Who Haunted Himself as his best acting.

39. The biggest regret of his career was not being asked to play Lawrence of Arabia, a part that went to Peter O'Toole.

40. When asked who could play him in a film of his life, he quipped, "Meryl Streep."