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Roger Moore Dead: ‘The Saint’ Actor Was 89

The Roger Moore I remember, as The Saint in 1965

Roger Moore has died. He was 89. Moore played the James Bond 007 in seven films.

But, I remember Moore best for his role as Simon Templar, “The Saint”, the enigmatic action hero who helps put wealthy crooks in jail while absconding with their fortunes.

News of his death was from his children who shared the news on his verified Twitter account Tuesday that their father had died in Switzerland after a “short but brave battle with cancer.”

“With the heaviest of hearts, we must share the awful news that our father, Sir Roger Moore, passed away today. We are all devastated,” the statement said.

1980 photo of Roger Moore as James Bond. Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

“To me, the Bond situations are so ridiculous, so outrageous,” he once said. “I mean, this man is supposed to be a spy and yet, everybody knows he’s a spy. Every bartender in the world offers him martinis that are shaken, not stirred. What kind of serious spy is recognized everywhere he goes? It’s outrageous. So you have to treat the humor outrageously as well.”

While he never eclipsed Sean Connery in the public’s eye as the definitive James Bond, Moore did play the role of secret agent 007 in just as many films as Connery did, and he managed to do so while “finding a joke in every situation,” according to film critic Rex Reed.

Moore was chosen as the new 007 in 1973 after Connery tired of it.

Moore, just a little ahead of my time, in the popular U.S. 1950s-60s TV series “Maverick” as Beauregarde Maverick, the English cousin of the Wild West’s Maverick brothers, Bret and Bart. He also starred in the 1959 U.S. series “The Alaskans.”