Sir Roger Moore, the legendary English actor known for replacing Sean Connery as James Bond, has died at the age of 89.
“It is with a heavy heart that we must announce that our loving father, Sir Roger Moore, has passed away today in Switzerland after a short but brave battle with cancer,” his three children wrote in a statement posted on Twitter. Moore is also survived by his wife Kristina Tholstrup.
Moore starred in seven James Bond films, beginning with 1973’s “Live and Let Die” and ending with 1985’s “A View to a Kill.” He was knighted in 2003 by Queen Elizabeth II for his charity work, which included serving as a UNICEF Goodwill ambassador. In 2008, Moore received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
“The love with which he was surrounded in his final days was so great it cannot be quantified in words alone,” his family wrote in the statement. “We know our own love and admiration will be magnified many times over, across the world, by people who knew him for his films, his television shows and his passionate work for UNICEF which he considered to be his greatest achievement.”
Moore achieved worldwide fame by playing the lead role of Simon Templar in the U.K. spy thriller TV series “The Saint” between 1962 and 1969. Shortly thereafter, he played a crime-fighting titled Englishman in the action-comedy series “The Persuaders!,” starring alongside Tony Curtis.
Moore was also the oldest actor to star as Bond, having debuted in “Live and Let Die” at the age of 45 and retired from the franchise at the age of 58. He continued working as an actor past his 89th birthday.
“The affection our father felt whenever he walked on to a stage or in front of a camera buoyed him hugely and kept him busy working into his 90th year, through to his last appearance in November 2016 on stage at London’s Royal Festival Hall,” his family wrote. “The capacity crowd cheered him on and off stage, shaking the very foundation of the building just a short distance from where he was born. Thank you Pops for being you, and for being so very special to so many people. Our thoughts must now turn to supporting Kristina at this difficult time, and in accordance with our father’s wishes there will be a private funeral in Monaco.”