Depending on your age and first exposure to a James Bond movie, Sir Roger Moore may well be your favorite 007. Younger viewers, ahem, may prefer Daniel Craig or maybe Pierce Brosnan, but for many, it is the late Roger Moore (who died yesterday) or (my own choice) Sir Sean Connery who best epitomize the “real” Bond, James Bond. (I’d say Ian Fleming’s character lies somewhere in between these twin poles of Connery and Moore.)
Yesterday, in among all the tweets of Roger Moore photos, clips, and comments, was this rather delightful story about Moore as Bond.
But Roger Moore was more than just another James Bond, he was also Ivanhoe, and Lord Brett Sinclair to Tony Curtis’ Danny Wilde in The Persuaders, and my personal favorite, Simon Templar in The Saint.
Moore’s performance as Simon Templar led me to write my first ever fan letter asking for a signed photograph. A week or so later, I duly received a beautiful color photo with Moore’s signature—something I still treasure. Moore as Templar epitomized all the charm and bravery of a cultured super-spy I hoped to emulate when I grew up. As you can appreciate, I never quite managed these fine qualities but it’s always good to have ambition… In real life, Moore was by all accounts equally as charming and as debonair as the characters he played, although he once quipped that his acting chops were limited to his right eyebrow being raised, his left eyebrow being raised or both being raised together. What came across on screen was apparently very much the real man.
During the few lean years of his early career in the 1950s, Moore supplemented his acting work as a model for knitting patterns. This led the more cynical to dismiss his acting talent and label him the “Big Knit.” It didn’t irk Moore, who was always more than capable of pricking his own image and deflecting the most ridiculous of criticisms. I think Moore’s career as a model for cardiagns, pullovers, and v-neck sweaters makes him all the more likable as he managed to carry it all off with great style and considerable aplomb, not that James Bond would have ever been caught dead in any of these.
More fashions worn by the ‘Big Knit,’ after the jump…