Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Sir Roger Moore: The Hardest Working Eyebrows In Showbusiness

Sir Roger Moore has died aged eight nine. His family made the sad announcement on Twitter, saying that Roger had died 'after a short, but brave, battle with cancer.' A later statement, from his children, read: '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 love with which he was surrounded in his final days was so great it cannot be quantified in words alone,' read the statement from Roger's three children, Deborah, Geoffrey and Christian. 'Our thoughts must now turn to supporting Kristina [Roger's fourth wife] at this difficult time.' It added: '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. Thank you Pops for being you and being so very special to so many people.'
As the dashing Simon Templar in The Saint, the champagne-drinking playboy Lord Brett Sinclair in The Persuaders! and, most notably, 007 licence-to-kill James Bond in seven movies beginning with 1973's classic Live & Let Die, Sir Roger Moore was nothing if not the epitome of Upper Class British crime-fighting cool in the 1960s and 70s. Along with his good friend the late Patrick Macnee, Roger was, perhaps, one of the first great actors of the TV age, effortlessly using his charm - and more than a little occasional self-mockery - to present a series of characters whom both big and small-screen audiences adored. As much for his way around a pithy quip or a sly wink to the viewers not to take everything too seriously as for anything else. Often mocked by sneering 'serious' critics as, frankly, not a very good actor, Roger more than made up for any weaknesses in that department with an effortless suave and often brilliant comedy timing. And, when given good material to work with - see, for example, his genuinely outstanding performance in the 1970 thriller The Man Who Haunted Himself - proved that he could hold his own with the best. 'During my early acting years I was told that to succeed you needed personality, talent and luck in equal measure,' Roger told the Gruniad in a wonderfully self-deprecating interview in 2014 that was so typical of the man. 'I contest that. For me it's been ninety nine per cent luck. It's no good being talented and not being in the right place at the right time.'
Roger George Moore was born in October 1927 in Stockwell. He was the only child of George, a police detective sergeant. Roger's mother, Lily, was born in Calcutta. He attended Battersea Grammar School, but was evacuated to Holsworthy in Devon, during the Second World War and went to Launceston College. At fifteen, he entered art college in Amersham and later became an apprentice at an animation studio in London, where it seems much fun was had at his expense. 'I was probably the lowliest in the entire building,' he recalled. 'They sent me on errands for things like tins of sprocket holes and the guy in stores would say he didn't have any - and would rainbow paint do instead?' He gained early acting experience at the age of seventeen appearing as an uncredited extra in the film Caesar & Cleopatra (1945) meeting his idol, the actor Stewart Grainger, on the set. Many years later, Moore and Granger were both in The Wild Geese (1978), though they had no scenes together. At eighteen, shortly after the end of the Second World War, Roger was conscripted for National Service. In September 1946, he was commissioned into the Royal Army Service Corps as a Second Lieutenant and eventually became a Captain, commanding a small depot in West Germany. He later looked after entertainers for the armed forces passing through Hamburg. Immediately after his National Service, Roger studied for two terms at the RADA, his fees being paid by the film director Brian Desmond Hurst (a family friend after Roger's father had investigated a break-in at Hurst's home) who used Roger as an extra in his film Trottie True (1949). At RADA, Roger was a classmate of his future Bond co-star Lois Maxwell. He chose to leave RADA after six months in order to seek paid employment as an actor. By the time he left, however, he had already developed his trademark Mid-Atlantic accent and relaxed demeanour which would later define his work. In 1946, aged eighteen, Moore had married a fellow RADA student, the actress and ice skater Doorn Van Steyn who was six years his senior; Roger and Van Steyn lived in Streatham with her family, but tension over money matters and, reportedly, her lack of confidence in his acting abilities inevitably took their toll on the relationship. During the early stages of his career, Roger collected towels from the hotels he stayed in. However, he stopped when a newspaper printed a story entitled Roger Moore Is A Towel Thief. Many years later, he revealed on the chat show So, Graham Norton in 1998 that he still had the towel collection in his Swiss home.
On his return to the theatre, he found acting roles hard to come by but his well-toned physique meant that he was very in-demand as a male model. One of his engagements was playing the doctor in Woman's Own medical features. In the early 1950s, Roger worked extensively, appearing in print advertisements for knitwear (earning him the nickname 'The Big Knit') and a wide range of other products such as toothpaste - an element that some critics later used as typifying his lightweight credentials as an actor.
In his book Last Man Standing: Tales From Tinseltown, Roger noted that his first television appearance was on the BBC in March 1949 in a live performance of the play The Governess by Patrick Hamilton in which he played a minor part, Bob Drew. Unlike many of his contemporaries, however, Roger wasn't a TV regular for another decade, making the majority of his screen appearances in movies. In 1952, Roger met the Welsh singer Dorothy Squires, who was thirteen years his senior and then at the height of her popularity. Roger and Van Steyn divorced the following year reportedly after he had suffered from domestic abuse. Squires and Moore were married in New York and moved to the United States in 1954 to develop both of their careers but tensions subsequently developed due to their age differences and, allegedly, to Moore's infatuation with the actress Dorothy Provine. The couple would eventually move back to the UK in 1961. Squires suffered a series of miscarriages during their marriage and Roger later said that the outcome of their marriage may have been different if they had been able to have children. In their often tempestuous relationship, Roger claimed that Squires once smashed a guitar over his head and, after learning of his affair with the Italian actress Luisa Mattioli, who later became Roger's third wife, Squires 'threw a brick through my window. She reached through the glass and grabbed my shirt and she cut her arms doing it. The police came and they said, "Madam, you're bleeding" and she said, "It's my heart that's bleeding!"' Squires intercepted letters from Mattioli to Moore and later planned to include them in her autobiography but the couple won injunctions against the publication in 1977, which led Squires to unsuccessfully sue them for loss of earnings. The numerous legal cases launched by Squires related to her and Roger's relationship - she once unsuccessfully tried to sue the actor Kenneth More who, during a TV awards ceremony had spotted Roger and Mattioli in the audience and innocently described the pair as 'Mr and Mrs Roger Moore' - led to Squires being declared a vexatious litigant in 1987. Roger, however, remained on reasonably cordial terms with her and paid a now near-destitute Squires's hospital bills after her cancer treatment in 1996 prior to her death in 1998.
Although Roger signed a seven-year contract with MGM in 1954, the films that followed were not successes and, in his own words, 'at MGM, RGM was NBG [no bloody good].' He appeared in Interrupted Melody in 1955 - billed third under Glenn Ford and Eleanor Parker - a biographical movie about an opera singer's recovery from polio. That same year, he played a supporting role in The King's Thief starring Ann Blyth, Edmund Purdom, David Niven and George Sanders. In the 1956 film Diane, Roger was billed third again, this time under Lana Turner and Pedro Armendariz in a Sixteenth-Century period piece set in France with Roger playing Prince Henri. He was released from his MGM contract after only two years following the critical and commercial failure of Diane. After that, Roger spent a few years mainly doing guest parts in television series, including an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents. He signed another long-term contract, this time with Warner Brothers, in 1959. His starring role in The Miracle, a version of the play Das Mirakel with Carroll Baker as a nun, had previously been turned down by Dirk Bogarde. The same year, Roger was directed by Arthur Hiller in The Angry Young Man, an episode of The Third Man TV series starring Michael Rennie. Eventually, Roger made his own name in television. He was the eponymous hero, Sir Wilfred of Ivanhoe, in the 1958 ITV film series Ivanhoe, a - very - loose adaptation of the romantic novel by Sir Walter Scott. Shot mainly at Elstree, some of the show was also filmed in California due to a partnership deal with Columbia Studios' Screen Gems. Aimed at younger audiences, the pilot was filmed in colour, a reflection of its comparatively large budget - certainly for a British series of that period - but subsequent episodes were shot in black and white. Christopher Lee - another close friend of Roger's over several decades - Jon Pertwee and John Schlesinger were among the show's guest stars and series regulars included Robert Brown (who in, the 1980s, would play M in several of Roger's James Bond films), Peter Gilmore, Andrew Keir as villainous Prince John and Bruce Seton as King Richard. Roger suffered broken ribs and a battle-axe blow to his helmet while performing some of his own stunts filming the thirty nine episodes and later reminisced, 'I felt a complete Charlie riding around in all that armour and damned stupid plumed helmet. I felt like a medieval fireman.'
His next series involved playing the lead as Silky Harris for the ABC/Warner Brothers 1959 western The Alaskans, with co-stars Dorothy Provine, Jeff York and Ray Danton. The show ran for a single series of thirty seven hour-long episodes on Sunday nights. Though set in Alaska, with a focus on the Klondike Gold Rush of the 1890s, the series was filmed on a hot studio lot at Warner Brothers in Hollywood with the cast costumed in fur coats and hats. Roger said he found the work highly taxing and his off-camera affair with Provine complicated matters even more. He subsequently appeared as the character Fourteen Karat John in the two-part episode Right Off The Boat of the ABC crime drama The Roaring Twenties. In the wake of The Alaskans, Roger was then cast as Beau Maverick, an English-accented cousin of frontier gamblers Bret Maverick (James Garner), Bart Maverick (Jack Kelly) and Brent Maverick (Robert Colbert) in the much more successful western series Maverick. It later emerged that Sean Connery was flown over from Britain to screen-test for the part but had turned it down. Roger appeared as the character in fourteen episodes after Garner had left the series at the end of the previous series, actually wearing some of Garner's costumes. Roger had filmed a Maverick episode with Garner two years earlier in which Moore played a different character in a retooling of Sheridan's comedy of manners The Rivals. In the course of the story, Moore and Garner's characters switched names over a bet, with Roger consequently identifying himself as Bret Maverick through most of the episode. His debut as Beau Maverick occurred in the first episode of the 1960 series. Leaving after several months, Roger cited a decline in script quality since the Garner era as the key factor in his decision.
Worldwide fame finally arrived for Roger after Lew Grade cast his as the playboy adventurer Simon Templar in ITC's adaptation of The Saint, based on the novels of Leslie Charteris. Roger said in an interview in 1963, that he had wanted to buy the rights to Charteris's character and the trademarks and also joked that the role was supposed to have been written with Sean Connery in mind, but the Scottish actor was 'unavailable' making the first James Bond movie. The Saint was made in the UK but with an eye to the American market and its widespread success there (and in many other countries) made Roger a household name. Many of Templar's characteristics, the easygoing manner, mocking raised eyebrow and ability to successfully charm every passing female, would later be incorporated into Roger's role as James Bond. Even his habit in many episodes of looking directly at the camera prefigures the later Bonds, where he all but winked at the audience. Roger directed several episodes of the later series, which moved into colour in 1967. The Saint ran from 1962 for six series and one hundred and eighteen episodes, making it at the time the longest-running series of its kind on British television. Many of the later, colour episodes, are still being syndicated today.
However, Roger grew increasingly tired of the role and was keen to branch out. He made two films immediately after the series ended: Crossplot (1969), a lightweight spy caper movie and the more challenging psychological thriller The Man Who Haunted Himself (1970). Directed by Basil Dearden, the latter - based on the Anthony Armstrong novel The Strange Case Of Mister Pelham - gave Roger the opportunity to demonstrate a far wider versatility than Simon Templar had allowed, although reviews at the time were lukewarm and both movies did little business at the box office, The Man Who Haunted Himself has since become something of a cult favourite. In the film, Roger played a businessman who appeared to be living a double life. It was, he once noted, 'the only film that I was allowed to act in.' According to Roger's autobiography, The Man Who Haunted Himself was part of a series of small-budgeted movies made by EMI and featuring 'name' actors working for substantially less than their usual fees. Roger considered that the film - his own favourite of all the movies he was involved in - should have been successful, but that 'amateurish marketing' led to its box-office failure. In recent years, a TV repeat of the film was praised online by the actor and writer Mark Gatiss which was replied to by Roger and led to an Internet friendship between the pair. In 2010, the 1969 Lamborghini Islero GTS that Roger drove in the film - registration YLR 11G - was sold at auction for over one hundred and six grand.
Television lured Moore back to star alongside Tony Curtis in The Persuaders! The show featured the adventures of two millionaire playboys solving crime and drinking champagne with beautiful ladies across Europe. Roger was paid the then-unheard-of sum of a million quid for a single - twenty four episode - series making him the highest paid television actor in the world at the time. However, Lew Grade claimed in his autobiography, Still Dancing, that Moore and Curtis 'didn't hit it off all that well.' The concept of The Persuaders! originated in one of the final episodes of The Saint, The Ex-King Of Diamonds, wherein Simon Templar was partnered with a Texas oilman (played by Stuart Damon) in a Monte Carlo gambling adventure. Pleased with that combination, Robert S Baker and Grade funded the new series. Unusually, production began and continued without contracts between the producers and Roger. Curtis became involved because ITC knew it needed an American co-star to ensure the series would be picked up by US networks. Initially the role of Danny Wilde was offered to both Rock Hudson and Glenn Ford. When neither accepted, ITC asked the ABC for a list of suitable actors which included Curtis. He agreed and flew to the UK in April 1970 to commence filming. However, on arrival at Heathrow Tony was busted by The Fuzz for possession of pot and fined fifty quid gaining the series much tabloid notoriety before they'd even shot a single episode. Filming was conducted on location in Europe (France, Spain, Sweden, and Italy) and at Pinewood. Each of the twenty four episodes cost around one hundred thousand smackers to make, an astronomical figure for the time. In a DVD documentary, the writer Bob Baker claimed that Lew Grade was prepared to finance a second series, despite the relative failure of the show in America. He proposed casting Noel Harrison as a replacement for Roger who had, by that time, got the James Bond gig but Grade was later convinced by others on the production that it was the dynamic between Roger and Tony which had worked so well. During the series, Roger acted - officially and practically - as his own wardrobe stylist. It stemmed from genuine sartorial interests and because he was marketing a line of clothes by bespoke men's tailors, Pearson and Foster. Every episode carried the outrageous closing credit, 'Lord Sinclair's clothes designed by Roger Moore.' Followed by the even-more hilarious 'gowns by The Total Look Of Debenhams'!
There has been much speculation over the years about the professional relationship between Roger and Tony enjoyed on and off the set, as evidenced by Grade's comments. In her autobiography Second Act, Joan Collins claimed that the pair did not get along when she was a guest star for one episode. She cited Curtis's frequent bouts of temper tantrums as the reason why the set of Five Miles To Midnight was so tense. Episode director Val Guest, in a 2005 interview to the British Film Institute, broadly confirmed Collins's assessment: 'Tony was on pot at the time and I used to have to say "Oh, go and have a smoke," because he always had some gripe. One day, we were shooting on the Croisette in Cannes and we'd been roped off our little thing and there were crowds all around watching us film. Tony came down to do his scene and he was carrying on at the wardrobe saying, 'You didn't do this and you should have done that and in Hollywood you would have been fired." Dear Roger Moore walked over, took him by the lapels, looked him straight in the eyes and said, 'And, to think, those lips once kissed Piper Laurie!" The whole of the Croisette collapsed, the unit collapsed and, I must say, even Tony had to laugh. We were asked to do another [series] we got the award that year for the best TV series and they wanted to do a repeat, I remember Roger saying, "With Tony Curtis? Not on your life!" And he went on to become James Bond, so he did all right.' According to Roger's autobiography, Curtis's use of cannabis was so extensive that he even smoked it in front of a police officer while filming in Downing Street. Despite all of these third-party claims, however, both Tony and Roger consistently maintained that they enjoyed an amicable and friendly relationship. Roger wrote: 'Tony and I had a good on and off-screen relationship, we are two very different people, but we did share a sense of humour.' In a 2005 interview, Tony referred to Roger with seemingly genuine affection and stated that he would not participate in a proposed remake of The Persuaders! without Moore.
The series failed in America, where it had been sold to ABC, but it was hugely successful in Europe and in Australia. In Germany, where the series was broadcast under the name Die Zwei, it became a hit, in part through especially amusing dubbing which only barely used translations of the original dialogue, while in France, where the series (entitled Amicalement Vôtre) had always been popular, the DVD releases were accompanied a monthly magazine. Again, like The Saint, syndication repeats of The Persuaders! continue across the world to this day.
During this period, Roger was appointed the head of Brut Films, an offshoot of the aftershave manufacturer. He tried unsuccessfully to entice Cary Grant to make his acting comeback in a Brut advert, but succeeded in recruiting him as one of the company's advisers. Moore was also instrumental in the production of A Touch Of Class, the 1973 romantic comedy for which Glenda Jackson won her second Oscar. His brief tenure as a mogul was abbreviated when he signed a three-film contract to play James Bond.
      Because of his commitment to several television shows, in particular The Saint, Roger was unavailable for the James Bond franchise for a considerable time although, in 1964, he made a guest appearance playing Bond in the comedy series Mainly Millicent. Roger stated in his autobiography My Word Is My Bond (2008) that he had neither been approached to play the character in Dr No, nor did he feel that he had ever been considered. It was only after Sean Connery declared in 1966 during the filming of You Only Live Twice that he would not play Bond again that Moore became aware he might be a contender for the role, but he was unavailable at the time due to his contract on The Saint. However, after George Lazenby was cast in 1969's On Her Majesty's Secret Service and then Connery played Bond again in Diamonds Are Forever (1971), Roger was approached and he accepted Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman's offer in August 1972. In his autobiography Roger noted that he had to cut his hair and lose weight for the role. Out went the harder, crueller edge of Connery's 007 to be succeeded by sardonic humour and the inevitable raised eyebrow. After Live & Let Die, Moore continued to portray Bond in The Man With The Golden Gun (1974), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), Moonraker (1979), For Your Eyes Only (1981), Octopussy (1983) and A View To A Kill (1985). Three of these films were great, two of them were really bad but all of them were a hell of a lot of fun, mainly because of Roger Moore's presence in them! He remains the longest-serving James Bond actor, having spent twelve years in the role. He was also the oldest actor to have played Bond - he was forty five when he was cast and fifty eight when he announced his retirement in December 1985.
Moore's Bond was very different from the version created by Ian Fleming. Screenwriters like Tom Mankiewicz and George MacDonald Fraser provided scenarios in which Moore was cast as a seasoned, debonair playboy who would always have a trick or gadget in stock when he needed it. Essentially, Simon Templar/Lord Brett Sinclair with a Walther PPK and a Lotus Esprit. Not for nothing has Live & Let Die - with its Blacksploitation plot - often been described, affectionately, as The Saint Gets Shafted! All of these elements were designed to serve the contemporary taste of the 1970s. Roger's version of Bond was also known for his sense of humour and pithy one-liners, but he was a skilled detective with a cunning mind. 'Sean played Bond as a killer and I played Bond as a lover,' he once said. Only on Fridays did he resemble a cold-blooded assassin: 'That's the day I received my paychecks.' Roger said that he had read several of Fleming's novels in preparation for the role and had particularly noted one line in which Fleming had written that Bond had recently returned from an assignment to kill someone which Bond had found distasteful. 'I thought, that's how I'm going to play him,' Roger said and his character was certainly something of a contrast with the rougher, more bullying and sadistic Connery Bond. Mankiewicz, who wrote Connery's final Bond movie and Roger's first two spoke eloquently of the differences between the two actors portrayal of the character, noting that if Connery's Bond were sitting opposite a beautiful girl he could either lean over and kiss her, or stab her in the back and the audience would have accepted either scenario. But, with Roger, the latter would have seemed mean. In 2004, Roger was voted Best Bond in an Academy Awards poll and he won with sixty two per cent of votes in another poll in 2008.
During Roger's Bond period he starred in thirteen other movies, beginning with the Wilbur Smith thriller Gold (1974) and the romantic comedy That Lucky Touch (1975, in which he was very good opposite Susannah York). He portrayed a First World War aristocratic adventurer in Africa opposite Lee Marvin in a fine Peter Hunt adaptation of another Wilbur Smith novel, Shout At The Devil (1976, a particular favourite of this blogger), a commando mercenary with Richard Burton and Richard Harris in the popular, if rather of-the-era-racist, action movie The Wild Geese (1978), a counter-terrorism expert opposite Anthony Perkins and James Mason in the under-rated thriller North Sea Hijack (1979) and a millionaire so obsessed with Roger Moore that he had had plastic surgery to look like his hero in Cannonball Run (1981). He even made a cameo as Chief Inspector Clouseau, posing as a famous movie star, in The Curse Of The Pink Panther (1983 for which he was credited as Turk Thrust II). Most of these movie were not critically acclaimed - few Roger Moore movies were - but nevertheless, a few of them were quite commercially successful and Moore remained something of a box-office draw well into the mid-1980s. Although critics often accused him of not looking tough enough to play James Bond, he once allegedly beat up the noted brawling hellraiser Lee Marvin while they were filming Shout At The Devil. Marvin recalled, 'The guy is built like granite. Nobody will ever underestimate him again.' While shooting the interrogation scene opposite Burton and Harris in The Wild Geese, Moore made the virtually unheard-of request to have a cut in his lines. After another take, he then suggested that all his dialogue should be cut. When the director, Andrew McLaglen, asked him why, Roger allegedly replied: 'Do you seriously think I want to act against these guys? I'll just sit here and puff on my cigar.'
After relinquishing his role as Bond, Roger's workload diminished though he did star in the American box office flop Fire, Ice & Dynamite (1990), as well as the woeful Michael Winner 'comedy' Bullseye! with his friend Michael Caine. He did the overlooked comedy Bed & Breakfast (1991), as well as the television movie The Man Who Wouldn't Die (1994) and the Jean-Claude Van Damme flop The Quest (1996). He also took small roles in Spice World (1997) and the American television series The Dream Team (1999). Although his film work may have slowed down, he was still very much in the public eye, be it regularly appearing on television chat shows or hosting documentaries. In 1990 he appeared in writer-director Michael Feeney Callan's series My Riviera. Between 1998 and 2002 he starred in all four ITV Christmas Pantomimes. At the age of seventy three, he played an amorous homosexual in Boat Trip (2002) and, although the film was - rightly - critically panned, Moore's comedic performance was singled out by many critics as the one of the few enjoyable aspects of it. He was scheduled to make his musical theatre debut as Sir George in Lloyd Webber's Aspects Of Love in 1990 but he left the production days before his escape clause expired due to his own concerns over his singing ability. He was replaced by Kevin Colson.
       Roger became an object of some mockery after the 1980s satirical show Spitting Image featured a puppet of him which expressed its emotions solely through its eyebrows. The joke proved to be robust, but not everyone realised that Roger himself had actually cracked it first. 'The eyebrows thing was my own fault,' he once said in trademark self-deprecating style. 'I was talking about how talentless I was and said that I have three expressions as Bond: right eyebrow raised, left eyebrow raised and both eyebrows raised when grabbed by Jaws! And [Spitting Image] used it, very well, I must say.' In 2009 Moore appeared in an advertisement for the Post Office. The following year, Moore provided the voice of a talking cat called Lazenby in Cats & Dogs: The Revenge Of Kitty Galore. In 2011 Moore co-starred in the film A Princess For Christmas with Katie McGrath and Sam Heughan and in 2012 he took to the stage for a series of seven Evenings with in UK theatres and, in November, guest-hosted Have I Got News For You.
Despite having made millions through his film and television career, friends stressed that Roger was one of the most modest and charming actors in the business and all that really mattered to him were his wife and family. In 1983 his life changed when filming Octopussy in India. Shocked at the poverty he saw there, he became interested in the Third World humanitarian effort. Roger's friend Audrey Hepburn had impressed him with her work for UNICEF and consequently he became a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador from 1991. Roger was also involved in the production of a video for PETA which protested against the production and sale of foie gras.
       In 1961, while filming The Rape Of The Sabine Women in Italy, Roger had left his then wife Dorothy Squires for the Italian actress Luisa Mattioli. Squires refused to accept their separation and sued Moore for loss of conjugal rights, but Moore refused the court's order to return to Squires in twenty eight days. Roger and Mattioli lived together until 1969, when Squires finally granted him a divorce, after the couple had been separated for seven years. Roger had three children with Mattioli: the actress Deborah Moore (born 1963) and two sons, Geoffrey Moore and Christian Moore. Geoffrey is also an actor and appeared alongside his father in the - hilariously bad - 1976 film Sherlock Holmes In New York. In later life Geoffrey co-founded Hush Restaurant in Mayfair with Jamie Barber. Geoffrey and his wife, Loulou, have two daughters, Ambra and Mia. Roger's youngest son, Christian, is a film producer. Roger and Mattioli separated in 1993 after Moore's affinity with the Swedish born Danish socialite, Kristina Tholstrup emerged. Roger later described his prostate cancer diagnosis in 1993 as 'life-changing,' which led him to reassess his life and marriage. Mattioli and Tholstrup had long been friends but Mattioli was scathing of Tholstrup in the book which she subsequently wrote about her relationship with Moore, Nothing Lasts Forever, describing how she felt 'betrayed' by Tholstrup and 'discarded' by Moore. Roger remained silent on his divorce from Mattioli, later saying that he did not wish to hurt his children by 'engaging in a war of words' with their mother. The children all reportedly refused to speak to him for a period after the divorce, but they were later reconciled. Mattioli refused to grant Moore a divorce until 2000, when a ten million quid settlement was agreed. Roger subsequently married Tholstrup in 2002 and would later say that he loved Tholstrup as she was 'organised, serene, loving and calm,' adding that 'I have a difficult life. I rely on Kristina totally. When we are travelling for my job she is the one who packs. Kristina takes care of all that.' Roger also said that his marriage to Tholstrop was 'a tranquil relationship, there are no arguments.'
Roger became a tax exile in 1978, originally to Switzerland and divided his year between his three homes; an apartment in Monte Carlo, a chalet in Crans-Montana and a home in the South of France. He became a resident of Monaco, having been appointed a Goodwill Ambassador by Prince Albert II for his efforts in internationally promoting and publicising the principality. He was vocal in his defence of his tax status, saying that in the 1970s he had been urged by his 'accountants, agents and lawyers' that moving abroad was 'essential' because 'you would never be able to save enough to ensure that you had any sort of livelihood if you didn't work' as a result of the punitive taxation rates imposed on unearned income. Moore claimed in 2011 that his decision to live abroad was 'not about tax. That's a serious part of it. I come back to England often enough not to miss it, to see the changes, to find some of the changes good. I paid my taxes at the time that I was earning a decent income, so I've paid my due.' Roger was diagnosed with Type Two Diabetes in 2013, which left him unable to drink martinis. He had to learn to walk again after a bout of pneumonia and had a pacemaker fitted after collapsing on stage during a 2003 stage performance of the comedy The Play What I Wrote. In 1999, Roger was created a CBE and he was knighted in June 2003. The citation on the knighthood was for Roger's charity work, which had dominated his public life for more than a decade. Moore said that the citation 'meant far more to me than if I had got it for acting. I was proud because I received it on behalf of UNICEF as a whole and for all it has achieved over the years.' In October 2008, Roger was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work on television and in film. In the same year the French government appointed Roger a Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. On 21 November 2012, Roger was awarded an honorary Doctor of Arts degree from the University of Hertfordshire, for his outstanding contributions to the UK film and television industry for over fifty years.
Moore admitted to being a lifelong hypochondriac; among those to whom he expressed thanks in the acknowledgements of his autobiography were five GPs, four cardiologists, two dermatologists and a proctologist! He visibly enjoyed his time as Bond and expressed only occasional regrets about his career. 'I spent my life playing heroes because I looked like one,' he said. 'Practically everything I've been offered didn't require much beyond looking like me. I would have loved to play a real baddie.' 'I'm the worst Bond, according to the Internet,' he observed. 'Generally hated! I was too funny, too light. Didn't take it seriously enough. Well, this is a man who is supposed to be a spy. And yet he turns up in bars and hotels around the world and everyone says, "Ah, Meezda Bond, we've been expecting you!" Everybody knows who he is and what he wants to drink. It's the same with the Bond girls. All the new ones say, "Oh, I'm going to be different from the others," but before long it's always the same - "Oh, James!"' Despite his other work and achievements, Roger never managed to shrug off the mantle of 007. But, he didn't mind. 'Of course I don't regret the Bond days,' he once remarked. 'I regret that, sadly, heroes in general are depicted with guns in their hands, and to tell the truth I have always hated guns and what they represent.'