Former Bond girl Jane Seymour leads tributes to Roger Moore after the actor dies at 89
Former James Bond star Sir Roger Moore has died in Switzerland after a short battle with cancer, his family has announced.
The Bond star was 89.
In a statement his family said: "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 family paid tribute to Mr Moore's acting and humanitarian work with a special mention to the work he did for UNICEF.
With the heaviest of hearts, we must share the awful news that our father, Sir Roger Moore, passed away today. We are all devastated. pic.twitter.com/6dhiA6dnVg— Sir Roger Moore (@sirrogermoore) May 23, 2017
"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," they said.
"The affection our father felt whenever he walked on to 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 Gall. 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 you being so very special to so many people."
The family said they will support Mr Moore's fourth wife Kristina "Kiki" Tholstrup and announced that a private funeral will take place in Monaco.
Mr Moore became the third and longest-serving 007 after taking over from Sean Connery in Live and Let Die (1971).
He then went on to play the suave English spy in six more films, including The Man with the Golden Gun (1874); The Spy Who Loved Me (1977); Moonraker (1979); For Your Eyes Only (1981); Octopussy (1983) and A View To Kill (1985).
He's also known for roles in hit TV shows The Saint and The Persuaders.
Mr Moore devoted a lot of his time to humanitarian work and became a UNICEF goodwill ambassador in 1991 and was awarded a knighthood in 2003 for his services to charity.
I am devastated to learn of Roger Moore’s passing. The first leading role I ever had as a Bond girl was such a new and frightening world and Roger held my hand and guided me through every process. He taught me about work ethic and humility. He was so funny, kind and thoughtful to everyone around him and in that Roger taught me what a movie star really was and should be. Through his lifelong work with UNICEF he showed me the true meaning of being a humanitarian and giving back. He was my Bond. - Jane Seymour
“The knighthood for my humanitarian work meant more than if it had been for my acting,” Moore said to the Guardian. “I’m sure some people would say,
“What does an actor know about world issues?” But [working for Unicef] I’ve become an expert on things from the causes of dwarfism to the benefits of breastfeeding. I feel very privileged.”
In a statement UNICEF said: “With the passing of Sir Roger Moore, the world has lost one of its great champions for children – and the entire UNICEF family has lost a great friend. In his most famous roles as an actor, Sir Roger was the epitome of cool sophistication; but in his work as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, he was a passionate – and highly persuasive – advocate for children.
"He once said that it was up to all of us to give children a more peaceful future. Together with Lady Kristina, he worked very hard to do so.
“All of us at UNICEF extend our deepest sympathies to the Moore family, and join his many friends and admirers from around the world in paying tribute to his life and mourning his loss. He will be deeply missed.”
Friend and former Bond girl Jane Seymour led the tributes on social media, calling Mr Moore "my Bond".
Seymour starred with Sir Roger in 1973's Live and Let Die, his first as the M16 agent, and she spoke of her devastation upon learning of his death.
Along with a picture of the two of them together, the actress wrote on Instagram: "I am devastated to learn of Roger Moore's passing.
"The first leading role I ever had as a Bond girl was such a new and frightening world and Roger held my hand and guided me through every process."
She said he taught her "about work ethic and humility", adding that he was "funny, kind and thoughtful to everyone around him".
"In that Roger taught me what a movie star really was and should be," she added.
"Through his lifelong work with UNICEF he showed me the true meaning of being a humanitarian and giving back.
"He was my Bond."
The actor is survived by his three children, Deborah, Christian and Geoffrey.