We were very fortunate to welcome Sir Roger Moore to the Theatre Royal on November 13, 2016, when he visited us on his UK tour, An Afternoon With Sir Roger Moore. Later that month, he would appear on stage for the final time, at London’s Royal Festival Hall.
It is not often that the Theatre Royal sees someone with the sort of worldwide fame that Sir Roger knew. In everything from James Bond to The Saint, his warm-hearted nature shone through on screen. With fans across the globe, Sir Roger will be remembered for his charm, wit and humanity.
It was those qualities which captured our hearts during his seven entries in the Bond franchise. Those films took him from outer space (Moonraker) to the depths of the ocean (The Spy Who Loved Me), and saw him share the screen with stars including Christopher Walken and Grace Jones. His one-liners and arched eyebrow saw him put his own stamp on the role, and his Bond remains a firm favourite for many fans of the series.
Outside of the Bond films, Moore created other iconic characters, including Simon Templar in The Saint, a long-running television series which set the template for his performance as Bond. He would also go on to star in The Persuaders! alongside Tony Curtis. Earning £1 million per episode, he was at that time the highest paid television star in the world.
When the cameras were turned off, Sir Roger was a passionate advocate for charity. His close friend Audrey Hepburn inspired his support of UNICEF, and he would become a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 1991. At his request, bucket collections were held in aid of the charity after his appearance here, and Sir Roger’s heartfelt words on stage no doubt inspired many in the audience that day to dig deep in their pockets.
Despite his fame, Sir Roger was unfailingly polite and charming during his visit here. Both onstage and when talking to local journalists, he had a wealth of anecdotes about his life in Hollywood and the people he had met. With his characteristic generosity and self-effacing wit, he never had a bad word to say about them, and he was always the butt of his own jokes.
To his many fans, and to the packed auditorium who saw him here in November, Sir Roger will be remembered as a talented, charismatic actor, and as a warm and genuine human being. Our thoughts are with his family.