For the first time ever in the history of the official James Bond film series, all actors to have portrayed James Bond are not alive. Although he was the third actor to portray the British super-spy, he was the oldest of all the actors. He had three years on the original star of the series, Sean Connery. So the odds were best that Moore would be the first to go, but you really can never be sure of these things and the timing, obviously, was a mystery to all of when this day would come.
Moore, who was my second least favorite incarnation of the character and that is only because George Lazenby quit the role after one movie so it is hard to get a really good gauge of what kind of Bond he could have become had he been given a few more films to flesh out the character, starred in his first Bond movie in 1973 with Live and Let Die. He would end up being Bond for the most official films, with a grand total of seven. He vacated the role after 1985’s A View to a Kill.
Moore’s take on the role was a much lighter tone than Connery, with many of his films becoming slapstick takes on the role, which would be lambasted by Connery fans and younger viewers who grew up on Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig as being campy. I would probably be considered a part of that group and find many of Moore’s 007 movies hard to get through at times.
Since a Bond actor has never passed before I’m not sure what sort of tribute I will do, but it will likely be watching one of his Bond movies tonight after the family goes to bed. The obvious choice is The Spy Who Loved Me, which is his best film in the series, but I might try to mix it up with Live and Let Die or Octopussy.
Anyway, this is a rambling way to say that it is a sad day to be a Bond fan. I’m not on the verge of tears or needing to abandon all responsibilities for the day like some people are claiming on message boards across the world, but I will try to find some time to pay tribute to a man who was truly a tremendous ambassador to the Bond franchise and helped carry the torch for a fictional character I love.