The other James Bond. The campy one. Until Daniel Craig years later, he was the only blond Bond. Roger Moore, the third English gentleman to suit up as 007—and who, The Guardian reports, recently died in Switzerland after battling cancer—was also known as the suave Bond, the mischievous Bond, perhaps even the horniest Bond. After all, he’s the James Bond in A View to a Kill who got busted snooping around villainess Grace Jones’s room and didn’t try to escape by jumping out the window or hiding in the shadow of her door. No, he stripped down and slid into her bed.
Moore’s Bond movies were ridiculous, even by Bond standards. (Did you see Moonraker at all?) But that’s why we loved them. In Live and Let Die, he escapes death by traipsing across a bridge of alligators. In The Spy Who Loved Me, regarded by many as his finest turn as 007, the movie begins with a sex scene in a chalet that ends with him parachuting off of a cliff. In 1983, he starred in a movie called Octopussy.
Today, just about everyone agrees that there’s only one James Bond, and his name is Sean Connery—with Daniel Craig as “a close second.” But we think that’s unfair, because Roger Moore’s James Bond deserves to be in a category all by himself. Not only did he redefine the character for a new era and make him a hell of a lot more fun, but he also singlehandedly saved the franchise after Connery called it quits and the frilly-collared George Lazenby proved to be a one-off. Not that Moore really cared where he stood in the pecking order. As far as he was concerned, he was James Bond. “Being eternally known as Bond has no downside,” Moore told the Guardian. “People often call me ‘Mr Bond’ when we’re out and I don’t mind a bit. Why would I?”
To celebrate Moore’s lovable campiness, we’ve compiled our three favorite action scenes of him as 007 and included them below. And for more movie coverage, don’t miss the greatest movie fight scenes of all time.
Opening Sequence, The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
To recap: he beds a beautiful woman in a chalet, escapes henchmen on skis (after killing one with a rifle ski pole), and sky dives his way to freedom.
The Funhouse Duel, The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
Definitely Bond’s trippiest fight scene to date, complete with halls of mirrors, canned horror laughter, and Hervé Villechaize.
The Train Chase, Octopussy (1983)
Here Bond pioneers the whole race-up-the-circus-train cliché, replete with caged animals and sword-wielding Sikh warriors. Eat your heart out, Indiana Jones.
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