In a career that seemed impervious to critical drubbing, Roger Moore owed his enduring box office appeal to exceptionally good looks, terrific luck and a self-deprecating charm.
The English actor, who has died at age 89 in Switzerland, became an international star in playboy-adventurer roles, first on the hit 1960s TV series “The Saint” and later for his tongue-in-cheek film portrayal of the dashing spy James Bond.
The Bond franchise, in particular, cemented his fame like no other role. The movie franchise spun off from Ian Fleming’s novels about an Oxford-educated British spook who was impudent and resourceful, a wizard with women and weaponry, and impeccably dressed but capable of back-alley brutishness.
James Bond became a cultural phenomenon and one of the best-known screen creations of all time, played variously by Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig.
Connery helped launch the Bond movies with “Dr. No” in 1962 and defined the role for many viewers. But Mr. Moore was the longest-running Bond — starting with “Live and Let Die” (1973) and ending six films later with “A View to a Kill” (1985).