"The Spitting Image Movie Awards 1987"
AS SEEN IN:
AS VOICED BY:
Sir Roger George Moore, KBE (born 14 October 1927) is an English actor and film producer, perhaps best known for portraying British secret agent James Bond in seven films from 1973 to 1985. He also portrayed Simon Templar in the long-running British television series 'The Saint'.
Worldwide fame arrived after Lew Grade cast Moore as Simon Templar in a new adaptation of 'The Saint', based on the novels by Leslie Charteris. Moore said in an interview, during 1963, that he wanted to buy the rights of Leslie Charteris's character and the trademarks, but didn't have enough money. He also joked that the role was supposed to have been meant for Sean Connery who was unavailable. The television series was made in the UK with an eye on the American market, and its success there (and in other countries) made Moore a household name - and in spring 1967 he eventually had reached the level of an international top star. It also established his suave, quipping style which he would carry forward to James Bond. Moore would also go on to direct several episodes of the later series, which moved into colour in 1967.
'The Saint' ran from 1961 for six series and 118 episodes, making it (in a tie with 'The Avengers') the longest-running series of its kind on British television. However, Moore grew increasingly tired of the role, and was keen to branch out.
Television lured Moore back to star, alongside Tony Curtis, in what has become another cult series, 'The Persuaders!' It featured the adventures of two millionaire playboys across Europe. It was for this series that Moore was paid the then unheard-of sum of £1 million for a single series, making him the highest paid television actor in the world. However, Lew Grade claimed in his autobiography "Still Dancing", that Moore and Curtis "didn't hit it off all that well". Curtis refused to spend more time on set than was strictly necessary, while Moore was always willing to work overtime.
The series failed in America, where it had been pre-sold to ABC, but it was successful in Australia and in Europe. In Germany, where the series was aired under the name 'Die Zwei', it became a hit through a special funny dubbing that only barely used the original translations of the dialogs. And in Britain it was also popular, although on its premiere on the ITV network, it was beaten in the ratings by repeats of 'Monty Python's Flying Circus' on BBC1. When Channel 4 repeated both 'The Avengers' and 'The Persuaders!' in 1995, it was generally agreed that the latter, which had not been seen for many years, had not aged as well as the former. It has not been seen on any of the five main UK terrestrial channels since.
Since then, 'The Persuaders!' has enjoyed something of a renaissance both on television and DVD, with the 'rivals' Moore and Curtis reuniting to provide commentaries on the most recent issues. In France, where the series (entitled 'Amicalement Vôtre') had always been popular, the DVD releases accompanied a monthly magazine of the same name.