'Sean played Bond as a killer - I played him as a lover': Roger Moore's best quotes

Telegraph Reporters
Roger Moore in The Saint - Rex Features

Roger Moore was a star of stage and screen, but he was also well-known for his masterful quips – whether in character as James Bond or simply playing himself. Here are some of his best:

On acting

"My acting range? Left eyebrow raised, right eyebrow raised"

"Of course I do my own stunts. And I also do my own lying."

"I would love to be remembered as one of the greatest Lears or Hamlets."

Roger Moore in 1968

"I used to work for a living. Then I became an actor."

"I've never received a nomination for an Academy Award – and that after I went to the trouble of learning two more facial expressions."

"When I was a young actor at RADA, Noël Coward was in the audience one night. He said to me after the play, 'Young man, with your devastating good looks and your disastrous lack of talent, you should take any job ever offered you. In the event that you're offered two jobs simultaneously, take the one that offers the most money.' Here I am."

"On-set pranks should always be done while the cameras are rolling so that victims can’t retaliate."

Roger Moore's life and career in pictures: from knitwear model to 007

On ageing

Roger Moore with Prince Charles Credit:  Getty Images Europe

"You can either grow old gracefully or begrudgingly. I chose both."

"The wonderful thing about age is that your knees don't work as well, you can't run down steps quite as easily and obviously you can't lift heavy weights. But your mind doesn't feel any different."

"Most of my friends are now 'in the other room'. I miss David Niven the most. I still can’t watch his films without shedding a tear."

On humour

"If you don't have humour, then you may as well nail the coffin lid down now." 

"You could say he has a 'License to Grill'." – Speaking about his son's restaurant, Hush. 

On being Bond

"To me, the Bond situations are so ridiculous, so outrageous. I mean, this man is supposed to be a spy and yet, everybody knows he's a spy. Every bartender in the world offers him martinis that are shaken, not stirred. What kind of serious spy is recognized everywhere he goes? It's outrageous. So you have to treat the humor outrageously as well. My personality is entirely different than previous Bonds. I'm not that cold-blooded killer type. Which is why I play it mostly for laughs."

"I’d imagine his private life to be rather limited as he’s seemingly always on the job."

“I think a little bit behind George Lazenby I suppose" – speaking to Fox411 in 2015. Lazenby, who only played 007 once, is widely considered the worst of the eight Bond actors. 

Roger Moore and Britt Ekland in The Man With The Golden Gun Credit:  Rex Features

"I mean, for the last three I was getting a little restless. But I had an absolute splendid time doing the Bond films. I played a lot of backgammon, managed to steal a lot of wardrobe, and got well paid. Nothing could beat it!"

"When I first took on the part, I read Fleming’s books. There was little offered in them about the character. However, I remember reading one line that said Bond had just completed a mission – meaning a kill. He didn’t particularly enjoy killing but took pride in doing his job well. That was the key to the role as far as I was concerned."

Roger Moore and Kristina Wayborn in Octopussy Credit: Allstar Picture Library

"The positive aspects of Bond? A bigger paycheck. The negative aspects? A coward having to pretend he is brave, and trying not to blink when explosions go off."

"I always said Sean played Bond as a killer and I played Bond as a lover. I think that Daniel Craig is even more of a killer. He has this superb intensity; he’s a glorious actor."

Life and times | Roger Moore

On politics

"I'm a Conservative. I always have been. Most young people that were brought up with parents who were in jobs like the police force are Conservative in their thinking. You don't have to be rich, wealthy, high income to be Conservative. I just think that Conservatism is the way to run a country."

On sex and women

Roger Moore with his fourth wife, Kristina Tholstrup Credit:  Action Press / Rex Features

"I think I’ve finally worked them out. I always make sure I have the last word. That word is 'yes'."

"I was not very self-confident with them. I got lucky occasionally, but with a lack of confidence."

"I don’t think I learnt too much, otherwise I wouldn’t have been married four times"

"Those [Bond] love scenes were usually done when the studios were freezing cold. So you’d say to the leading lady: 'Keep your socks on, darling'. And socks in bed are never romantic."

On money

Barbara Bach and Roger Moore in 1976 Credit:  Rex Features

"I enjoy being a highly overpaid actor."

"Not only am I a spender, I have had a couple of business people in the past who have been spending my money quite happily."

"I don't think I've ever made any good financial decisions."

On living contentedly

Roger Moore with Fiona Fullerton in A View to A Kill Credit: Rex Features

"I've learnt that through life you just get on with it. You're going to meet a lot of dishonest people along the line and you say good luck to them. I hope they live in comfort. Then I start sticking more pins in their effigies."

"Food has always been a passion of mine – see the waistline for proof."

On his work as a Unicef ambassador

"Of course I am frustrated with regard to extreme poverty, to violence that never seems to cease."

On death

"I've not planned my funeral. I'm not the Queen. A procession through the streets of Stockwell would be nice, I suppose. But when I go, I'd just like everyone to say: 'He lived longer than anyone I knew.'"

Culture stars who have died in 2017


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