The family of former James Bond star Sir Roger Moore claim he was right to walk away from the iconic franchise after completing his final film, because he was too old to continue frolicking with younger leading ladies.
The legendary actor, who passed away in 2017 aged 89, played notorious lothario Bond on seven highly entertaining occasions over a 12-year period after taking the Walther PPK from Sean Connery ahead of his debut in 1973 hit Live and Let Die.
But by 1985 he was 58-years old and the character’s womanising ways – Bond’s wandering eye results in a one-night stand with 36-year old Grace Jones and romance with 29-year old Tanya Roberts in Moore’s final entry, A View to a Kill – became increasingly implausible.
Opening up: James Bond star Sir Roger Moore’s son Geoffrey claims his father was right to walk away from the iconic franchise after completing his final film, because he was too old to continue frolicking with younger leading ladies
Reflecting on his father’s legacy, Geoffrey Moore believes he made the right decision to retire from the franchise shortly after his seventh and final film was released, paving the way for Timothy Dalton to take his place.
‘He was kissing leading ladies and they were in their twenties,’ he told MailOnline. ‘Plus, they’d already found a substitute.’
While Moore’s arched eyebrow, debonair charm and tongue in cheek repartee guided Bond through the seventies and eighties, the character has increasingly been labelled a dinosaur in a cultural landscape transformed by the rise of Me Too.
Iconic: The legendary actor, who passed away in 2017 aged 89, played notorious lothario Bond on seven highly entertaining occasions over a 12-year period
However Geoffrey insists the franchise isn’t going anywhere, despite the distant yet increasingly persistent clamour for a female Bond – an idea he admits he’s open too.
‘It’s lasted until now,’ he added. ‘It’s the longest living franchise. I don’t think it will go, unless a meteor comes crashing down and that’s it.’
Of a change in gender, he admitted producer Barbara Broccoli would get his full support should she opt to defy convention – and with it author Ian Fleming’s realization of the debonair character he first brought to life in 1953 novel Casino Royale – by casting a woman in the role.
Close: Moore shared steamy scenes with then 29-year old actress Tanya Roberts in his final Bond film, 1985 hit A View To A Kill
Co-stars: He also bedded May Day, the character famously played by Grace Jones
‘It would be her idea,’ he said. ‘And if that were the case I’d definitely back her, and I think the fans would go along with that.’
With current Bond Daniel Craig finishing work on what will be his fifth and final appearance as the secret agent in forthcoming film No Time To Die, the franchise is once back in the public arena.
But while Moore will forever be remembered for his portrayal of the character, Geoffrey and daughter Ambra, Moore’s granddaughter, are hoping to drive his incredible legacy as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador with the launch of a new single dedicated to his memory.
Topical: With current Bond Daniel Craig finishing work on what will be his fifth and final appearance as the secret agent in forthcoming film No Time To Die, the franchise is once back in the public arena
The track, titled U.N.I (You & I), has been co-written and sung by Geoffrey, with production credits going to Chic guitarist Nile Rodgers, actress Naya Rivera and former Dancing With The Stars professional Julianne Hough, along with Ambra.
An accompanying video features lip-syncing contributions from more than 50 global celebrities, among them Sir Michael Caine, Stephen Fry, David Walliams, Joanna Lumley and Piers Morgan.
‘It’s a really up, positive song,’ Geoffrey explained. ‘To the point where I think we generate momentum through friends of Ambra’s grandfather.’
For a good cause: Geoffrey and daughter Ambra Moore have teamed up to launch a new UNICEF single in honour of Sir Roger’s memory and his humanitarian legacy
Moore’s ambassadorial work with UNICEF began in 1991 after the actor was encouraged to throw his celebrity weight behind the charity by close friend Audrey Hepburn.
His commitment to humanitarian causes also resulted in the narration of a video for PETA, in which the animal charity successfully railed against the wholesale distribution of foie gras.
Moore’s involvement in the project encouraged positive change, with London department store Selfridges later removing the product from their shelves.
Familiar faces: Michael Caine is one of 50 celebrities to feature in the track’s accompanying video
Getting involved: Liam Neeson and Natalie Dormer also lip-sync the track in a new promotional video
Icon: Joan Collins also throws her weight behind the new project, which is being driven by Geoffrey and Amber
‘You can’t really say no to Audrey,’ Geoffrey said of his father’s initial connection to UNICEF.
‘She said please come along, and that’s when she really realised the power of stardom and how she could bring this matter to a wider audience.
‘He didn’t have much to say because he didn’t know much about it, but as a crash course she said come and see what I see, and he couldn’t stop crying. He said “this is not for me, it’s not a good image,” and she said “on the contrary Roger, I was like that at the beginning too.”
‘So he continued that goodwill programme, Audrey was the founder but she needed a contemporary who had that kind of reach to a wider audience. And he kept it going.’
U.N.I (You & I) is available to download from the track’s official website, with all proceeds going straight to UNICEF.