We lost one of the greats today.
Normally when someone passes away, you pick a photo of just the someone. But while Roger Moore was terrific in everything, I think he was at his best when he wasn’t completely dominating the screen. You watch some episodes of The Saint and you’ll see him stealing every shot. That’s to be expected. Simon Templar is a larger-than-life celebrity character and you expect him to talk circles around everybody. All of the guest stars knew to get out of Roger Moore’s way.
But when you watch him in The Persuaders!, which my wife and I have been enjoying for the last couple of months, you can appreciate just how fabulous an actor Moore was. Lord Brett Sinclair is a celebrity as well, but he was brought up with a proper education, the right manners, and reserve. Moore dominates when his character needs to be the hero and the center of the scene, but he’s otherwise more effortlessly and naturally gracious toward his co-stars Tony Curtis and Laurence Naismith, and to all the guests in each episode, allowing everybody to shine.
In short, Moore was a much bigger talent than a lot of wags were ever willing to credit him, thinking of him first as a luvvie showbiz celebrity attending gala events with royalty, and secondly as an actor. But he was one of the greats, from his iconic roles as James Bond and Simon Templar to his incredibly memorable performances as Lord Sinclair, Beau Maverick, Rufus ffolkes, and that ruthless bastard in The Wild Geese. His memoir, My Word is My Bond, is one of the most entertaining autobiographies I’ve ever read, and it contains lots of background about his work with UNICEF, for which he served as an ambassador for nearly thirty years.
Our condolences to Moore’s family and friends, and we join the world in having a martini this evening, shaken, not stirred.
I’m very sorry to read of the death of actor Geoffrey Bayldon yesterday at the age of 93. He had a really interesting career, with a huge number of guest star roles in all kinds of British television comedies and dramas. He appeared in several Hammer and Amicus horror films, and played Q in the 1960s Casino Royale, which I probably enjoy more than you do. But he’s best known for two iconic roles in children’s TV dramas. In the early seventies, he starred for two seasons as the timelost wizard Catweazle. At the other end of the decade, he was the Crowman, creating scarecrows and trying to keep some order in their fields for four years of Worzel Gummidge.
I’d recently decided that we’ll watch the first episode of Catweazle for the blog in a few weeks, after this season of Who, as a sample to see whether our son enjoys it and if I should buy the series. I hope that he likes it and we can give it a little spotlight. Our condolences to Bayldon’s family and friends.
Photo credit: Memorable TV.
Very sorry to read that one of the Doctors has died. Sir John Hurt, unforgettable as Caligula in I, Claudius and Hazel in Watership Down, passed away today. He was one of the world’s great actors, and it was a very surprising coup that he took the role of the Doctor in 2013 for the 50th Anniversary episode. Our condolences to his family.
Like everybody else today, we’re very sorry to read that the actress and writer Carrie Fisher has died. She was a hugely inspirational figure and genuinely iconic in the role of Princess Leia. We’re looking forward to introducing our son to the Star Wars series next year. Our condolences and best wishes to her family and friends.
We’re very sorry to read that Gene Wilder, the star of the first movie Daniel saw in a theater (earlier this summer), has passed away at the age of 83. I really enjoyed Wilder’s performances in The Producers, Young Frankenstein, and The Woman in Red as well.
The very entertaining Welsh actor Gareth Thomas passed away earlier this week at the age of 71. We have not yet watched any of the many shows in which Thomas appeared at this blog, but we will most likely watch Children of the Stones in a couple of years. Thomas has the possibly unique distinction of playing a feature part in four different SF / fantasy series: Stones, Star Maidens, Blake’s 7, and Knights of God.
We’re very sorry to hear that Sylvia Anderson, co-producer of all the Supermarionation shows that we enjoyed and the voice of Lady Penelope, has passed away. We really appreciate all the great television that she made with AP Films and Century 21.
I’m very sad to read that Yvonne Craig passed away on Monday. She made crimefighting fun and inspired millions of children to want to be superheroes. I’m looking forward to seeing her episodes of Batman again in a few months.
Filed under batman, goodbye