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REMEMBERING ROGER MOORE

     

For Hicksflicks.com, Friday, May 26, 2017

EDITOR’S NOTE: Roger Moore, best known as James Bond for seven films that gradually pushed the 007 franchise into self-mockery, died this week at age 89. As has been well chronicled since his death, Moore was quite the wiseacre which apparently made him an enjoyable companion, but it also made him less than ideal for journalism. I had occasion to interview Moore (along with a gaggle of other entertainment writers) for the Bond film ‘For Your Eyes Only,’ and the result was this story, published in the Deseret News on June 26, 1981, under the headline: ‘With Roger — no Moore than you ask for.’

NEW YORK – Roger Moore is the perfect example of an actor who is always “on.” That may be an admirable trait for the life of a party, but it makes interviewing a subject more arduous than it has to be.

Ask a question, get a quip.

And when Moore did happen to accidentally get started on a serious train of thought, he would suddenly realize what he’d done, jump the track and go into another joke.

“I have to keep up the image of a movie star,” he said wearing a summer suit and tie, puffing on a huge cigar and declining to remove his oversized sunglasses.

Movie star Moore was part of a large entourage gathered in New York City at the Warwick Hotel to discuss the latest James Bond adventure, “For Your Eyes Only.”

     

The film, Moore’s fifth appearance as British agent 007, licensed to kill, was screened the night before for some 150 print and broadcast journalists.

Now Moore, several cast members and the producer and director are table-hopping, talking to entertainment writers that are in clumps of 10 at each table.

As an introduction, Moore describes himself as “witty” and “modest.”

“My greatest sin is humility.”

Then, the questions and answers go something like this:

Will you do the next James Bond movie? “I don’t know; they haven’t asked me.”

Do you tire of the constant comparisons to the first James Bond, Sean Connery? “Oh, I don’t know. I played Sherlock Holmes but they never compared me to Basil Rathbone.”

     

How about your change-of-pace role in “The Cannonball Run”? “It was fun to do.”

Who would you like to work with? “Glenda Jackson, Jill Clayburgh. … ” Then a pause, and with a leering smile, he adds, “I’d really like to do a couple of things with Raquel Welch.”

How do you keep so fit and trim? “I have Jack La Lanne videocassettes sent to me wherever I am.”

And so forth.

For all the information gleaned about the man, he might just as well have stayed home.