James Bond actor left Roger Moore in tears after tragic death
The James Bond mantle has only been passed down to a handful of people throughout history. While Sir Roger Moore is perhaps the most prolific of the 007 actors, he still looked up to some of the former Bond stars, including David Niven, whose birthday is today, March 1, 2023.
Niven has played countless characters in Hollywood throughout his 50-year career. But the most notable role he took on was that of Bond, James Bond, in the 1967 hit Casino Royale.
This version of Bond was not produced by Eon and became the first off-brand version of 007 for the big screen. In it, Niven played Sir James Bond in a comedy parody adaptation of Ian Fleming’s original novel. In the movie, he worked alongside huge stars like Deborah Kerr, Orson Welles, Woody Allan, and Peter Sellers.
Years later, Niven and Moore worked together on two films, Escape to Athena and The Sea Wolves. While taking these images, the two Bonds became very good friends and used to hang out when the cameras stopped rolling.
Niven died on July 29, 1983, aged 73. He suffered from Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Moore later recalled her work with Niven, admitting that she was moved by watching his films.
James Bond auteur Ian Fleming actually asked Niven to play the hero on the big screen before Sean Connery was given the part.
In fact, at first, Fleming did not think Connery would work as a spy, but he eventually changed his mind.
Moore also fondly recalled playing Bond before he died on May 23, 2017. He played the British spy for nearly 15 years in seven films, explaining how he loved being known as Bond.
He said: “Being forever known as Bond has no downside. People often call me Mr. Bond when we’re away and I don’t care one bit. Why would I care?”
Moore also talked about the last Bond at the time: Daniel Craig. He even called the young Brit the “best” version of 007 yet.
“I think that he [Daniel Craig] it’s the Bond,” he said. “He’s quite brilliant. I wrote to [Bond bosses] Barbara [Broccoli] and michael [Wilson] and said… Bond has been guaranteed another 50 years of life.”
Moore died of lung and liver cancer. Craig paid tribute to the star by posting a photo of the two of them together on Instagram. He captioned the image: “No one does it better.”
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