With the 50th anniversary of James Bond on film being celebrated and the 23rd installment, Skyfall, about to be released next month, it's definitely a good time to look back on the longest-running and one of the most profitable film franchises in history.
Though Sean Connery is widely considered to be the quintessential Bond, the man who replaced him, Roger Moore, went on to play the role longer than anyone else so far. The star of seven Bond movies during the 1970s and 1980s, Moore has polarized both fans and critics for his shift from Connery's debonair super agent to a campier, almost lightweight version of Bond.
Moore has certainly earned his share of detractors. I mean, who can argue in favor of his first two films, Live and Let Die (1973) and The Man With the Golden Gun (1974), with a straight face? But he came into his own with The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), which contained a balance of campy humor with great action set pieces, while introducing fans to everyone's favorite henchman, Jaws (Richard Kiel).
While Moonraker (1979), For Your Eyes Only (1981) and Octopussy (1983) have divided audiences for years, there is no doubt that his last effort, A View to a Kill (1985), was one of the worst Bond movies ever made. Even Moore himself denounced the film after its release.
Of course, the franchise continued on without Moore, as Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and now Daniel Craig have taken over the role. And though he continues to receive both praise and scorn, Roger Moore earned his place as one of the franchise's most successful actors.
Roger Moore as James Bond in 'For Your Eyes Only' (1981)/MGM Home Entertainment
Roger Moore battles Jaws (Richard Kiel) in 'The Spy Who Loved Me' (1977)/MGM Home Entertainment
Roger Moore and Lois Chiles in 'Moonraker' (1979)/MGM Home Entertainment