Over the past 60 years, only a select few actors have had the opportunity to play James Bond on the big screen. Sean Connery launched the EON-produced series of films in 1962 with Dr No, before playing the character six more times. In 1967, a non-EON movie was released, based on the original 007 novel: Casino Royale.
Casino Royale was released as a spy comedy parody and featured a number of notable actors including Deborah Kerr, Orson Welles, Woody Allen and Peter Sellers.
Sir James Bond (as he was called in the film) was played by British actor David Niven.
The star only played 007 once, but he made a mark on the series and was close friends with Moore.
The 007 star opened up in 2014 about the disappearance of his friend Niven, who died in 1983.
He confessed: “The saddest thing about aging is that most of my friends are ‘in the other room’ now.”
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Moore continued, “I miss David Niven the most. I still can’t watch his movies without shedding a tear.”
The actor, who played Bond seven times from 1973 to 1985, revealed he still remembered Niven with a gift given to him.
He explained: “There is a bronze bust of him in my office, given to me by his son, David Jr.”
Niven, who was Ian Fleming’s original choice to play James Bond, died on July 29, 1983, aged 73. He suffered at the time from Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Moore said of Craig, “I think he [Daniel Craig] is /the/ Bond. He is quite bright. I wrote to [Bond bosses] Barbaric [Broccoli] and Michael [Wilson] and said… they guaranteed Bond another 50 years of life.”
He added that he thought Craig’s Casino Royale was “awesome”.
He said: “I thought his acting was pretty extraordinary – he did more action in the first 30 seconds of the movie than I have in 14 years playing Bond. To me, he looks like a killer. He has the Looks like he knows what he’s doing. Looks like I can cheat at backgammon.
Moore’s death was announced on May 23, 2017. He died of lung and liver cancer.
Craig paid tribute to the star by posting a photo of them together on Instagram. He captioned the image: “No one does it better.”
Former Bond bandmate Pierce Brosnan also paid tribute to Moore, saying: “You have been a big part of my life, from The Saint to James Bond.
“You were a magnificent James Bond and the one who paved the way for me, the world will miss you and your unique sense of humor for years to come.”
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