Before I write anything more, I feel compelled to disclose that I did not enjoy Roger Moore as James Bond. It was not just him. His Bond films were too campy for my taste. And his Bond risked being an empty suit, rather than the action figure that Ian Flemming had created.
Having said that, I did enjoy Roger Moore as The Saint.
This show aired on TV in the 1960’s and Moore played Simon Templar, the main charming, and slightly roguish character
Simon Templar was essentially a Robin Hood who stole from criminals, but kept the money. His nemesis was Chief Inspector Claude Teal who considered Templar a common criminal no matter whom he stole from (shades of Les Miserables).
In this role, Moore’s polish and savior faire worked like a charm. BTW, it was a parallel sort of charm that one experienced from David Niven as the Pink Panther.
Which brings me to the point. As Chris Taylor writes, we will not see another star like Roger Moore. At least not in the near future. His style was understated and clean cut. You would not expect to hear him utter a swear word. You would expect him to wake in time for breakfast and enter the dining room clean shaven.
Who does that anymore?
BTW, the man who authored The Saint series was himself quite a character. His name was Leslie Charteris. He was born in Singapore and had a Chinese father and English mother.
Once his first book, written during his first year at King’s College, Cambridge, was accepted, he left the university and embarked on a new career. Charteris was motivated by a desire to be unconventional and to become financially well off by doing what he liked to do. He continued to write English thriller stories, while he worked at various jobs from shipping out on a freighter to working as a barman in a country inn. He prospected for gold, dived for pearls, worked in a tin mine and on a rubber plantation, toured England with a carnival, and drove a bus. In 1926, he legally changed his last name to Charteris, after Colonel Francis Charteris, although, in the BBC Radio 4 documentary Leslie Charteris – A Saintly Centennial, his daughter stated that he selected his surname from the telephone directory.
Hmmm … a free spirit!