James Bond star Roger Moore shed tears at the thought of Casino Royale actor

Daliah Lavi stars in 1967 Casino Royale spoof

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Over the past 60 years, only a select few actors have been given the opportunity to play James Bond on the big screen. Sean Connery kickstarted the EON-produced series of films in 1962 with Dr No, before going on to play the character six more times. In 1967, however, a non-EON film was released based on the original 007 novel: Casino Royale.

Casino Royale was released as a spy parody-comedy and starred a number of notable actors, including Deborah Kerr, Orson Welles, Woody Allen and Peter Sellers.

Sir James Bond (as he was known in the film) was played by British actor David Niven.

The star only played 007 once, but he made quite the mark on the series and was close friends with Moore.

The 007 star spoke out in 2014 about missing his friend Niven, who died in 1983.

He confessed: “The saddest thing about ageing is that most of my friends are now ‘in the other room.'”

Moore went on: “I miss David Niven the most. I still can’t watch his films without shedding a tear.”

The actor, who played Bond seven times from 1973 to 1985, revealed he still remembered Niven fondly with a gift he had been given.

He explained: “There’s a bronze bust of him in my study, 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 was suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease at the time. 

Chris Cornell – James Bond – Casino Royale

Moore mused that, age aside, Bond actors would always be recognised for playing the super spy – and that was a good thing. 

He said: “Being eternally known as Bond has no downside. People often call me Mr Bond when we’re out and I don’t mind a bit. Why would I?”

Just before his death in 2017, Moore spoke fondly of the other Casino Royale Bond: Daniel Craig.

He even called the British star the “best” version of 007.

Moore said of Craig: “I think that he [Daniel Craig] is /the/ Bond. He’s quite brilliant. I wrote to [Bond bosses] Barbara [Broccoli] and Michael [Wilson] and said… they’ve guaranteed Bond another 50 years of life.”

He added that he thought Craig’s Casino Royale was “tremendous”.

He said: “I thought his action was quite extraordinary – he did more action in the first 30 seconds of the film than I did in 14 years of playing Bond. To me, he looks like a killer. He looks as though he knows what he’s doing. I look as though I might cheat at backgammon.”

Moore’s death was announced on May 23, 2017. He died of cancer in his lung and liver.

Craig paid tribute to the star by posting a photo of the pair of them together on Instagram. He captioned the image: “Nobody does it better.”

Fellow former Bond Pierce Brosnan also paid tribute to Moore, saying: “You were a big part of my life, from The Saint to James Bond.

“You were a magnificent James Bond and one that lead the way for me, the world will miss you and your unique sense of humour for years to come.”


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