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The name's Moore, Sir Roger Moore
"I accept this title on behalf of the many thousands of volunteers and workers at Unicef who dedicate their lives to helping the millions of children in need around the world today" - Roger Moore
The name's Moore, Sir Roger Moore
11.04AM BST, 14 Jun 2003

James Bond star Sir Roger Moore has spoken of his pride at receiving a knighthood for his tireless work for children's charity UNICEF

The 75-year-old actor has acted as a goodwill ambassador for the charity for the past 12 years.

Sir Roger is the second James Bond knight - his predecessor in the role, Sean Connery, was knighted three years ago.

He said: "I am so proud to be the recipient of this great honour. I am doubly proud because this is an acknowledgement of UNICEF, the United Nations Children's Fund, an organisation I am honoured to work for as an international goodwill ambassador.

"I accept this title on behalf of the many thousands of volunteers and workers at UNICEF who dedicate their lives to helping the millions of children in need around the world today."

And he added: "I only wish my mother and father could have been alive to see this day."

Sir Roger's father died in 1997 and his mother died around 20 years ago.

The actor, who recently had a pacemaker fitted after collapsing on stage during a performance on Broadway, is currently at his home in Monaco.

Born in October 1927 in Stockwell, south London, the only child of a policeman, Sir Roger had aspirations of becoming an artist before discovering a love of the big screen while starring as an extra.

After appearing in numerous roles in film and on TV during the 1950s, he finally found international fame in the hit 1960s TV show The Saint, in which he played Simon Templar for eight years.

In an effort to increase his American profile, he went on to star alongside Tony Curtis in The Persuaders, which was popular in Europe but failed to take off in the US.

Then came the role for which he has come to be best-remembered - British secret agent James Bond.

Sir Roger confounded the critics and was accepted by audiences after taking over from the hugely popular Sean Connery, winning record ticket sales.

In all he starred in seven 007 films, beginning with Live And Let Die in 1973, and ending with A View To A Kill in 1985 at the age of 57.

His other films have included The Wild Geese (1978), The Cannonball Run (1981) with Burt Reynolds and Bullseye! (1990) with Sir Michael Caine.

Sir Roger has been married three times, to starlet Doorn van Steyn in 1946, the late Dorothy Squires in 1953 and Italian model Luisa in 1969.

Luisa Moore is the mother of his three children - Deborah, Geoffrey and Christian - but the couple split after 26 years of marriage.

He now lives with his fiancee, former air hostess Christina "Kiki" Tholstrup.

In 1999 he was awarded a CBE in recognition of his charitable work as a UNICEF special ambassador.

The actor has been a tireless campaigner against cruelty to children since taking on the role with the UN children's charity in 1991 at the request of actress Audrey Hepburn, herself a goodwill ambassador.

Last month the actor had a pacemaker fitted after collapsing on stage during Broadway show The Play What I Wrote.

He returned to the stage after a 10-minute break to finish the play before being whisked off to a New York hospital where he had the vital surgery.

His collapse followed extensive travel as part of his UNICEF work.

Sir Roger has been an outspoken critic of the state of British television, branding popular shows such as Blind Date and The Weakest Link "cruel and humiliating".

Speaking at last year's British Comedy Awards, he said: "Television, if it's allowed to, will sink down to reflect our lowest instincts and that's what it does sometimes and it will bring about that cruelty that people want to see."

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