Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Notable Passings: Roger Moore and Dina Merrill

Sad news today, with the passings of Roger Moore and Dina Merrill.

Moore's children announced his death on his Twitter account earlier today. He was 89.

Roger Moore was the first James Bond I ever saw, and THE SPY WHO LOVED ME (1977) remains my favorite 007 film to this day. He's seen below with costar Barbara Bach (aka Mrs. Ringo Starr).

Over the years I've come to greatly appreciate Sean Connery's Bond, but Moore's Bond will always have a special place in my heart. I especially love his sly good humor and the consequent feeling that I don't need to take the movies too seriously. They're simply great fun.

More importantly for me personally, he was the last of the Mavericks. (And for knowledgeable MAVERICK fans, no, I don't count Robert Colbert.) Moore starred as Cousin Beau Maverick on my all-time favorite TV series, MAVERICK, from 1959-61. Moore had big shoes to fill with James Garner having left the show, but he and Jack Kelly carried on wonderfully.

He's seen below in the MAVERICK episode "Kiz" with Kathleen Crowley, who passed away last month.

In addition to his acting career, which spanned a remarkable seven decades, Moore was a longtime goodwill ambassador for UNICEF.

Here are Roger Moore obituaries from Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, and USA Today.

Dina Merrill has passed away at the age of 93.

Merrill was one of the costars of one of my all-time favorite comedies, OPERATION PETTICOAT (1959). That film, with Cary Grant and Tony Curtis leading a wonderful cast, has given me great joy over many years, as I wrote about last year.

Merrill also costarred in DESK SET (1957), one of the best films teaming Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn.

Merrill was the daughter of E.F. Hutton and Marjorie Merriweather Post; she was married for over two decades to Cliff Robertson before they divorced in 1989.

Additional obituaries of Merrill were published by Variety and the Washington Post.

I'm very grateful for the great pleasure Moore and Merrill's work has given me over the years, and I send sincere condolences to their families.


Blogger Jerry E said...

Hi Laura,
Roger Moore had a long life and a good life but I feel sad at the news nonetheless. He has 'been there' (on screen) throughout my life and has always entertained hansomely.
In the mid 1960s, he moved into our neighbourhood when he was starring in "THE SAINT" TV series so that he could be quite near to the film studios at Borehamwood. Volvo had presented him with the little white sports saloon he drove in the series and we used to see it parked in his driveway. Very exciting for us youngsters!
He mixed locally and was known in local shops to be charming, friendly and un-star-like.
A nice man.

11:47 PM  
Blogger Bill O said...

Moore got Maverick after original choice Sean Connery turned it down....Always thought Moore would've been a bigger star had he been around in the '30's and '40's.

3:11 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Hi Jerry,

Agreed, we celebrate his long life and all he did to entertain us, but it's also very sad to see someone like him pass from the scene.

What an amazing story about him living in your area in the '60s!! I love that.

Bill, I'd never heard that story. Interesting to contemplate how he would have fit in an earlier era...although he surely did well for himself starring as 007!

Best wishes,

5:15 PM  

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