Sir Roger Moore talks about playing James Bond, his four marriages & dealing with prostate cancer on Piers Morgan’s Life Stories

by Lisa McGarry

Sir Roger Moore talks to Piers Morgan this evening, on his ITV chat show ‘Piers Morgan’s Life Stories.

The 84 year old star reveals all about his time as Bond and says:

“I had a great fourteen years doing seven Bonds. I had a wonderful time. It was a wonderful working atmosphere – I loved Cubby Broccoli our Producer, he was a wonderful man. It was wonderful working with vertually the same crew every time, so for fourteen years every day you got up in the morning and went and saw old friends and had a lot of laughs and a lot of jokes together.”

“I’m very grateful I’ve been Bond,” Roger continues. “I think it’s much better to be known for something that’s positive and not for robbing a bank – or rather getting caught robbing a bank,” says Roger. “I just thought – you feel like you are robbing a bank sometimes when you get paid,” he laughs.

Later on, talking to Piers about landing the role of Bond and being told to lose weight, tone up and get his hair cut, Roger says:

“I started exercising like mad and dieting, and then Harry (Saltzman) said my hair was too long so I started to get my hair cut. I gradually was losing all the weight and I was getting weaker and I started to lose all my hair, and I said ‘Why couldn’t you have got a bald headed, thin guy to start with? and not put me through all of this torture?’,” Roger laughs.

Later, talking about all of the actors who have played Bond, Piers asks Roger who he thinks is the hardest Bond. “I think Daniel Craig is the hardest and Sean (Connery),” says Roger.

“I don’t think that Sean’s in as good a shape now as Daniel Craig.”

Piers: “Let’s assume all of you are at your peak, my guess would be Sean Connery would win the fight but you would get all the women.”

Roger: “No, I think Daniel Craig would. You see Sean didn’t come out of the sea in a bikini like Ursula Andress and nobody has done it rather like Craig coming out of the water.”

Piers: “You are quite a fan of Daniel Craig then?”

Roger: “Yes I am, I think he is very good.”

Piers: “Is he to you what Bond is really about?”

Roger: “He is what Bond is in the 2012’s.”

Piers asks Roger if he likes his Vodka Martinis shaken and not stirred. “I don’t give a damn whether it’s shaken, I just want it cold, ice cold,” he laughs.

Later Piers asks Roger how he felt when he got the role as James Bond. “I was quite excited but I didn’t show it. I sort of knew it was going to happen because when I changed houses during the making of The Persuaders, I moved to Denham and the telephone number I inherited at Denham was 2 007.”

When asked about his favourite Bond film he starred in, Roger says: “The Spy Who Loved Me.” He continues, “I’m particularly fond of Lewis Gilbert the Director, I found we had very much the same sense of humour. We met Jaws for the first time – an absolutely lovely man and also the locations were wonderful and I had all these great toys to play with, like the wet bike. Nobody had ever seen one of those before and I had to learn how to ride it without getting wet.”

Sir Roger Moore on his four marriages

Roger talks to Piers about being married four times. “I suppose after four marriages I should be a great expert on marriage, but I’m not,” laughs Roger.

“What do you think it takes now to be in a good marriage?,” asks Piers.

“ Luck, to find the right woman. Luck that she believes you,” replies Roger.

Roger reveals how his first marriage to ice skater Doorn Van Steyn started to break down and he tells Piers openly about the day he told her he was leaving her. “She threw a pot of tea at me. I had been sun bathing in the garden and I came up and I had taken off my pants and I don’t know, I gave her some smart answer and this tea pot came hurling across. I said ‘That’s it, that’s the end and I’m leaving,’ and she storms out of the room. I hear the bath running and I thought ‘God! what a cow, I’m leaving her and she’s having a bath’. So I smashed the bathroom door open and she had got all my clothes in the bath.”

Piers says he has heard that Doorn bit Roger at one stage. “No she didn’t bite me on the hand,” clarifies Roger. “We were hard up and I still have the scar there (pointing to his finger). I was cutting a crust in two and the knife went down my finger and it (the finger) was all terrible. We went round to the local GP who said take him to the hospital and she (his wife) said ‘Aren’t you going to do something?’ and he said ‘No’ so he hit him – bang – which made a change as normally she punched me.”

“Did she really punch you?,” asks Piers

Roger: “Yes!”

Piers: “Regularly?”

“No, she would scratch me. My mother was always petrified when I went home to see her as I had more scars,” answers Roger.

When asks why he remained married to Doorn for six years, he explains, “Laziness, getting a divorce in those days wasn’t as simple as today, you had to provide evidence of unfaithfulness.”

Piers: “How did you do that?”

Roger: “ I took a lady off to a room in Russell Square.”

Piers: “Was it a proper fling?”

Roger: “No it was a wife of a friend.”

Piers: “What you had asked to borrow her to pretend you were having an affair?”

Roger: “He volunteered.”

Piers: “So in order to get divorced you go to a friend and he says, ‘I will lend you my wife and she can come to this hotel room and you can pretend to be caught and then there is the evidence?’”

Roger: “Yes.”

Roger than talks to Piers about his marriage to his second wife Dorothy Squires and tells of a shocking incident that took place.

“To avoid confrontation I just strumbed on the guitar and I was sitting on the end of the table strumbing on my guitar and she was ranting on about something, and I’m not taking any notice. The next thing I noticed, and it was slow motion, I could feel the guitar coming out of my hand and I could see it above my head and crash down, all the strings come down over my head.”

Roger talks to Piers about falling in love with Luisa Mattioli, who he later married, while still with his second wife Dorothy Squires. “It was very selfish (to fall in love with Luisa). I didn’t say I was a nice person,” says Roger. “I was selfish, putting my feelings ahead of other peoples’.”

“We had 3 children and I’m very grateful to her for that,” he continues. “Those are a wonderful asset.”

Sir Roger Moore on prostate cancer and how it changed his life forever – forcing him to leave Luisa for his current wife Kristina

Later Roger reveals to Piers that he left Luisa, his third wife, after he found out he got prostate cancer. He went on to marry his fourth and current wife, Kristina Tholstrup, who he was having an affair with while still married to Luisa. When Piers says he’s shocked to hear Roger ended his third marriage over the phone, Rogers answers, “Did I say I was a nice person? I’m a coward.”

Later Roger goes on to talk about his relationship with his current wife Kristina Tholstrup. “We have a wonderfully tranquil relationship, he says. “She doesn’t understand me half the time. It’s this whole relationship of no arguments, no disagreements.” He continues, “It is sort of ridiculous at 85 being romantic. “

Roger reveals how he felt when he first found out that he had prostate cancer. “I have a great chum who is a doctor in California and he used to come by most mornings on his way to his practice and have a chat,” Roger explains. “I had various tests and a biopsy and he didn’t come by at the usual half past eight, it was nine o’clock and I thought ‘This is odd,’ as he is a little late. He sat there and started to look very tearful and I was like, “What are you trying to tell me?’, and he said ‘What it is?’ and I’m making jokes. It wasn’t until he left that I suddenly thought ‘Oh dear, this is serious I guess’.”

Roger continues: “I knew at that point that I couldn’t go on with the life I had if I should survive the whole damn thing.”

“The hardest thing was that I was not happy at home (with his third wife Luisa). I was thinking all the time about Kristina and how different life would be with her.”

Sir Roger Moore on attention – from women and men!

Roger jokes with Piers about getting more attention from men than women.

“Have you always had this problem, women just falling instantly for you?,” asks Piers.

“No, a lot of fellas (showed interest). It was quite a problem,” Roger laughs.

Sir Roger Moore on his looks

Talking to Piers about his good looks, Roger says, “I wish I could look like Charles Laughton and get those parts. Nobody really takes you seriously, they don’t take a pretty girl seriously and they certainly don’t take a pretty boy seriously, they presume you can’t act, there’re right!,” he laughs modestly.