His name was Moore, Roger Moore, and he died today.

I spent my moviegoing childhood with him, and it’s terribly sad at the moment to think he’s not alive anymore. He wasn’t my first Bond, and he wasn’t my favorite Bond, but still he was an excellent Bond in several movies in the 1970s and ’80s.

Moore’s first 007 adventure was Live and Let Die. It’s one of the best in the series, I think, but I may be biased because it was filmed in my hometown, New Orleans. He took up the Walther PPK from Sean Connery with grace and style and wit, and he gave Bond a sort of high-class pedigree that Connery’s Bond lacked. Where Connery’s agent was a tough guy, Moore’s was almost an aristocrat with a gun. Moore brought humor to the role, and while that didn’t always work for me, he made it his own and he perpetuated a series that needed a strong actor to keep it going. Without Roger Moore, the series might have fallen apart. Without him, we might not have had Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, or Daniel Craig. Without him, Bond might have died a long time ago.

During his tenure as 007, Moore fought evil villains and bedded gorgeous girls and handled the odd henchmen, including Jaws (tall guy, metal teeth) in both The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker. In the latter, he went into orbit. In the former, he drove a Lotus Esprit under water. He conquered The Man with the Golden Gun, whose villain was played by the great Christopher Lee.

Sir Roger Moore, thank you. For a decade, you were the 007 we needed and loved. Rest in peace.

—Tony Buchsbaum