Former James Bond actor Roger Moore dies aged 89

His family says he passed away following a short but brave battle with cancer

Former James Bond actor Roger Moore dies aged 89

British actor Sir Roger Moore poses before an interview in Aachen, Germany, 25-06-2013. Image: Rolf Vennenbernd/DPA/PA Images

Former James Bond actor Roger Moore has died at the age of 89.

In a statement this afternoon, the actor’s family said he had passed away in Switzerland after a “short but brave battle with cancer.”

The family said the actor spent his final days surrounded by love “so great it cannot be quantified in words alone.”

"We know our own love and admiration will be magnified many times over, across the world, by people who knew him for his films, his television shows and his passionate work for Unicef, which he considered to be his greatest achievement,” reads the statement.

"The affection our father felt whenever he walked on to a stage or in front of a camera buoyed him hugely and kept him busy working into his 90th year, through to his last appearance in November 2016 on stage at London's Royal Festival Hall.

"The capacity crowd cheered him on and off stage, shaking the very foundations of the building just a short distance from where he was born.

"Thank you Pops for being you, and for being so very special to so many people.”

The statement was signed by Sir Roger's children, Deborah, Geoffrey and Christian.

Moore was the longest-serving actor to play the iconic MI6 agent - having portrayed 007 in seven films.

The oldest actor to ever take on the famous spy role, Moore's Bond was known for his elegance and cold ruthlessness.

Often criticised for his lack of depth, the star once joked he could not act "in the Olivier sense."

"When I was doing The Saint on television I had two expressions; as Bond I've managed to work up to four," he said.

Moore was also a goodwill ambassador for Unicef, a position he took after a visit to India.

After receiving a knighthood in 2003, said it had "meant far more to me than if I had got it for acting."

"I was proud because I received it on behalf of Unicef as a whole and for all it has achieved over the years."

The actor's family said they will now focus on supporting his wife Kristina “at this difficult time” adding that there will be a private funeral in Monaco, “in accordance with our father’s wishes.”

Additional reporting from IRN ...