James Bond

The actor Sir Roger Moore has died at 89 after "a short but brave battle with cancer," according to his family and his agent.

Moore played the role of James Bond from 1973 to 1985 and was knighted in his home country of England in 2003.

He was the third of six actors who have played James Bond in the official silver screen franchise, beginning with 1973's Live and Let Die. He starred in a total of seven Bond films over 12 years, ending with A View to a Kill in 1985.

Spectre opens in Mexico City — a Day of the Dead festival in full swing — streets crowded with partying skeletons, and director Sam Mendes celebrating the dead in his own way with a nifty Orson Welles tribute: A Touch of Evil-style tracking shot that has no obvious edits for at least five minutes as it follows Bond (Daniel Craig) and a gorgeous brunette (Stephanie Sigman) from the costumed parade route into a hotel, up in a crowded elevator to a well-appointed room where she settles seductively on a bed — only to watch him zip out onto a roof ledge with a quick shirt cuff

A new James Bond movie tends to mean a few things: a new villain, two new Bond girls (one of whom may or may not be painted gold), and — perhaps most dependably — a new song playing behind the opening credits. Fifty years of Bond films has left much music to be analyzed, and the Oxford University Press does just that in a new book called The James Bond Songs: Pop Anthems of Late Capitalism.

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Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

You know this guy.

(SOUNDBITE OF UNIDENTIFIED FILM)

SEAN CONNERY: (As James Bond) Bond, James Bond.

What kind of birthday gift do you get a man who has everything? It's a well-worn riddle — and one that gets all the more difficult if the man in question happens to have died a half-century ago.

Luckily for Ian Fleming, today's 107-year-old birthday boy and the creator of James Bond, novelist Anthony Horowitz knows just the gift: a reunion with an old friend.

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