Though Roger Moore was never a leading man opposite Grace Kelly in Hollywood, their shared passions for the entertainment industry and giving back to the world brought them together to form a lasting friendship. Join us as we explore this Famous Friendship.
Sir Roger Moore: Early Life and Career
Roger Moore was born in London, United Kingdom. He grew up in Stockwell and was then relocated to Devon during the Second World War where he spent the rest of his adolescence. At age 15, he dropped out of school to pursue an acting career, finding an apprenticeship at an animation studio. After a few years at the studio, he moved to The United States where he began to search for acting roles more seriously.
In the industry, he was somewhat known for small roles he had in the past, but soon he started attracting attention and signed his first contract with MGM studios. There he was immersed into the American Golden Age of television and movies. After two years with MGM, he moved to Warner Bros and began to rise to fame by starring in TV shows like The Saint (1962-69) and the film The Man Who Haunted Himself (1970). Even though he was gathering fans in these roles, Moore found his career-defining role in James Bond in 1973. Moore succeeded Sean Connery in the titular role and went on to star in seven wildly popular Bond films until he retired from the series in 1985.
A Budding Friendship
Grace Kelly and Roger Moore first met at a dinner at Sydney Guilaroff’s house, who was a Hollywood hairdresser. They quickly hit it off while seated at the same table, and discovered their shared passions for philanthropy and the arts. Years after they met, when Princess Grace had made Monaco her home, Moore began to visit Her and the Princely family more often and She invited him to the Grimaldi family farm, Roccagele, where Moore spent time with the Grimaldi family. This was the first time he met Prince Albert and His sisters Princess Caroline and Princess Stephanie, with who he remained life-long friends even after Princess Grace’s passing. He spoke very highly of Princess Grace throughout their friendship, saying that she was quite humble for Her royal status, and had a mischievous sense of humor that he enjoyed.
Princess Grace and Sir Roger were both very philanthropic in their lifetimes, being involved in many different charitable organizations and events was something that the two had in common. Roger Moore was a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, and some of the causes he was passionate about included animal rights and children’s health advocacy and support. During Her lifetime, Princess Grace was also very involved with health organizations and children’s health specifically. She often held charity balls and galas, started foundations, and helped fund hospitals and orphanages. This shared involvement in philanthropy allowed the two humanitarians to cross paths even more in their lifetimes, and they enjoyed advocating for similar causes together.
1980 Monaco Red Cross Ball From left to right: Luisa Mattioli, Gregory Peck and his wife Veronique Passani, Sir Roger Moore, Princess Caroline of Monaco, Princess Grace of Monaco, Prince Albert of Monaco, Barbara Sinatra, HSH PrinceRainier III of Monaco, and Frank Sinatra attend the Red Cross Ball.
Photo Credit: James Andanson/Sygma via Getty Images
His philanthropic spirit led Sir Roger Moore to become a supporter of the Princess Grace Foundation-USA. He attended the foundation’s second Gala in 1985 in Los Angeles, CA, and as many as he could over the years, the last of which he attended in 2015 at the Princely Palace in Monaco with his wife. Today, Sir Roger Moore’s son, Christian Moore along with Prince Albert, have followed their parents’ philanthropic footsteps and give back to this day, continuing the legacy and friendship between the two families.
Princess Grace Awards Gala Honorees Sibylle Szaggars Redford and Robert Redford, Sir Roger Moore, and Kristina Tholstrup attend the 2015 Princess Grace Awards Gala With Presenting Sponsor Christian Dior Couture at Monaco Palace on September 5, 2015, in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. Photo Credit: Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images for Princess Grace Foundation-USA.
James Bond is famously associated with the Casino de Monte-Carlo as Monaco and its casino were the locations for a number of James Bond movies. Roger Moore loved Monaco, making it his home for the latter part of his life. Later this year, No Time to Die, the forthcoming 25th film in the James Bond series is set to be released-- and the director? Two-time Princess Grace Award Winner, Cary Joji Fukunaga.
Take a look back at other Famous Friendships on Grace Influential.