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|Sir Roger Moore|
Moore in 2012
|Born||Roger George Moore|
14 October 1927
Stockwell, London, England
|Notable work(s)||James Bond|
Simon Templar aka The Saint (character)
|Spouse(s)||Doorn van Steyn|
|Sir Roger Moore|
Moore in 2012
|Born||Roger George Moore|
14 October 1927
Stockwell, London, England
|Notable work(s)||James Bond|
Simon Templar aka The Saint (character)
|Spouse(s)||Doorn van Steyn|
Sir Roger George Moore, KBE (born 14 October 1927) is an English actor. He is perhaps best known for playing British secret agent James Bond in the official film series for seven films between 1973 and 1985. He appeared as Bond in more official Bond films than any other actor, and is the oldest actor to play Bond. Moore also portrayed Simon Templar in The Saint from 1962 to 1969. He is also a Goodwill Ambassador for the charity organisation UNICEF.
Roger Moore was born on 14 October 1927 in Stockwell, now part of the London Borough of Lambeth, in London. The only child of George Alfred Moore, a policeman, and Lillian "Lily" (née Pope), a housewife, he attended Battersea Grammar School, but was evacuated to Holsworthy, Devon, during World War II. He was then educated at Dr Challoner's Grammar School in Amersham, Buckinghamshire. He then attended the College of the Venerable Bede at the University of Durham, but did not graduate.
At 18, shortly after the end of World War II, Moore was conscripted for national service. On 21 September 1946, he was commissioned into the Royal Army Service Corps as a second lieutenant. He was given the service number 372394. He eventually became a captain. Moore served commanding a small depot in West Germany. He later looked after entertainers for the armed forces passing through Hamburg.
Immediately prior to his national service, he studied for two terms at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, during which his fees were paid by film director Brian Desmond Hurst, who also used Moore as an extra in his film Trottie True. At RADA, Moore was a classmate of his future Bond costar Lois Maxwell, the original Miss Moneypenny. Moore chose to leave RADA after six months in order to seek paid employment as an actor. His film idol was Stewart Granger. At the age of 17, Moore appeared as an extra in the film Caesar and Cleopatra (1945), meeting his idol on the set. Later Moore and Granger were both in The Wild Geese (1978), though they had no scenes together.
In the early 1950s, Moore worked as a model, appearing in print advertisements for knitwear (earning him the amusing nickname "The Big Knit"), and a wide range of other products such as toothpaste – an element that many critics have used as typifying his lightweight credentials as an actor. His earliest known television appearance was on 27 May 1950, in Drawing Room Detective, a one-off programme. Presented by veteran BBC announcer Leslie Mitchell, it invited viewers at home to spot clues to a crime during a playlet, whose actors also included Alec Ross (first husband of Sheila Hancock) and Michael Ripper.
Although Moore signed a seven-year contract with MGM in 1954, the films which followed were not a success and, in his own words, "At MGM, RGM (Roger George Moore) was NBG [no bloody good]." He appeared in Interrupted Melody, billed third under Glenn Ford and Eleanor Parker in a biographical movie about an opera singer's recovery from polio. That same year, he played a supporting role in The King's Thief starring Ann Blyth, Edmund Purdom, David Niven and George Sanders, all of whom had larger roles than Moore.
In the 1956 film Diane, Moore was billed third again, this time under Lana Turner and Pedro Armendariz in a 16th-century period piece set in France with Moore playing Prince Henri, the future king. Moore was released from his MGM contract after only two years following the critical and commercial failure of Diane. After that, he spent a few years mainly doing one-shot parts in television series, including an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents in 1959 entitled "The Avon Emeralds." His starring role in The Miracle (1959), a version of the play Das Mirakel for Warner Bros. showcasing Carroll Baker as a nun, had been turned down by Dirk Bogarde. That same year, Moore was directed by Arthur Hiller in "The Angry Young Man," an episode of the television series The Third Man starring Michael Rennie as criminal mastermind Harry Lime, the role portrayed by Orson Welles in the movie version.
Eventually, Moore made his name in television. He was the eponymous hero, Sir Wilfred of Ivanhoe, in the 1958-59 series Ivanhoe, a loose adaptation of the 1819 romantic novel by Sir Walter Scott set in the 1100s during the era of Richard the Lionheart, delving into Ivanhoe's conflict with Prince John. Shot mainly in England at Elstree Studios and Buckinghamshire, some of the show was also filmed in California due to a partnership with Columbia Studios' Screen Gems. Aimed at younger audiences, the pilot was filmed in color, a reflection of its comparatively high budget for a British children's adventure series of the period, but subsequent episodes were shot in black and white. Christopher Lee and John Schlesinger were among the show's guest stars and series regulars included Robert Brown (who in the 1980s would play M in several James Bond films) as the squire Gurth, Peter Gilmore as Waldo Ivanhoe, Andrew Keir as villainous Prince John, and Bruce Seton as noble King Richard. Moore suffered broken ribs and a battle-axe blow to his helmet while performing some of his own stunts filming a season of 39 half-hour episodes and later reminisced, 'I felt a complete Charlie riding around in all that armour and damned stupid plumed helmet. I felt like a medieval fireman.'
Moore's next television series involved playing the lead as "Silky" Harris for the ABC/Warner Brothers 1959-60 western The Alaskans, with co-stars Dorothy Provine as "Rocky," Jeff York as "Reno," and Ray Danton as "Nifty." The show ran for a single season of 37 hour-long episodes on Sunday nights. Though set in Skagway, Alaska, with a focus on the Klondike Gold Rush circa 1896, the series was filmed in the hot studio lot at Warner Brothers in Hollywood with the cast costumed in fur coats and hats. Moore found the work highly taxing and his off-camera affair with Provine complicated matters even more. He subsequently appeared as the questionable character "14 Karat John" in the two-part episode "Right Off the Boat" of the ABC/WB crime drama The Roaring 20s, with Rex Reason, John Dehner, Gary Vinson, and again Dorothy Provine, appearing in a similar role but with a different character name.
In the wake of The Alaskans, Moore was cast as Beau Maverick, an English-accented cousin of frontier gamblers Bret Maverick (James Garner), Bart Maverick (Jack Kelly) and Brent Maverick (Robert Colbert) in the much more successful ABC/WB western series Maverick. Sean Connery was flown over from England to test for the part but turned it down. Moore appeared as the character in 14 episodes after Garner had left the series at the end of the previous season, actually wearing some of Garner's costumes; while filming The Alaskans, he had already recited much of Garner's dialogue since the Klondike series frequently recycled Maverick scripts, changing only the names and locales. He had also filmed a Maverick episode with Garner two seasons earlier in which Moore played a different character in a retooling of Richard Brinsley Sheridan's 1775 comedy of manners play entitled "The Rivals."
Moore's debut as Beau Maverick occurred in the first episode of the 1960-61 fourth season, "The Bundle From Britain," one of four episodes in which he shared screen time with cousin Bart (Jack Kelly). Robert Altman wrote and directed "Bolt from the Blue," an episode featuring Will Hutchins as a frontier lawyer similar to his character in the series Sugarfoot, and "Red Dog" found Beau mixed up with vicious bank robbers Lee Van Cleef and John Carradine. Kathleen Crowley was Moore's leading lady in two episodes ("Bullet For the Teacher" and "Kiz"), and others included Mala Powers, Roxane Berard, Fay Spain, Merry Anders, Andra Martin and Jeanne Cooper. Upon leaving the series, Moore cited a decline in script quality since the Garner era as the key factor in his decision to depart.
Worldwide fame arrived after Lew Grade cast Moore as Simon Templar in a new adaptation of The Saint, based on the novels by Leslie Charteris. Moore said in an interview in 1963, that he wanted to buy the rights to Leslie Charteris's character and the trademarks. He also joked that the role was supposed to have been meant for Sean Connery who was unavailable. The television series was made in the UK with an eye to the American market, and its success there (and in other countries) made Moore a household name. By spring 1967 he had achieved international stardom. The series also established his suave, quipping style which he carried forward to James Bond. Moore went on to direct several episodes of the later series, which moved into colour in 1967.
The Saint ran from 1962 for six seasons and 118 episodes, making it (in a tie with The Avengers) the longest-running series of its kind on British television. However, Moore grew increasingly tired of the role, and was keen to branch out. He made two films immediately after the series had ended: Crossplot, a lightweight 'spy caper' movie, and the more challenging The Man Who Haunted Himself (1970). Directed by Basil Dearden, it gave Moore the opportunity to demonstrate a wider versatility than the role of Simon Templar had allowed, although reviews at the time were lukewarm, and both did little business at the box office.
Television lured Moore back to star alongside Tony Curtis in The Persuaders!. The show featured the adventures of two millionaire playboys across Europe. Moore was paid the then-unheard-of sum of £1 million for a single series, making him the highest paid television actor in the world. However, Lew Grade claimed in his autobiography Still Dancing, that Moore and Curtis "didn't hit it off all that well." Curtis refused to spend more time on set than was strictly necessary, while Moore was always willing to work overtime.
According to the DVD commentary, neither Roger Moore, an uncredited co-producer, nor Robert S. Baker, the credited producer, ever had a contract other than a handshake with Lew Grade. They produced the entire 24 episodes without a single written word guaranteeing that they would ever be paid.
The series failed in America, where it had been pre-sold to ABC, but it was successful in Europe and Australia. In Germany, where the series was aired under the name Die Zwei ("The Two"), it became a hit through especially amusing dubbing which only barely used translations of the original dialogue. In Britain it was also popular, although on its premiere on the ITV network, it was beaten in the ratings by repeats of Monty Python's Flying Circus on BBC One. Channel 4 repeated both The Avengers and The Persuaders! in 1995. Since then, The Persuaders! has been issued on DVD, while in France, where the series (entitled Amicalement Vôtre) had always been popular, the DVD releases accompanied a monthly magazine of the same name.
Because of his commitment to several television shows, in particular the long-lasting series The Saint, Roger Moore was unavailable for the James Bond franchise for a considerable time. His participation in The Saint was not only as actor, but also as a producer and director, and he also became involved in developing the series The Persuaders!. Moore stated in his autobiography My Word Is My Bond (2008) that he had neither been approached to play James Bond in Dr. No, nor does he feel that he had ever been considered. It was only after Sean Connery had declared in 1966 that he would not play Bond any longer that Moore became aware that he might be a contender for the role. However, after George Lazenby was cast in 1969's On Her Majesty's Secret Service and Connery played Bond again in Diamonds Are Forever, Moore did not consider the possibility until it seemed abundantly clear that Connery had in fact stepped down as Bond for good. At that point Moore was approached, and he accepted producer Albert Broccoli's offer in August 1972. In his autobiography Moore writes that he had to cut his hair and lose weight for the role. Although he resented having to make those changes, he was finally cast as James Bond in Live and Let Die (1973).
Moore played Bond in Live and Let Die (1973); The Man with the Golden Gun (1974); The Spy Who Loved Me (1977); Moonraker (1979); For Your Eyes Only (1981); Octopussy (1983); and A View to a Kill (1985).
Moore is the longest-serving James Bond actor, having spent 12 years in the role (from his debut in 1973, to his retirement from the role in 1985), having made seven official films in a row. Moore is the oldest actor to have played Bond - he was 45 in Live and Let Die (1973), and 58 when he announced his retirement on 3 December 1985.
Moore's Bond was very different from the character created by Ian Fleming. Screenwriters like George MacDonald Fraser provided scenarios in which Moore was cast as a seasoned, debonair playboy who would always have a trick or gadget in stock when he needed it. This was designed to serve the contemporary taste of the 1970s. Moore's version of Bond was also known for his sense of humor and witty one-liners, but also an extremely skilled detective with a cunning mind.
In 2004, Moore was voted 'Best Bond' in an Academy Awards poll, and he won with 62% of votes in another poll in 2008. In 1987 he hosted Happy Anniversary 007: 25 Years of James Bond.
During Moore's Bond period he starred in 13 other films, including the thriller Gold (1974), portrayed an adventurer in Africa opposite Lee Marvin in Shout at the Devil (1976), a commando with Richard Burton and Richard Harris in the unorthodox action film The Wild Geese (1978), and a millionaire so obsessed with Roger Moore that he had had plastic surgery to look like his hero in Cannonball Run (1981). He even made a cameo as Chief Inspector Clouseau, posing as a famous movie star, in Curse of the Pink Panther (1983) (for which he was credited as "Turk Thrust II"). However, most of these films were not critically acclaimed or commercially successful. Moore was widely criticised for making three movies in South Africa under the Apartheid regime during the 1970s (Gold, Shout at the Devil, and The Wild Geese).
Moore did not act onscreen for five years after he stopped playing Bond. In 1990 he appeared in several films and writer-director Michael Feeney Callan's television series My Riviera; he starred in the film Bed & Breakfast which was shot in 1989. At the age of 73, Moore played a flamboyant homosexual in Boat Trip (2002).
The satirical British TV show Spitting Image once had a sketch in which their latex likeness of Moore, when asked to display emotions by an offscreen director, does nothing but raise an eyebrow. Moore himself has stated that he thought the sketch was funny, and took it in good humour. Indeed, he had always embraced the 'eyebrows' gag wholeheartedly, slyly claiming that he 'only had three expressions as Bond: right eyebrow raised, left eyebrow raised and eyebrows crossed when grabbed by Jaws'. Spitting Image continued the joke, featuring a Bond movie spoof, The Man with the Wooden Delivery, with Moore's puppet receiving orders from Margaret Thatcher to kill Mikhail Gorbachev. Other comedy shows at that time ridiculed Moore's acting, with Rory Bremner once claiming to have had a death threat from an irate fan of Moore's, following one such routine.
Moore stated that he has retired from acting in an article for The Sunday Telegraph magazine on 17 May 2009. In a commercial for London's 2012 Olympic bid, Moore appeared alongside Samantha Bond, who played Miss Moneypenny in the Bond films during the Pierce Brosnan era. He still appears regularly on chat shows, chiefly to promote the work of UNICEF.
In 2009, Moore appeared in an advert for the Post Office.
He also played the role of a secret agent in the Victoria Wood Christmas Special on BBC1 show over the festive period in 2009. Filming all his scenes in the London Eye, his mission was to eliminate another agent whose file photo looks just like Pierce Brosnan.
In 2011, Moore co-starred in the film A Princess for Christmas with Katie McGrath and Sam Heughan. Filming locations included Romania, Peles Castle, Stirbei Castle and Bragadiru Palace.
In 2012, Moore took to the stage for a series of seven Evenings With in UK theatres and, in November, guest-hosted Have I Got News For You.
Moore's friend Audrey Hepburn had impressed him with her work for UNICEF, and consequently he became a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 1991. He was the voice of 'Santa' in the 2004 UNICEF cartoon The Fly Who Loved Me.
Moore was involved in the production of a video for PETA that protests against the production and wholesale of foie gras. Moore narrates the video. His assistance in this situation, and being a strong spokesman against foie gras, has led to the department store Selfridges agreeing to remove foie gras from their shelves.
In 1946, aged 19, Moore married a fellow RADA student; the actress and ice skater Doorn Van Steyn (born Lucy Woodard), who was six years his senior. Moore and Van Steyn lived in Streatham with her family, but tensions over money, and her lack of belief in his acting ability affected their relationship. Moore has since said that Van Steyn had repeatedly punched and scratched him and also threw a teapot at him on one occasion.
In 1952, Moore met the Welsh singer Dorothy Squires, who was 13 years his senior, and Van Steyn and Moore divorced the following year. Squires and Moore were married in New York and moved to the United States in 1954 to develop their careers; but tensions developed in their marriage due to their age differences and Moore's infatuation with the actress Dorothy Provine, and they moved back to the United Kingdom in 1961. Squires suffered a series of miscarriages during their marriage and Moore later said the outcome of their marriage may have been different if they had been able to have children.
In their tempestuous relationship Squires smashed a guitar over his head, and after learning of his affair with the Italian actress Luisa Mattioli, who became Moore's third wife, Moore said that "She threw a brick through my window. She reached through the glass and grabbed my shirt and she cut her arms doing it...The police came and they said, 'Madam, you're bleeding' and she said, 'It's my heart that's bleeding'" Squires intercepted letters from Mattioli to Moore and planned to include them in her autobiography; but the couple won injunctions against the publication in 1977, which led Squires to unsuccessfully sue them for loss of earnings. The numerous legal cases launched by Squires led her to be declared a vexatious litigant in 1988. Moore paid Squires's hospital bills after her cancer treatment in 1996, and upon her death in 2001.
In 1961, while filming The Rape of the Sabine Women in Italy, Moore left Squires for the Italian actress Luisa Mattioli. Squires refused to accept their separation, and sued Moore for loss of conjugal rights, but Moore refused the court's order to return to Squires in 28 days. Squires also smashed windows at a house in France where Moore and Mattioli were living, and unsuccessfully sued the actor Kenneth More for libel, as More had introduced Moore and Mattioli at a charity event as "Mr Roger Moore and his wife". Moore and Mattioli lived together until 1969, when Squires finally granted him a divorce, after they had been separated for seven years. At Moore and Mattioli's marriage in April 1969 at the Caxton Hall in Westminster, London, a crowd of 600 people were outside, with women screaming his name.
Moore had three children with Mattioli; a daughter, Deborah (born 1963) who has become an established actor, and two sons; Geoffrey and Christian. Geoffrey is also an actor, and appeared alongside his father in the 1976 film Sherlock Holmes in New York, in later life he co-founded hush restaurant in Mayfair, London, with Jamie Barber. Moore's youngest son, Christian, is a film producer.
Moore and Mattioli separated in 1993 after Moore's affinity with a Swedish born Danish socialite, Christina "Kiki" Tholstrup. Moore later described his prostate cancer diagnosis in 1993 as "life-changing", which led him to reassess his life and marriage. Mattioli and Tholstrup had long been friends; but Mattioli was scathing of her in the book she subsequently wrote about her relationship with Moore, Nothing Lasts Forever, describing how she felt betrayed by Tholstrup and discarded by Moore. In her book Mattioli wrote that she felt Tholstrup had "wanted to become me" and also described her as "a hanger-on who has had two husbands and three facelifts".
Moore remained silent on his divorce from Mattioli, later saying that he did not wish to hurt his children by "engaging in a war of words". Moore's children refused to speak to him for a period after the divorce, but they were later reconciled with their father. Mattioli refused to grant Moore a divorce until 2000, when a £10 million settlement was agreed. Moore subsequently married Tholstrup in 2002. Moore would later say that he loved Tholstrup as she was "organised", "serene", "loving" and "calm", saying that "I have a difficult life. I rely on Kristina totally. When we are travelling for my job she is the one who packs. Kristina takes care of all that." Moore also said that his marriage to Tholstrop was "a tranquil relationship, there are no arguments."
Moore is a lifelong supporter of the Conservative Party, and he publicly endorsed the party during the 2001 general election campaign. In 2011, Moore gave his support to Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron on his policy on the European Union, stating: "I think he's doing absolutely wonderfully well, despite the opposition from many members of his own party. Traitors, I call them. I mean any hardliner within the Conservative Party who speaks out against their leader. You should support your leader."
Moore became a tax exile from the United Kingdom in 1978, originally to Switzerland, and currently divides his year between his three homes; an apartment in Monte Carlo, Monaco, a chalet in Crans-Montana, Switzerland and a home in the south of France. Moore is a notable resident of Monaco, having been appointed a Goodwill Ambassador of Monaco by Prince Albert II for his efforts in internationally promoting and publicizing the principality. Moore has been scathing of the Russian population in Monaco, saying that "I'm afraid we're overstuffed with Russians. All the restaurant menus are in Russian now.”
Moore has been vocal in his defence of his tax status, saying that in the 1970s he had been urged by his "accountants, agents and lawyers" that moving abroad was essential due to the fact that "...you would never be able to save enough to ensure that you had any sort of livelihood if you didn't work" as a result of the punitive taxation rates imposed on unearned income. Moore said in 2011 that his decision to live abroad was "...not about tax. That's a serious part of it. I come back to England often enough not to miss it, to see the changes, to find some of the changes good...I paid my taxes at the time that I was earning a decent income, so I've paid my due."
Moore underwent surgery for prostate cancer in 1993. He collapsed on stage in New York in 2003, during a performance of The Play What I Wrote, and subsequently had a pacemaker fitted, after he was diagnosed as suffering from bradycardia. Moore was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2013, which has left him unable to drink martinis.
Moore has a friendship with some of the Danish royals; Prince Joachim and his then-wife Alexandra, Countess of Frederiksborg invited him and his wife Kiki to attend the christening of their youngest son, Prince Felix.
In 1999, Moore was created a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE), and advanced to Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) on 14 June 2003. The citation on the knighthood was for Moore's charity work, which has dominated his public life for more than a decade. Moore said that the citation "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".
On 11 October 2007, three days before he turned 80, Moore was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work on television and in film. Attending the ceremony were family, friends, and Richard Kiel, with whom he had acted in The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker. Moore's star was the 2,350th star installed, and is appropriately located at 7007 Hollywood Boulevard.
On 21 November 2012, Moore was awarded an honorary Doctor of Arts degree from the University of Hertfordshire, for his outstanding contribution to the UK film and television industry for over 50 years, in particular film and television production in the County of Hertfordshire.
For his charity work
Lifetime achievements awards
For his acting
Moore wrote a book about the filming of Live and Let Die, based on his diaries. Roger Moore as James Bond: Roger Moore's Own Account of Filming Live and Let Die was published in London in 1973, by Pan Books. The book includes an acknowledgment to Sean Connery, with whom Moore has been friends for many years: "I would also like to thank Sean Connery – with whom it would not have been possible."
Moore's autobiography My Word is My Bond (ISBN 0061673889) was published by Collins in the US in November 2008. It was published in the UK by Michael O'Mara Books Ltd on 2 October 2008 (ISBN 9781843173182).
On 16 October 2012, Bond On Bond was published to tie in with the 50th anniversary of the James Bond films. The book, with many pictures, is based on Moore's own memories, thoughts, and anecdotes about all things 007.
|1954||The Last Time I Saw Paris||Paul|
|1955||Interrupted Melody||Cyril Lawrence|
|The King's Thief||Jack|
|1956||Diane||Prince Henri (later King Henry II)|
|1959||The Miracle||Capt. Michael Stuart|
|The Alaskans||Silky Harris|
|1961||The Sins of Rachel Cade||Paul Wilton|
|Gold of the Seven Saints||Shaun Garrett|
|1962||Romulus and the Sabines||Romulus|
|No Man's Land||Enzo Prati|
|The Saint||Simon Templar|
|1968||The Fiction Makers|
|1969||Vendetta for the Saint|
|1970||The Man Who Haunted Himself||Harold Pelham|
|1971||The Persuaders!||Lord Brett Sinclair|
|1973||Live and Let Die||James Bond|
|The Man with the Golden Gun||James Bond|
|1975||That Lucky Touch||Michael Scott|
|Shout at the Devil||Sebastian Oldsmith|
|1977||Sherlock Holmes in New York||Sherlock Holmes|
|The Spy Who Loved Me||James Bond|
|1978||The Wild Geese||Lieutenant Shaun Fynn|
|1979||Escape to Athena||Major Otto Hecht|
|1980||North Sea Hijack||Rufus Excalibur ffolkes|
|The Sea Wolves||Captain Gavin Stewart|
|Sunday Lovers||Harry Lindon|
|1981||The Cannonball Run||Seymour Goldfarb as Roger Moore|
|For Your Eyes Only||James Bond|
|Curse of the Pink Panther||Chief Insp. Jacques Clouseau|
|1984||The Naked Face||Dr. Judd Stevens|
|1985||A View to a Kill||James Bond|
|1989||Fire, Ice and Dynamite||Sir George Windsor|
|1990||Bullseye!||Sir John Bevistock|
|1992||Bed & Breakfast||Adam|
|1995||The Man Who Wouldn't Die||Thomas Grace|
|1996||The Quest||Lord Edgar Dobbs|
|1997||Spice World||The Chief|
|2001||The Enemy||Supt. Robert Ogilvie|
|2002||Boat Trip||Lloyd Faversham|
|2011||A Princess for Christmas||Edward, Duke of Castlebury|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Roger Moore.|
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Roger Moore|
Rik Van Nutter
|The Saint Actor|
|Sherlock Holmes Actor|
|Eon Productions James Bond actor|
|Jacques Clouseau Actor|