♦ English actor
Born in London, he studied painting before making his film debut as an extra in Perfect Strangers (1945). He appeared in small roles on stage and in films prior to National Service in the army. Subsequently performing in the USA, he appeared on Broadway in A Pin to See the Peepshow (1953) and in the Hollywood film The Last Time I Saw Paris (1954). On television his boyish good looks, smooth manner and athletic prowess won him stardom as the action-man hero of such series as Ivanhoe (1957), The Alaskans (1959-60), The Persuaders (1971-72) and The Saint (1962-68). His own wittiest critic, he brought a lightweight insouciance to the role of James Bond in seven films between Live and Let Die (1973) and A View to a Kill (1985). Now a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF, he was awarded the CBE in 1999 and knighted in 2003. He published his autobiography, My Word is My Bond, in 2008.