Roger Moore helped turn Bond into a $7 billion business

Roger Moore's best James Bond one-liners
Roger Moore's best James Bond one-liners

Roger Moore was the fourth of seven actors to appear on the silver screen as James Bond.

His portrayal of 007 -- debonair, wry and sophisticated -- was not always lauded by critics but it played a big part in turning the series into one of Hollywood's longest and most valuable franchises.

Moore's debut as Bond in 1973's "Live and Let Die," showed an actor other than Sean Connery could hold his own as the dashing spy.

Moore, whose family has confirmed his death at 89, would go on to star in six more Bond movies including "The Man with the Golden Gun" and "Moonraker."

Audiences responded to his comedic touch with an enthusiasm that helped cement 007 as a Hollywood fixture. Bond films starring Moore grossed roughly $1.2 billion at the global box office.

Related: Roger Moore ensured James Bond's cinematic survival

The franchise continues to be one of the industry's biggest money spinners, grossing in excess of $7 billion. "Skyfall," released in 2012, alone made a cool $1.1 billion.

In addition to mega hauls at the box office, the series has set the pace for product placement. Companies have paid handsomely for the opportunity to show off their products alongside the fictional MI6 agent.

When it came to cars, Moore was partial to Lotus, including an Esprit that transformed into a submarine for "The Spy Who Loved Me." The current leading man, Daniel Craig, has come to look very comfortable behind the wheel of another British brand: Aston Martin.

Beverage firms have been big sponsors, too. "Shaken, not stirred" martinis are Bond's calling card, but Moore also ordered Bollinger champagne and dabbled in vodka. In recent films, Craig can be seen supplementing a steady stream of martinis with conspicuously displayed bottles of Heineken (HEINY).

"Spectre," reportedly the most expensive film in the series with a budget of $350 million, relied on product placement to partly offset the cost. The 2015 movie features Belvedere vodka and Bollinger, as well as products from Aston Martin, Jaguar Land Rover (TTM) and Sony (SNE) (Bond's smartphone).

Occasionally, the naked commercial plugs have gone too far.

In "Live and Let Die," Moore was shown operating a La Pavoni Europiccola espresso machine in his apartment. "Is that all it does?" quips another character when the coffee is finally ready.

In "Casino Royale," Craig's love interest asks if his watch is a Rolex. He says it's an Omega. "Beautiful," she responds.

Still, audiences have been quick to forgive the series for its flaws -- after all it's fun. Moore certainly enjoyed his signature part, famously describing himself as "one lucky bastard."

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