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"Amicalement Vôtre" in Paris

28-31 October 2008

On October 28, Sir Roger was awarded the Order of Arts and Letters, one of France’s highest honours, at a ceremony in Paris. Culture Minister Christine Albanel, who presented the honour to Roger Moore, said he was a true legend of both cinema and television.

"France is happy and proud to honour a legendary actor with an immense heart," said Christine Albanel. With his wife Kristina at his side, Sir Roger told that the Arts and Letters award to him was worth "more than an Oscar."

Roger Moore was next invited by Michel Drucker to appear on the programme "Vivement Dimanche". A whole afternoon was devoted to him. Nearly five hours’ of recording in the famous Gabriel studios close by to the Champs-Elysées.

250 lucky people had the chance to take part and to see a parade of those stars whose lives had crossed that of Roger Moore. Moving reunions, a lot of smiles, and of course humour, photos and film excerpts. We saw Claudia Cardinale, who was his neighbour in Italy, and his co-star in "Escape To Athena" alongside David Niven. Alexandra Stewart, who was his co-star in "The Saint", Ursula Andress, the mythical Honey Rider in "Dr. No". Mylène Demongeot who starred in "The Rape Of The Sabine Women", a typical Greek toga saga of the early 60s.

There was also Michael Lonsdale, the unforgettable "Drax" in "Moonraker". The singer Laurent Voulzy, a great admirer of Roger Moore, came and dedicated a little composition based on the tune of "The Persuaders !".

Tony Curtis had taped a video. Within a few minutes it was a virtual live Wilde-Sinclair double-act. Petula Clark delighted Roger Moore with her famous "Downtown".

Then came Mathieu Amalric and Daniel Craig who spoke of Roger "Bond" Moore. Finally, Prince Albert of Monaco paid handsome homage to one of the most celebrated and valued British subjects all around the world.

Two days later, there was a press conference in a small salon at the prestigious Fouquet’s.

Accompanied by his French editor, Roger Moore indulged in a game of questions and answers with the journalists.

Then a plaque bearing his name is affixed at the entrance to the celebrated hotel, in the company of Dominique Desseigne, chairman of the board of Lucien Barrière Group, while flashbulbs crackled.

 

The little group all rejoined the interior of the establishment to share a glass of champagne. Outside, fans pressed their faces to the windows to get a look at the actor. As usual, Roger Moore had a kind word for each one.

He signs his book for journalists, poses, shakes hands then bids us farewell to go and have a rest. Outside, the rain plays at tap dancing on the pavement and the fans still await an hypothetical re-appearance of the star.

 

Report : Marie-France Vienne with the kind help of Barrie Wilson

Photos : Joël Villy, Philippe Heidet & Marie-France Vienne

 
 
 

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