ROGER MOORE and his third wife, Luisa Mattioli, visit the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem in 1972.
(photo credit: K. WEISS)
Roger Moore visited Israel three times in his career. In 2009, the actor was the guest of honor at the Eilat Chamber Music Festival. Moore, who had been a UNICEF ambassador since 1991, was the narrator of the character piece in the orchestra of Saint Saens’s Carnival of the Animals at the festival, that took place at Herod’s Forum in Eilat. He donated his fee to the Jerusalem AIDS Project and HIV in Africa.
In a phone interview with The Jerusalem Post at the time, Moore said he had a growing interest in the importance of health and disease prevention, and said his visit was meant to promote HIV awareness and education.
“Prevention is the best cure of disease,” he added. He disclosed that he himself had been circumcised at the initiative of his parents when he was eight. “It was the unkindest cut of all,” he joked. “But really, it was for hygienic reasons. My two sons [now 42 and 35] have been circumcised as well. They have never complained.”
Moore attended the festival with his wife, Kristina Tholstrup.
“Although I received an open letter from some organization advising me not to visit Israel, I didn’t pay attention,” he said.
Moore returned to the same chamber music festival the very next year, displaying his trademark charm and sense of humor.
He was amazed at how the country – especially its capital – had grown and developed since his first visit to the country in 1972 when he received a personal guided tour from then-Jerusalem mayor Teddy Kollek.Judy Siegel-Itzkovich and Greer Fay Cashman contributed to this report.