Wow. That's the largest "turnout" for one of our polls yet! After a long hiatus, inspired by the Saint celebration over at Permission To Kill, the Spy-Fi Polls returned a week ago with the question: "Which actor portrayed the best Simon Templar (The Saint) on film or TV?"
With 18 out of an astounding 33 votes cast, the clear favorite was Sir Roger Moore, who portrayed the gentleman rogue in the eponymous ITC television series from 1962 to 1969. For millions of people who'd never even read a Leslie Charteris novel, the charming, handsome and athletic actor was and will always be Simon Templar.
Coming in second, with a respectable 7 votes was droll George Sanders, who portrayed the character in five Saint features for RKO between 1939 1nd 1940.
Ian Ogilvy, who starred in the 24-episode TV series The Return of the Saint in 1978-79, garnered four votes for third place, while 80's television Saint Simon Dutton and Val Kilmer, star of the 1997 feature film, manged two votes apiece.
Neither Louis Hayward nor Hugh Sinclair, both of whom portrayed the hero in 30s movies, managed a single vote, and Andrew Clarke, of 1987's The Saint in Manhattan TV pilot, was also snubbed in the voting.
Ogilvy was actually the first Simon Templar I ever saw, back when CBS was running Return late nights in the 70s. But Moore is definitely the man I think of as being the definitive Saint. I'm a big fan of George Sanders' films, too, and really wish Warners would put them out in a boxed set.
As always, feel free to explain (or defend - Kilmer? Really?) your choices in the comments, and if anyone has suggestions for other Spy-Fi polls, please send 'em along!