James Bond director Lewis Gilbert has died, aged 97

British director Lewis Gilbert has died aged 97, it has been confirmed.

The filmmaker was best known for directing The Spy Who Loved Me, starring Roger Moore (1977) – along with You Only Live Twice (1967) and Moonraker (1979). Gilbert also directed Michael Caine’s Alfie in 1966.

James Bond producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli confirmed Gilbert’s death in a joint statement.

“It is with great sadness that we learn of the passing of our dear friend Lewis Gilbert,” it reads. “Lewis was a true gentleman. He made an enormous contribution to the British film industry as well as the Bond films, directing You Only Live Twice, The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker. His films are not only loved by us but are considered classics within the series. He will be sorely missed.”

Gilbert’s son John told the BBC that his father had “died peacefully in his sleep”.

Hot Fuzz director Edgar Wright and comedian David Walliams were among those paying tribute to Gilbert on Twitter.

Born in Hackney in 1920, Gilbert went on to become a child actor, before making his mark  behind the camera and in the director’s chair.