The house was an unpretentious rented property in North London. It was about two in the morning on a still summer night in 1962.
In the bedroom, television's new Simon Templar in The Saint - the hero with a halo - lay asleep in bed with the Italian mistress for whom he had recently left his wife.
Suddenly the silence, and their slumber, was shattered by the sound of breaking glass, as a brick smashed through the bay window in the living room.
As a saintly hand reached for the telephone to call the police, a steel stiletto heel stamped its way violently through the glass front-door.
It belonged to a glamorous 47-year-old blonde, only 5ft 2in tall, who had driven straight from a West End nightclub where she was starring in cabaret.
By the time the police arrived, she was back at the broken window and trying to climb through, her elegant beige cocktail dress, pink suede shoes and expensive mink stole liberally flecked with blood.
"You're just in time, Sarge," she told one of the three officers.
"Give me a leg up. I'm going to kill an Italian!"
As the police dragged her away, the smashed front door was thrown open, and the estranged husband of the feisty Welsh singing star Dorothy Squires stood there surveying her in silence.
Tearing herself free of the police, Squires hurled herself at the man she had loved and lost, pulled up his sweater, and wiped her blood on his chest.
"Here's my blood!" she screamed. "Take it! You've taken everything else".
Glaring at the woman of whom a celebrated columnist once wrote: "When stirred, she is a fiend from the pit, spitting hot lava", her husband yelled back: "Take her to the nearest nut-house and put her in a straitjacket!" And with that, he slammed the door.
This is just one of many episodes in his haunting and traumatic second marriage that Sir Roger Moore, knight of the realm, UNICEF goodwill ambassador, and the screen's erstwhile 007 in seven James Bond movies, has tried to expunge from his memory.
Tomorrow he celebrates his 80th birthday in Los Angeles where, this week, he has been honoured with a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame - appropriately enough, outside 7007 Hollywood Boulevard.
Standing beside him was his Swedish-born fourth consort, Christina Tholstrup, who, to those with observant eyes, bears an uncanny resemblance to his second wife, Dorothy Squires, the passionate, temperamental and explosive woman who was arguably the love of his life, even though at times that love turned into a nightmare of hatred and acrimony.
For Moore, known to his friends as a gentle, easy-going, peace-loving man, had an extraordinary capacity for bringing out the virago in his three former wives.
Each one of them resented his infidelity, and the fact that he left them without a word of warning or explanation. Moore was the classic male "bolter".
Roger George Moore, the son of a London policeman, was born in Stockwell, South London, and went to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art at the age of 17.
There were those who, on account of his baby-faced looks, and the fact that his RADA fees were funded by the notorious homosexual film director Brian Desmond Hurst, suspected that young Roger might be gay.
He was anything but. He had a healthy interest in the opposite sex, and the first object of his affection was a fellow RADA student, the actress and ice skater Doorn Van Steyn, whose real name was Lucy Woodard, the daughter of a Streatham taxi driver.
She was six years his senior, and already once divorced, but they married on December 9, 1946, when Moore was a 19-year-old 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Army Service Corps. The marriage was a short-lived disaster, largely due to lack of money.
After he was demobbed, Moore earned a mere pittance as a film extra and knitwear model, and their home was one room in the Streatham house that Doorn shared with her parents, brother, two sisters and brother-in-law.
Moore was later to describe Doorn as "a stunningly beautiful girl", and he even learned to ice-skate in order to be near her.
But she told him: "You'll never be an actor. Your face is too weak. Your jaw's too big, and your mouth's too small".
"All we did was row about it," he recalled later. On one occasion, she emptied a pot of tea over his head.
On another, he found that she had dumped all his clothes in the bath, with the tap running.
While Moore was understudying David Tomlinson in The Little Hut, he emerged one evening from the stage door of the Lyric Theatre, and found Doorn waiting to confront him. "She bit me," he recalled. "She bit me on the hand.
"Mind you, my hand may have been raised to strike her, but I let out one almighty yell, which added to the mirth of David Tomlinson and fellow actor Robert Morley, who seemed to react to this black domestic comedy with schoolboy glee".
In 1952, Moore received a chance invitation to a party at the Bexley mansion of Dorothy Squires, then one of Britain's top singers and recording stars.
Squires, who was then 37 - 13 years Moore's senior - had been born in the back of a travelling van parked in a field at Pontyberem, Carmarthenshire.
Her parents sold fish and vegetables from the van throughout Wales.
She had begun life working in a local tinplate factory for about £2 a week, and when Moore met her, she still had the scars on her arms that she got doing that first job.
She had come to fame through her partnership, both on- stage and off, with the bandleader Billy Reid, who was 13 years her senior, ironically the same age difference as between herself and Moore.
When Reid abandoned his wife and two small daughters in 1938 to live with Squires, his family were left homeless and virtually destitute.
Reid composed a series of lush and highly dramatic song hits specially for Squires - Coming Home, The Gypsy, I'll Close My Eyes, Mother's Day and A Tree In The Meadow - all of which went into the charts and turned Squires into Britain's most popular female vocalist, earning £350 a week, which was a gigantic salary in the mid-Forties.
But their relationship was based on heavy drinking, appalling language and what the comedienne Beryl Reid (no relation) was to describe as "most wonderful rows with broken chairs and flying records - something I'd never witnessed before in my life".
Reid was pathologically jealous. Squires claimed that he used to put ladders up to her bedroom window to check that she was alone in bed.
After one shouting match and punch-up too many, Squires left Reid in January 1951, and their partnership was dissolved.
Into the vacuum created by this split walked the young and unknown Roger Moore, then earning about £8 a week.
At the end of the party at Bexley in 1952, Moore, in Dorothy Squires' own account, "put the light out, leaving only the glow of the fire to light the room. He sat down on the floor beside me, leaned over and kissed me.
"He gathered me in his arms and carried me upstairs. We made love.
"Sex hadn't bothered me since I had left Billy Reid, and I certainly didn't want to get involved with another married man, even one who had been apart from his wife for seven months."
But in no time at all, Moore had moved into Squires's Bexley mansion. Doorn Van Steyn, returning from yet another ice-skating tour, had to learn this from others.
She divorced Moore in March 1953 and later had to sue him for nonpayment of alimony.
Her account of their marriage - The Saint That Ain't - remains unpublished.
Billy Reid, heartbroken that Squires now intended to marry another man, wrote two further hits for her in a gesture of farewell: I'm Walking Behind You (on your wedding day) and I Still Believe (we were meant for each other).
When Squires went to New York to promote the first of these, Moore went with her, and they were married in Jersey City "before a drunken Justice of the Peace", according to Moore, on July 6, 1953.
With Squires's support and influence as a star behind him, Moore's career began to flourish.
In 1954, he won a contract with MGM, making his American screen debut with Elizabeth Taylor in The Last Time I Saw Paris.
The Moores moved to Hollywood, the most age-conscious place in the world, where the yawning gulf in years between the rapidly ageing Squires and her baby-faced husband was a subject of constant comment.
"Don't forget to invite Roger Moore and his mother," was one of the crueller film colony jokes.
Rows between the couple were frequent and often public, and in 1959, the first serious rift appeared in the marriage when Moore became infatuated with Dorothy Provine, his blonde co-star in the television series, The Alaskans.
When Moore began calling for "Dorothy" in his sleep, Squires knew that it wasn't her. Moore only ever called her Dot.
In 1961, they moved back to Britain where Squires had kept her Bexley mansion, and she returned to the charts with her own composition, Say It With Flowers, but discovered that during her long absence, her position as the Welsh belter of ballads had been usurped by a Cardiff girl 22 years her junior, Shirley Bassey.
Moore flew to Rome to film a lowbudget French-Italian film, The Rape Of The Sabine Women.
Playing a supporting role was a dark and beautiful 28-year-old Italian actress, Luisa Mattioli, who was 18 years Squires's junior.
Squires, who was already 38 when Moore married her, had suffered a series of miscarriages and was never able to carry a pregnancy beyond three months.
Moore was later to say that had he and Squires had children, he might have made a different decision over their marriage.
As it was, it was left to the Moores' Bexley GP, Dr Plunkett, to break the news to Dorothy that there was another woman and that her marriage was over. Moore had confided in him but did not dare tell Dorothy.
This was further confirmed when Squires intercepted some letters addressed to Roger from Italy.
They were from Luisa. Squires had them translated from Italian by the doorman of a Mayfair nightclub.
One allegedly described Luisa's wish to lick Moore all over.
She added: "You say Dorothy does not believe in our love. Show her this letter."
Squires's later comment on this was: "What kind of a cow was that?"
Squires, in a move that appalled even her closest friends, sued Moore for restitution of conjugal rights.
Moore, predictably, ignored the judge's order to return to her. The announcement that he was to play the Saint further inflamed Squires.
It seemed to her that a halo was being conferred upon him for deserting his wife.
Squires was to refuse Moore a divorce for seven years, during which time two of his children by Luisa were born out of wedlock.
When Moore at last married Luisa on April 11, 1969, Squires was back in the headlines on a drink-driving charge.
A year later, in an act of personal and professional defiance, she spent £5,000 to hire the London Palladium for a comeback concert, and sold out the theatre in a matter of hours.
In 1977, there was further bitterness between Moore - now the screen's James Bond - and his second wife when Squires proposed to include in her autobiography not only Moore's intimate love letters to her, but also the letters to him from Luisa, which Squires had illegally intercepted.
There was also a graphic account of Moore performing oral sex on Squires under the bedclothes.
Horrified, Moore and Luisa both won injunctions and the book was never published. Squires sued them both for loss of earnings but lost the case.
At one point, she stormed into the offices of Moore's solicitors, Harbottle and Lewis, and hurled objects at cowering members of the staff.
Her obsession with litigation was to ruin her utterly. She lost 30 of the 33 law cases she launched. She was made bankrupt in 1986.
A year later, she was declared a vexatious litigant and barred from launching further legal actions, and in 1988, she was evicted by bailiffs from her 17-room Thamesside-mansion at Bray, and her possessions were sold at public auction.
For the last ten years of her life, Squires was an obsessive, paranoid recluse, homeless, often penniless, and living on the charity of friends.
Ironically, her successor, Luisa, also became increasingly dominant and fiery in her relations with Moore, and the rows between them were numerous.
When, in 1994, following treatment for suspected prostate cancer, Moore left Luisa for a friend of hers, the Swedish socialite, Christina "Kiki" Tholstrup, Luisa reacted much as Dorothy had before her.
"He dead to me," she said of Moore. "He seriously mad. Now he is nobody. He does not exist. He has killed everything. Unfortunately."
And for Kiki, she had the darkest allegations, implying that she had plotted to steal Roger away from his family, and might even have resorted to witchcraft in order to do it.
As Luisa disappeared from his life, Moore made his first telephone call to Squires in two decades.
Speaking of Kiki, she asked him: "Have you found the right one at last Roger? Is this the one for you?" Moore replied: "This is the one."
Squires wished him happiness and they spoke at length of the many years they had spent together.
"We had a ball, didn't we?" she said. "That we did," replied Roger. I
n March 1996, when Squires underwent surgery for bladder cancer at the BUPA Hospital in Cardiff, Moore picked up the £6,000 bill.
When, in April 1998, Squires lay dying from cancer in hospital at the age of 83, Moore told her niece, Emily: "Take hold of her hand, give it a little squeeze, and tell her Rog is thinking of her."
At her funeral, a bouquet of purple tulips, lilies of the valley and orange flowers arrived with a card with the words: "I've said it with flowers. Roger."
Time brings a mysterious evanescence even to the greatest of fame.
Despite his knighthood and his admirable work as a UNICEF ambassador, Moore's career on the big screen, 22 years after his last appearance as Bond, has fallen into oblivion.
His close friend, Sir Michael Caine, discussing Roger in a recent television interview, observed: "Now he can't get a job."
Yet ironically, the reputation of Dorothy Squires, which lay in ruins during the last disastrous decade of her turbulent life, is undergoing a revival.
Next April, two plaques are to be unveiled in her native Wales to commemorate the tenth anniversary of her death.
And EMI has just released a 49-song double-CD of her major hits, spanning the years from 1938 to 1973.
The passion and power of her delivery confirms that she is, without doubt, one of the great popular singers of the 20th century.
Perhaps the last words on this extraordinary love-hate saga ought to be those of two Welsh Squires fans who placed a moving In Memoriam notice in The Stage newspaper.
"There are no more shows or curtain calls," they wrote. "We thank God for your voice and songs that still echo through the valleys we love."