Known to the world as Miss Moneypenny
who starred in 14 James Bond films, actress Lois
Maxwell has died aged 80...
Lois Maxwell (1927-2007)
30th September 2007
Born Lois Hooker in Kitchener, Ontario on 14 February 1927,
she would become best known around the world as Miss Moneypenny
in the James Bond series, and a Golden Globe winning Canadian
By the late 1940s, Lois
Maxwell attempted to make a name for herself as an actress,
out against her parents will - and without their knowledge
in a Canadian children's radio program - credited as "Robin
Before the age of 15 she left for England
with The Canadian Army's Entertainment Corps and managed
(after her age had been discovered) to get herself enrolled
in The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, where she met and
became friends with Roger
Moore in 1944.
She landed her fist her big screen role
in "A Matter of Life and Death" (1946) in which
she made her debut uncredited, and won the Golden Globe
Award as "Best Newcomer" for her role in the
Shirley Temple comedy "That Hagen Girl" the following
year. She appeared in six Hollywood pictures before trying
her luck in Italy.
Maxwell moved back to England in mid-1950s
and married Peter Churchill Marriott in 1957.
other television series and movies both in Britain and
Canada, and was the star of "Adventures in Rainbow
Country" in the late 1960s. She lived in Espanola,
Ontario for 18 years, near where the series was filmed.
Above: Maxwell as Miss Moneypenny
with Sean Connery as James Bond in "Dr
As well as her film career, she participated in a Life Magazine
photo layout in which she posed with another up-and-coming actress
named Marilyn Monroe. She also appeared in "Bedtime for
Bonzo" with Ronald Reagan, whom she declared (in an interview
with Hello! magazine) she had found very handsome and attractive.
On television, she guest starred in episodes
of "The Saint" and "The
Persuaders!" which both starred Roger Moore, who would go
on to play 007 opposite Maxwell a decade later. She also provided
the voice of Atlanta for the science fiction children's series
Stingray in 1963. Her early feature films included "Kill
Me Tomorrow" (1957), and the controversial "Lolita" (1962)
before her breakthrough in popular culture came when she landed
the role of Miss Moneypenny in
the first James Bond film "Dr
Above: Bond and Moneypenny flirt
in the 1964 outing Goldfinger.
In a 2005 interview, Maxwell
explained how it happened. "I had a husband who was
desperately ill, with two small children and no money",
she said, "so
I called producers I had worked with before and said 'help
me'". Bond director Terrence Young was one of
those people, and offered her two possible roles.
"If you you don't
put my hair in a bun and horn rimmed glasses on me allow
me to give her a background - I would like to play Miss
She got her way and a Bond career was born.
Starring in fourteen consecutive James
Bond movies from "Dr No" (1962)
through to "A View To
A Kill" (1985), many fans
credit her as the definitive Miss Moneypenny.
She also portrayed Moneypenny
in a 1967 made-for-television special (produced by EON Productions)
entitled "Welcome to Japan, Mr. Bond" in which she
attempts to discover the identity of a woman who aims to marry
James Bond (the final reveal is that the woman is an actress
hoping to land the role of Mrs Bond in the next film "On
Her Majesty's Secret Service"). This rarely seen appearance is
now available on the "You
Only Live Twice" Ultimate
Of all the fourteen Bond outings she appeared
in, Maxwell claimed her favourite was George
Lazenby's sole outing. "Strangely enough, 'On Her Majesty's
"I think it's the
best film, I mean I think it's
an excellent film. Had it not been a Bond film, had it
just been a film, it would've been a fabulous film".
She was succeeded in the role by Caroline
Living Daylights" 1987 to "Licence To Kill" 1989)
and later Samantha Bond ("GoldenEye" 1995 to "Die
Another Day" 2002). "Casino
is to date the only Bond film not to have featured Miss
Above: Maxwell with one-time 007
George Lazenby. His tenure was short, but his 1969 film
was her favourite.
After bowing out of the series along with Roger Moore in 1985,
she later suggested to producers that she could take over as
M, but was reportedly told that the series "would never
feature a female M". A few years later, Dame
Judi Dench was cast as M. Only Desmond
Llewelyn, who played Q seventeen
times before his death in 1999, starred in more Bond films than
Above: Miss Moneypenny traveled
to "Egypt" in the 1977 outing "The Spy Who
Loved Me. It was one of seven films Maxwell made with Roger
Moore as 007.
"She was always
fun and she was wonderful to be with. She was wonderful,
absolutely perfect casting. It was a great pity that,
after I moved out of Bond, they didn't take her on to
continue in the Timothy Dalton films. I think it was
a great disappointment to her that she had not been promoted
to play M. She would have been a wonderful M." -
Sir Roger Moore
After her husband passed away in 1973, she also became a
regular columnist for the Toronto Sun newspaper whilst acting
in the Bond series during the 1980s.
She purchased a cottage
in northern Ontario and would often share stories about
her experiences on the movie set, her co-stars, life in
her experiences growing up in Canada and about her present
life in general - as well as commenting on topics of
Maxwell retired from acting in 1989 and moved from England to
Perth, Western Australia, and then later moved closer to her
son in Fremantle, Western Australia after she suffered health
scare in 2001. She came out of retirement twice: for the TV production "Hard
To Forget" (1998), and the 2001 feature film "The Fourth
Above: Lois Maxwell poses with
the infamous Aston Martin DB5 in 2001.
Lois Maxwell passed away at Fremantle Hospital,
Western Australia in the evening of Saturday 29th September 2007
after suffering from cancer. She
by her two children.