BBC News today carries the tragic news that Lois Maxwell has passed away, aged 80. Ms Maxwell played the role of Miss Moneypenny in 14 James Bond films, transforming a minor character from Ian Fleming’s novels into a cinematic icon.
Lois Maxwell as Miss Moneypenny
According to a spokesperson for Fremantle Hospital in Western Australia, Ms Maxwell passed away there on Saturday evening.
Lois Maxwell appeared in the very first James Bond film, 1962’s Dr. No, and reprised the role right through to Roger Moore’s final 007 outing, 1985’s A View To A Kill.
In an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live, Sir Roger Moore said, “It’s rather a shock. 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.”
Speaking to Sky News, Moore said he wished he had heard the news earlier, so that he and Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson could have paid tribute to her at Saturday’s National Movie Awards.
“It’s a pity we didn’t have the news then so we could have paused for a tribute to her. Lois Maxwell didn’t have enough tributes in her life.”
“She was my lucky token and those that remember the Bond films with Moneypenny will remember her with great affection.”
Moore first met Ms Maxwell at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 1944.
Lois Maxwell starred opposite three James Bond actors over 23 years
Born Lois Hooker in Ontario, Canada in 1927, Ms Maxwell’s acting career commenced in radio. In 1948, she won the Most Promising Female Newcomer Golden Globe award for her role in the Shirley Temple film, That Hagen Girl.
Outside of her 14 James Bond appearances, Lois Maxwell appeared in Stanley Kubrick’s Lolita. She also guest-starred in a number of television programmes, including The Avengers and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. She also had guest roles alongside Moore in The Saint and The Persuaders. Her most recent role was in 2001’s The Fourth Angel, in which she starred with Jeremy Irons and Forest Whitaker.
CBn and its members wish to extend their deepest condolences to the friends and family of Ms Maxwell.