1. Remembering Miss Moneypenny

    By Matt Weston on 2007-10-02
    Lois Maxwell as Miss Moneypenny

    Lois Maxwell as Miss Moneypenny

    Tributes to actress Lois Maxwell are flowing in as the world mourns the loss of the original Miss Moneypenny.

    Ms Maxwell passed away, aged 80, on Saturday evening in Fremantle Hospital, Western Australia.

    The Golden Globe award-winning actress played the role of M’s famous secretary in the first 14 James Bond films over 23 years, starring alongside three different James Bond actors.

    Sir Roger Moore, a close personal friend of Ms Maxwell, has paid tribute to the actress in a number of interviews, including one with Sky News.

    Lois and I first met in 1944 when we were in the same class at RADA. We shared the same year of birth and we played opposite each other at RADA. I was the only actor in the class who was tall enough to actually play opposite her. We did Pride And Prejudice together, we did Henry V and then of course she worked with me on the stage and in The Saint and The Persuaders! and all my Bond movies. She had a son called Christian, and I had a son called Christian, so we had a great deal in common. She was my lucky token and those that remember the Bond films with Moneypenny will remember her with great affection. She will certainly be missed by me and I’m sure by millions of fans around the world.

    Sir Roger Moore

    Ms Maxwell’s loss has also been felt outside the world of cinema; the actress was a strong supporter of the Fremantle Hospital, according to Fremantle Hospital Medical Research Foundation chairman Len Hitchen , who spoke to AAP.

    Lois had an illness that caused her to be admitted to Fremantle Hospital, pretty well life-threatening actually. She had something like a thrombosis in her arm and they expected she would lose her arm. The operation was undertaken and was successful and she was so forever grateful that she wanted to do what she could for the Fremantle Hospital. Once she was here and it was known she was here as Miss Moneypenny she was fairly much sought after as a guest speaker or a VIP guest to functions, and if her health allowed her she would say yes to those that she wished to and say that the fee should be payable to the Foundation. So she assisted us that way and also by being a great friend. We were thrilled when she offered to become involved, and we were probably even more thrilled to meet her and then get to know her and become a friend of hers. She was just an absolutely lovely lady. She was a very well-dressed, well-presented English lady but who was down to earth, would speak to anyone and enjoy speaking to anyone. She had been talking about [her autobiography] and her son, who was the reason that she came [to Perth] in the first place and in latter years used to bring her to the functions, he was very keen for us to urge her to complete her autobiography. Now what she’s done in that regard I’m not too sure, but I hope [she finished it].”

    Len Hitchen, Fremantle Hospital Medical Research Foundation chairman has posted a tribute article, in which Ms Maxwell recounted her first meeting with Bond creator Ian Fleming.

    [Ian Fleming] told me, “When I wrote Miss Moneypenny, I envisaged a tall, elegant woman with the most kissable lips in the world, and you, my dear, are the epitome of that dream of mine.” He puckered up his lips and I puckered up mine. At that moment, a female voice behind him screeched, “Ian! Bedford wants you”. It was his wife. I never did get to kiss him.

    Lois Maxwell

    James Bond fans on the CBn Forums have posted over 125 messages of condolence since the news first broke two days ago.

    According to reports, Ms Maxwell’s family will hold a private funeral for the actress, with the likelihood of a public memorial service to be held at a later time.

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