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Goodbye Moneypenny

October 1, 2007

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Miss Jane Moneypenny and Sir James Bond

Lois Maxwell, born 14 February, 1927, passed away Sunday at the age of 80. Miss Maxwell was a Golden Globe-winning Canadian actress, known for originating the role of Miss Moneypenny in the James Bond franchise. Starring in fourteen James Bond movies, many fans credit her as the definitive Miss Moneypenny.

Born Lois Hooker in Kitchener, Ontario Canada to parents who were a teacher and a nurse respectively, she ran away from home at the age of fifteen in order to join the Royal Canadian Army during World War II. Enlisted initially as a soldier, she quickly became part of the Army Entertainment Corps, traveling Europe during the war, performing music and dance numbers to entertain the troops. The truth about her age was discovered when the group reached London, and in order to avoid deportation back to Canada, she enrolled at the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts.

Travelling to Hollywood at the age of twenty, she quickly found work and soon won the Golden Globe Award as “Best Newcomer” for her role in the Shirley Temple comedy, That Hagen Girl, as well as participating in a Life Magazine photo layout in which she posed with another up-and-coming actress named Marilyn Monroe. She appeared in Bedtime for Bonzo with Ronald Reagan, whom she declared in an interview with Hello! magazine she had found very handsome and attractive. Maxwell made a guest appearance in the “Something for a rainy day” episode of the ITC series The Baron, playing an insurance investigator.

Having tired of Hollywood, she moved back to Europe, living in Rome for five years from 1950 to 1955. There she made a series of films, and at one point became an amateur racing driver. While on a trip to Paris, she met her future husband, television executive Peter Marriott; they were married in 1957 and moved to live in London. Their daughter Melinda (b. 1958) and their son Christian (b. 1959) were both born in London.

During the 1960’s, she appeared in many other television series and movies both in Britain and Canada, and was the star of Adventures in Rainbow Country later that decade. She guest starred in episodes of The Saint and The Persuaders! which both starredRoger Moore. She provided the voice of Atlanta for the science fiction children’s series Stingray in 1963. She also portrayed Moneypenny in a 1967 made-for-television special (produced by EON Productions) entitled, Welcome to Japan, Mr. Bond.

In 1973, her husband, who had long been ill following a serious heart attack in the early 1960s, died. Maxwell then returned to Canada, settling in Toronto where she wrote a column for the Toronto Sun under the Miss Moneypenney pseudonym and became a businesswoman working in the textile industry. In 1994, she returned to England once more in order to be near her daughter, and retired to a cottage in the village of Frome, Somerset.

A few years later, however, she became ill and left the United Kingdom and moved to Perth, Western Australia to live with her son’s family. She remained there until her death at Fremantle Hospital, on September 29, 2007, and will be dearly missed by all.

~ X anemi

Episode clip from: Department “S” – The Ghost of Mary Burnham, played by Lois Maxwell

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