Lois Maxwell dies at the age of 80

Last weekend we all received the sad news that Lois Maxwell, accepted by most of the Bond community as the definitive Miss Moneypenny, passed away on Saturday evening. She appeared in a total of 14 Bond films alongside Sean Connery, George Lazenby and Roger Moore.

Born in Ontario, Canada on Valentine’s day 1927, she had a rather colourful early life, running away from home aged 15 to eventually join the Army Entertainment Corps in Europe during World War 2. When her real age was discovered in London she joined the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA), where she first met future Bond actor Roger Moore.

At the age of 20 she relocated to Hollywood and very soon she won the Golden Globe for best female newcomer for her appearance in That Hagen Girl with Shirley Temple but by 1950, tired of the endless B movies she appeared in, Lois Maxwell moved to Rome where she made some film appearances as well as becoming a racing driver at one stage.

She met her husband, television executive Peter Marriot, while on a trip to Paris and they married in 1957. Marriot was screen tested for the role of James Bond by Cubby Broccoli, but Maxwell only lobbied for a role in Dr No after her husband suffered a heart attack. Desperately needing to earn some money, she was offered Miss Moneypenny or Sylvia Trench. The rest, as they say, is history.

After her husband’s death in 1973, she moved from London to Toronto and then to Someret in the 1990s to live near her daughter. Following an operation for bowel cancer in 2001, Lois Maxwell moved to Perth in Australia to live with her son’s family. She died at Freemantle hospital on Sepember 29th 2007.

David Leigh founded The James Bond Dossier in 2002. A fan of 007 since the age of 8, he is also author of The Complete Guide to the Drinks of James Bond. You can order a copy here if you don't own it already.

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6 Responses to “Lois Maxwell dies at the age of 80”

  • Vlad Bond (aka Vladimir Bondarenko)

    It’s always nice to enjoy those light and warm the 007 and Miss Moneypenny exchanges, and Miss Moneypenny’s place for me is always the same, a gem of a woman, and no doubt a bit of the 007’s feats are accomplished for MM’s beauty and warmth… easy to understand!

  • Todd

    With no one to throw our hats for or cover our butts when the old man is madd Miss Moneypenny you will shirley be missed. May she sleep in peace and fond memories for all.

  • Niels

    Allthough 80 is a respectable age, it’s allways sad to lose a godgiven talent or loved one.

  • Andris Bankovskis

    Effortless, convincing and iconic performances.

  • Don

    A whole lot of class was lost.

  • John J.

    Lois Maxwell