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.