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Bond Girl Actress Lois Maxwell


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'Bond' Girl Actress Lois Maxwell

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Lois Maxwell portrayed Miss Moneypenny

in the 1964 Bond film, 'Goldfinger'

PERTH, Australia -- Lois Maxwell, a Canadian-born actress who was to many moviegoers the definitive Miss Moneypenny in James Bond films, died Saturday, September 29, at Fremantle Hospital, near her home in Perth, Australia. She had been battling cancer, reported the British Broadcasting Corp. She was 80.

In the Bond films, Miss Moneypenny, as secretary to Bond's chief M in British intelligence, has a flirtatious relationship with the spy. Maxwell, in her role Miss Moneypenny, was evidently attracted to him but never succumbed to his many advances.

Maxwell, the demure foil to Bond's suave rake in 14 films from 1962's "Dr. No" to 1985's "A View to a Kill," gave a bantering edge that is missing in Ian Fleming's novels. Although officially her character's first name is Jane, Moneypenny is referred to only by her last name or a diminutive of it -- Penny.

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Lois Maxwell played Nancy Williams in the Australian

television series, 'Adventures in Rainbow Country'

"Moneypenny was down to earth and charming," Maxwell told a Canadian newspaper reporter in 2001. "Everyone hoped James Bond would end up with her because all the other women were so two-dimensional. She was real."

In a 2005 interview, Maxwell said she insisted when she took on the role that she be allowed to give Moneypenny a "background" and that Bond director Terence Young not "put my hair in a bun and horn-rimmed glasses on me." The "background" was an unexplained sexual tension between Moneypenny and Bond and the chemistry worked.

Maxwell became close friends with Roger Moore, who succeeded Sean Connery as Bond in 1973. "She was a very fine actress and had a great sense of humor," Moore told BBC television. "I'm afraid she got sort of typecast as Miss Moneypenny. That's what producers do, unfortunately; they put people in categories, they don't seem to move people out of them."

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Lois Maxwell as Grace Markway in the 1963

horror film, 'The Haunting'

"She was my lucky token," Moore told the British broadcaster Sky News after her death. "(People) who remember the Bond films with Moneypenny will remember her with great affection. She certainly will be missed by me and I'm sure by millions of fans around the world."

Born Lois Ruth Hooker in Kitchener, Canada, on February 14, 1927 to a nurse and a teacher, she was reared in Toronto. She began acting on radio before running away from home at 16 to Britain to join the Canadian Army Show as a teenager. She enrolled in the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, where she met Moore, a fellow student.

In the late 1940s, having changed her last name to Maxwell, she moved to Hollywood and won a Golden Globe as most promising female newcomer for her part in the Shirley Temple comedy, "That Hagen Girl." After working in movies in Italy, she returned to Britain in the mid-1950s, where she met her husband, entertainment executive Peter Marriott.

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Lois Maxwell, Donald Pleasence and Patrick McGoohan

in an episode of 'Secret Agent' titled 'Position of Trust.'

She appeared in Stanley Kubrick's "Lolita" in 1962 and on TV shows, including "The Saint," "The Baron," "Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased)" and "The Persuaders!" She was 58 when she appeared in her final Bond film, 1985's "A View to a Kill." She was replaced by 26-year-old Caroline Bliss in "The Living Daylights" in 1987.

Asked to choose her favorite James Bond actor, she usually answered Connery, because, she said, "he wasn't replacing anyone, so he made it his own." But she also said she had the most fun working with Moore.

As Miss Moneypenny, Maxwell appeared in more James Bond films than any of the actors who played the lead role. Desmond Llewelyn, who played Q, the gadget man, appeared in the most Bond films, at 17.

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The original Miss Moneypenny, Lois Maxwell (left) and the

current one, Samantha Bond, (right), take aim in 2000.

"Miss Moneypenny was the smallest part I've ever played," Maxwell said in a 2003 interview. "And I did it when my children were very young and my husband was very sick and I was very poor."

In between acting roles and to make ends meet after her husband died of a heart attack at age 51 in 1973, Maxwell wrote a popular column for the Toronto Sun newspaper from 1979 to 1994. Her last film was the 2001 thriller, "The Fourth Angel," with Jeremy Irons.

Maxwell family friend Penny Young said despite failing health, Maxwell had rallied in recent days. "The thing about Lois for the family, she was such a strong fighter and in the past she would never give up. She had that that attitude of, 'Damn, my heart will continue beating until I'm ready for it to stop.' She was just adorable, and cheeky and fun."

Maxwell is survived by her son, Christian and her daughter, Melinda. Maxwell moved to Australia in 2002, after being diagnosed with cancer, to be closer to her son, Christian.

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