Lois Maxwell: Best. Moneypenny. Ever.


Bond Girls come and go, but every James Bond fan knows where Bond’s heart truly is — with the divine Miss Moneypenny.

Lois Maxwell, who originated the role, died last week at age 80.

Maxwell starred with Sean Connery in the first Bond film, Dr. No, in 1962. She played Jane Moneypenny, secretary to British Secret Service chief M until A View to a Kill, the 1985 film with Roger Moore as Bond.

Although Maxwell was best known as Miss Moneypenny, she was in a number of movie and television shows, including Lolita, The Saint and Bedtime for Bonzo (with Ronald Reagan). She won a Golden Globe for her role in The Hagen Girl with Shirley Temple.

Roger Moore and Maxwell became friends when both were students at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in the Forties. Moore said that Maxwell was disappointed that Moneypenny didn’t get promoted to M. At the time, producers told her the movies would never have a female M. Dame Judi Dench stepped into the role a few years later.

Maxwell’s reaction? “If you can’t have me, why have anyone?”

Lois Maxwell certainly deserved a promotion. When she started, she made £100 a day and supplied her own wardrobe. After a few films, the trio of Moneypenny, Q and M was a staple of the Bond franchise. I’m not sure why the remake of Casino Royale didn’t include Miss Moneypenny and Q, but I missed both of them.

Of all the Bonds Maxwell worked with, Connery was her favorite because he was the best kisser.

But she approved of the newest Bond, Daniel Craig, telling The Age newspaper, “He has a very good voice and, like my late husband, a very chewable lower lip.” Moneypenny couldn’t have said it better. Rest in peace, Ms. Maxwell.

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