No matter what happened to James Bond, he could always count on a little flirtation in the office, before being sent back out to battle nuclear-powered squids or what have you. In 14 of the 007 films, Lois Maxwell played the secretary who dallied with Bond before he was called into the main office. At the time of her death from cancer, the actress was living about as far away from the Universal Exports office as a person could get, in the seaside Perth, Australia suburb of Fremantle. Born in Kitchner, Ontario, Maxwell started out in movies with an uncredited part in Michael Powell's 1946 Stairway to Heaven aka A Matter of Life and Death. While Maxwell had been a long time actress -- she played the nurse in Kubrick's Lolita -- she was best known for the role she played from 1962-1985 in films from Dr. No to A View to a Kill.

The BBC's obit mentions that Moneypenny had a first name, Jane, but she was always referred to as Penny. AP's obit has a quote from Roger Moore claiming that Maxwell was disappointed not to get the role of M, when it turned out that the producers were going to cast a woman as the new boss. (The role, as no Bond geek needs reminding, went to Judi Dench). Moneypenny's yearning for Bond got rather poignant at times. There's some real wistfulness in the scene where she's asking Sean Connery in Diamonds Are Forever to bring her back "a ring, with a diamond in it..." Incidentally, Steven Jay Rubin's Complete James Bond Movie Encyclopedia claims that Maxwell was complimented on the casting by Ian Fleming himself: "You, my dear, are exactly the woman I visualized."

categories Cinematical