Canada's Lois Maxwell, who played Moneypenny, dies

Canadian actress Lois Maxwell, who played the definitive Miss Moneypenny in 14 James Bond films, has died. She was 80.

Canadian actress Lois Maxwell, who played the definitive Miss Moneypenny in 14 James Bond films, has died. She was 80.

Maxwell died in hospital in Fremantle, Australia on Saturday.

Winner of a Golden Globe for the Shirley Temple movie, That Hagen Girl, Maxwell also starred in the CBC-TV series Adventures in Rainbow Country and wrote a column in the Toronto Sun newspaper under the name Miss Moneypenny.

Maxwell was born Lois Hooker in Kitchener, Ont., in 1927.

She started her acting career on radio, but left home at 15 to join the army. She travelled throughout Europe in the Second World War, performing music and dance numbers in the Army Entertainment Corps.

During a tour of London, the troupe discovered she was under age and she enrolled in the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London to avoid being shipped home.

At age 20, Maxwell headed to Hollywood. In 1946, she landed a minor role in A Matter of Life and Death.

Only a year later, she was hailed as best newcomer at the Golden Globe Awards, for her part in That Hagen Girl, which also starred Temple and Ronald Reagan.

Shortly afterward, she appeared in a photo layout in Life Magazine with another up-and-coming actress — Marilyn Monroe.

She moved to Rome from 1950 to 1955, appearing in a series of Italian films, before meeting her husband, television executive Peter Marriott.

They settled in London and had two children, Melinda and Christian.

Shortly after the birth of her second child, Maxwell was asked to take the role of M's secretary in Dr. No, the first of the Bond movies to star Sean Connery.

Her character Miss Moneypenny's flirtatious interactions with Agent 007 were popular with moviegoers and she outlasted another Bond, Roger Moore.

"She was always fun and she was wonderful to be with," said Moore in an interview with BBC. "She was absolutely perfect casting."

Moore had known Maxwell since they were drama students together in London.

"I think it was a great disappointment to her that she had not been promoted to play M. She would have been a wonderful M," he said.

She starred in 14 movies as Moneypenny, including The Spy Who Loved Me, For YourEyes Only and A View to a Kill.

During this period she also appeared in Stanley Kubrick's Lolita and worked on TV shows including The Saint, The Baron, UFOand The Persuaders! She also was a voice on the children's marionette series Stingray.

After the death of her husband in 1973, she moved back to Canada and bought a cottage in northern Ontario.

At that time, she took a role as the mother in the CBC series Adventures in Rainbow Country, which focused on the adventures of teenage Billy, his sister Hannah andtheir Ojibway friend Pete.

In the 1980s, she became a regular columnist for the Toronto Sun newspaper, sharing stories about her experiences on the movie set, her co-stars, her life in Italy and her present life.

Her last movie, made in 2001, was a thriller, The Fourth Angel. She retired to the U.K., but moved to Western Australia to be close to her son's family.