Lois Maxwell Biography

Actress, Film Actor/Film Actress, Film Actress(1927–2007)
Lois Maxwell was an actress best known for her role as Miss Moneypenny in the James Bond film series.

Synopsis

Born in 1927 in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, Lois Maxwell appeared in Stanley Kubrick's Lolita in 1962. She also appeared on several TV shows, including The Saint and The Persuaders!. In Dr. No (1962), she was cast as Miss Moneypenny, starring alongside Sean Connery in the first James Bond movie. As Miss Moneypenny, Maxwell appeared in 13 more James Bond films; she was 58 when she appeared in her final Bond film: 1985's A View to a Kill.

Early Life

Best known for her role as Miss Moneypenny in the James Bond series of films, actress Lois Maxwell was born Lois Hooker on February 14, 1927, in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, to a teacher and a nurse. Reared in Toronto, Maxwell began her acting career in radio. At age 15, she ran away from home to join the Canadian Army during World War II. She moved to Britain with the Army Entertainment Corps and traveled Europe during the war, performing music and dance numbers to entertain the troops. She enrolled at the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, where she became friends with fellow student and future James Bond actor, Roger Moore.

Career Highlights

Having changed her last name to Maxwell, she moved to Hollywood at age twenty. Maxwell won a Golden Globe as most promising female newcomer for her part in the Shirley Temple comedy That Hagen Girl. She also participated in a 1949 Life Magazine photo layout in which she posed with rising star Marilyn Monroe. Tired of working mostly in B movies, Maxwell left Hollywood for Rome in 1950. While making a series of films, she also became an amateur racing driver. And on a trip to Paris , she met her husband, television executive Peter Marriott. Married in 1957, the couple moved to London and had two children, daughter Melinda in 1958 and son Christian in 1959.

She appeared in Stanley Kubrick's Lolita in 1962 and on several TV shows, including The Saint and The Persuaders! which both starred Moore. In Dr. No (1962), she was cast as Miss Moneypenny, starring alongside Sean Connery in the first James Bond movie. She was secretary to M, the head of the secret service. In the role, Maxwell had a flirtatious relationship with the spy, but never succumbed to his advances.

'James Bond' Films

As Miss Moneypenny, Maxwell appeared in 13 more James Bond films. She was 58 when she appeared in her final Bond film, 1985's A View to a Kill. Maxwell was replaced by Caroline Bliss, 26, in The Living Daylights in 1987. Maxwell said Connery was her favorite James Bond actor 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, who replaced Connery in 1973.

Personal Life and Death

Maxwell had lobbied for the role in James Bond because her husband had suffered a heart attack and they needed the money. Peter Marriott died of a heart attack in 1973 at the age of 51. After her husband's death, Maxwell returned to Canada, settling in Toronto and wrote a popular column under the Miss Moneypenny pseudonym for the Toronto Sun newspaper. In 1994, she returned to England once more in order to be near her daughter, and retired to a cottage in the village of Frome, Somerset.

Maxwell's final film was the 2001 thriller The Fourth Angel, with Jeremy Irons.

Following surgery for bowel cancer in 2001, Maxwell moved to Australia to live with her son's family. She died on September 29, 2007, at Fremantle Hospital, located in Fremantle, Australia, near her home in Perth. Actor and friend Roger Moore, who played the role of James Bond from 1973 to 1985, said that Maxwell had been battling cancer, and that her death came as a "shock."

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