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Farewell, Miss Moneypenny

Lois Maxwell dies at 80

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The original Miss Moneypenny has died at age 80.

Lois Maxwell, who starred as M's secretary in 14 James Bond films, died in Western Australia on Saturday evening, The BBC reports.

Sir Roger Moore, who played Bond in seven of those films, told the Beeb that the Canadian-born actress had joined her son in Australia after being diagnosed with cancer.

Maxwell originated the Moneypenny role alongside Sir Sean Connery in 1962's Dr. No and continued in the part through 1985's A View To a Kill, the last with Sir Roger.

"It was a great pity that, after I moved out of Bond, they didn't take her on to continue in the Timothy Dalton films," Sir Roger said. "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."

As the secretary to the head of British secret service - Bond's boss - Maxwell flirted with the first three incarnations of filmdom's 007. She also played Moneypenny in 1969's On Her Majesty's Secret Service, which starred Aussie George Lazenby as the man with the license to kill.

In 1942, while serving in the Entertainment Corps of the Canadian army, Maxwell left her native Ontario for Britain, where she studied alongside Sir Roger at The Royal Academy for Dramatic Art. She made her film debut in Powell and Pressburger's A Matter of Life and Death (1947) and appeared in dozens of other films, including Stanley Kubrick's Lolita (1962), but she's most remembered as Moneypenny.

With 14 Bond appearances to her name, Maxwell ranks second behind Desmond Llewelyn, who played gadget guru Q in 17 films before his death in 1999. ®

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