Wednesday, April 7, 2021

LOIS MAXWELL: Not Only "James Bond's Miss Moneypenny"

Most of the World knows Lois Maxwell, not by name, but as the definitive "Miss Moneypenny" of the first 14, "JAMES BOND" films. "Moneypenny" is just one role in a varied career. The following is a look at some of Lois Maxwell's overlooked roles.

Because of those "James Bond" features, many of my readers may think Lois Maxwell was from the  British Isles. You would be an ocean off. Lois Ruth Hooker, was born February 14, 1927, in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. 

Her parents were teacher, William Victor Hooker, and Ruth Adelaide Wells Hooker. Lois was raised in Toronto, Canada, and attended Lawrence Park Collegiate Institute, a public High School.

In 1942, at the age of 15, Lois Hooker ran away from home and joined the "Canadian Women's Army Corps". The non-combat corps was established to use Canadian women to free up men from non-combat duties during the Second World War. At some point, Maxwell found herself assigned to the "Canadian Auxiliary Service Entertainment Unit" and "crossed the pond" to the United Kingdom. There, she entertained the troops with music and dance numbers.

In 1947, Lois Hooker moved to Hollywood to appear in her third motion picture. Maxwell's first two roles were without credit in 1946 and made in the United Kingdom. The first was, "A Matter of Life and Death", and starred David Niven and Raymond Massey. The story is a fantasy drama about a British aviator facing a heavenly court.  Her second feature, "Spring Song", followed the history of a 1911 broach as it passes from person to person into 1946.

THAT HAGEN GIRL released in the United States on November 1, 1947

This Warner Brothers motion picture was Shirley Temple's attempt to break away from her "Wholesome" Hollywood image. That had started at age 4, in a 1932 short film, and continued into the 1940's. "That Hagen Girl" was a box office failure and Temple returned to her "Wholesome" image, in Director John Ford's, 1948, "Fort Apache".

Temple's co-star, Ronald Reagan, hated the screenplay, and after multiple re-takes of Shirley Temple's character, "Mary Hagen", attempting suicide. Reagan collapsed on set, and was taken to "Cedars of Lebanon Hospital" with viral pneumonia. 

The screenplay was based upon Edith Kneipple Roberts 1946 novel. Which was about a small-town girl, "Mary Hagan", whom the townspeople believe was the illegitimate daughter of lawyer, "Tom Bates", played by Reagan. After several years away, he now returns to town and stirs up further gossip about the two.

Above, Shirley Temple and Ronald Reagan. For those interested in his motion picture career, not his political, my article, "Ronald Reagan Motion Picture and Television Actor" can be found at:

Lois Maxwell had 5th billing in "That Hagen Girl", portraying "Julia Kane", "Mary Hagen's" favorite High School teacher. "Tom Bates" and "Julia Kane" form a friendship, but in the end. He realizes he loves "Mary", the two board a train to leave the town forever and presumably to be married.


Above, Lois Maxwell and Shirley Temple. In typical Hollywood casting style, Maxwell was the older and wiser teacher to Temple's "Mary Hagan". Except in real life, Temple was 19, and, Maxwell, 20.

For her performance, Lois Maxwell received the "Golden Globe" as the "Most Promising Newcomer: Female".

Lois Maxwell's next motion picture, 1948's, "Corridor of Mirrors", was back in the United Kingdom. The screenplay is about a man who falls in love with a beautiful woman, but starts to believe he loved her in a past life.

The feature is known by British film buffs, not for Lois Maxwell's 13th billed role, but as the first motion picture Directed by Terence Young. Among Young's work would be the first three "James Bond" films, Audrey Hepburn's, 1967 thriller, "Wait Until Dark" and the Charles Bronson, Toshiro Mifune, Euro-Western, 1971's, "Red Sun".

"Corridors of Mirrors" was also the first on-screen appearance of 12th billed, Christopher Lee.

Above front right, Christopher Lee as "Charles", and back, far right, is Lois Maxwell as "Lois".

It was back to the United States for a forgotten Film-Noir, but with two interesting leading men for the year,

THE BIG PUNCH released June 25, 1948

This was a film about an up and coming boxer ordered to throw his next match by his manager. He decides to win the match and the manager frames him for a murder.

Wayne Morris portrayed "Chris Thorgenson", the pastor of a small Pennsylvania town that helps the young boxer. In 1937, Morris had the title role in "Kid Galahad", about another young boxer in a picture starring Edward G. Robinson and Bette Davis. He played a reporter in 1939's, "The Return of Dr. X", a Horror movie with Humphrey Bogart as the dead doctor brought back to life as the title character. In 1941, Morris was "Bob Younger" in the Western, "Bad Men of Missouri".

For my readers intrigued by the idea that Humphrey Bogart was in a Horror movie. My article, "HUMPHREY BOGART: Horror Act" is available to be read at:

Lois Maxwell portrayed newspaper reporter "Karen Long". 

Above, Lois Maxwell with Wayne Morris.

Gordon MacRae portrayed the young boxer, "Johnny Grant". This was MacRae's first on-screen appearance and his next feature would start his on-screen singing career. That would include both Rodgers and Hammerstein's, 1955, "Oklahoma", introducing Shirley Jones, and 1956's, "Carousel", also with Jones.

Above Lois Maxwell and Gordon MacRae. 

Five roles later, found Lois Maxwell at the Cincetta Studios in Rome. Between 1950 and 1955, Lois Maxwell lived in Italy, spoke Italian, and at the same time, legally changed her name from Hooker to Maxwell. During this period, she also became an amateur race car driver. 

AMORI E VELENI (LOVE AND POISON) released in Italy on February 21, 1950.

This was an Italian period piece, with Lois Maxwell portraying "Queen Christina" of Sweden. Who falls in love with an Italian nobleman during her visit to Rome. The motion picture was re-released in Italy under the title, "Moschettieri della Regina (The Queen's Musketeers)".

Lois Maxwell can be seen on the far left and far right, in different images, on the above poster. However, apparently, she had a sex change, because Lois Maxwell is now billed as "Louis Maxwell".

The actress would follow this picture with four more Italian drama's and, in 1952, found herself, with Cesar Romero, in a Hammer Films Production.

LADY IN THE FOG released in the U.K. on October 13, 1952, aka:
SCOTLAND YARD INSPECTOR released in the United States on October 31, 1952

This feature was filmed during Hammer Films detective period and one year before their two forgotten Science Fiction films, 1953's, "The Four Sided Triangle" and "Spaceways" were released. However, the change to the studio's direction would start in 1955, with the Science Fiction feature "The Quartermass X-periment". Two years later, was the first Hammer Horror entry, "The Curse of Frankenstein".

Cesar Romero portrayed American Detective "Philip O'Dell". Romero had just been seen in the "B" Adventure, 1952's, "The Jungle", set in India. He would follow this picture with another U.K. mystery, 1953's, "Street of Shadows".

Lois Maxwell portrayed "Margaret 'Peggy' Maybrick.

Above, Cesar Romero and Lois Maxwell meet at a London Pub, and this leads to him helping her solve the murder of her brother. Who was run down in a car accident, or was it?

Four roles later found Lois Maxwell in an Opera filmed in Italy and opposite Sophia Loren.

AIDA released in Italy on October 23, 1953

This is a filmed version of Giuseppe Verdi's opera "Aida". Like many Hollywood musicals of the period, the leads had their singing voices dubbed by professionals, in this case, very well known Italian Opera singers.

Sophia Loren portrayed the title character of "Aida". Loren was ten Italian features away from 1954's "Attila", co-starring Anthony Quinn. That Italian historical motion picture would come, dubbed, to the United States in 1958. In the year before, 1957, Loren, made her first two American motion pictures, "The Pride and the Passion", co-starring with Cary Grant and Frank Sinatra, and, "Legend of the Lost", co-starring with John Wayne.

Lois Maxwell portrayed "Amneris".

Above Lois Maxwell second from left with Sophia Loren on her right. Below, a close-up of Maxwell.

The story has "Radames", played by Luciano Della Marra, falling in love with a slave girl in a country he has just conquered. He doesn't know that "Aida" is actually the daughter of the King he murdered.

From an opera set in Egypt, Lois Maxwell moved to an Italian World War 2 motion picture.

LA GRANDE SPERANZA (THE GREAT HOPE) released on June 20, 1954 at the West Berlin, Germany, Film Festival

The motion picture would come to the U.K. as "Torpedo Attack" in 1960. 

Lois Maxwell portrayed "Lily Donald", with a little deja vu, of the "Canadian Women's Army Corps". She is one of the survivors of a ship sinking by an Italian submarine. However, "The Submarine Commandanti", played by Renalto Baldini, has a compulsion to save as many people as he can and get them to safety. Instead of turning his prisoners over to the Italian and Nazi authorities. 

Above, Lois Maxwell and two of the survivors of her merchant ship. Below, Earl Cameron as P.O.W. Johnny Brown", with Lois Maxwell.

In 1936, based upon Robert E. Sherwood's, 1935, hit Broadway play, was the motion picture "The Petrified Forest". Leslie Howard, both the original Broadway cast lead and this picture's star, demanded that Warner Brothers cast a minor "Contract Player" in the critical role of "Duke Mantee". This actor was Humphrey Bogart, and he had played the role opposite Howard in the Broadway Production. Portraying "Gabrielle 'Gaby' Mapple", was 2nd billed, Bette Davis.

In 1955, on the American television anthology series, "Producers Showcase". "Boggie" recreated his role of "Duke Mantee" and his wife, actress Laurel Bacall was "Gaby".

One year later, on June 28, 1956, there was a British television production of "The Petrified Forest". Reduced to 11th billing, portraying "Gabby Maple", was Lois Maxwell.

SATELLITE IN THE SKY released in the United States on July 21, 1956 and in the U.K. in September 1956

"Satellite in the Sky" was an excellent, intelligent, Science Fiction entry from the United Kingdom.

Kieron Moore portrayed the space craft's designer and builder, "Commander Michael Hayden". In 1959, Moore portrayed Sean Connery's competition for Janet Munro, in Walt Disney's, "Darby O'Gill and the Little People". The following year he joined American actor Aldo Ray, and the unknown, Peter O'Toole, in "The Day They Robbed the Bank of England". In 1961, Kieron Moore was "Dr. Peter Blood" in the Horror entry, "Dr. Blood's Coffin". While, in 1963, he was in the cast of "Invasion of the Triffids aka: The Day of the Triffids". Kieron Moore was, also, the scientist who was right, before Dana Andrews created the 1965, "Crack in the World".

Lois Maxwell portrayed science reporter and stowaway, "Kim Hamilton".

Above, Lois Maxwell and Kieron Moore.

Donald Wolfit portrayed the builder of the nuclear bomb, "Professor Merrity". Wolfit had been acting since 1931, and had starred in the 1954 film, "Svengali".  He would be seen in Hammer Films, 1958, "Blood of the Vampire", and 1959's, "Room at the Top", that starred Laurence Harvey and Simone Signoret. In 1960, the actor was in one of the many remakes of the Horror classic, "The Hands of Orlac". In 1962, the feature was, "Lawrence of Arabia", starring Peter O'Toole, and in 1964, "Becket", starring Richard Burton and Peter O'Toole.

Above, Donald Wolfit addresses the crew and stowaway of the space craft about the bomb attached to it.

The first manned mission to orbit the globe has been taken over by the British Government. "Commander Haydon" finds himself with a passenger, "Professor Merrity", and a "Tritonium Bomb" to test. Along with an irritating reporter as a stowaway.

The launch goes well, but when the bomb is released and the space craft starts to move to a safe distance. The "Tritonium Bomb's" propulsion system fails and is magnetically attracted to the craft and attaches itself. The countdown can't be stopped and those on the space craft must figure out a way to escape the bomb, or die with it.

Lois Maxwell finished 1956 with appearances on three British television shows. Although, one was an interesting, half hour, anthology series. That was filmed in the U.K. with basically British actors, but was meant for the United States as a syndicated NBC series. This was "Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. Presents" and ran from January 7, 1953 through February 11, 1957, for a total of 155 episodes. Lois Maxwell appeared in three, with one actually having the series host, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., in a role.

Maxwell split 1957 into two television appearances and two feature films. The Murder Mystery, "Time Without Pity", had three excellent British leads, Sir Michael Redgrave, Ann Todd and Leo McKern and was Directed by American Joseph Losey. Lois Maxwell had 8th billing and in the cast were Peter Cushing and Joan Plowright. While the following year, the actress only appeared on one British television show.

Back in 1898, American author Stephen Crane, "The Red Badge of Courage", wrote a short story entitled "The Monster". It would take until 1959 to turn it into an excellent and long forgotten motion picture.

FACE OF FIRE released in the United States on August 9, 1959

Cameron Mitchell portrayed "Ned Trescott". Mitchel had been making the television rounds, appearing on episodes of 1958's, "The Kraft Theatre", "Colt .45" and "Pursuit". He had just been seen on the 1959 television anthology series, "The David Niven Show".

Above Cameron Mitchell with Bette Ackerman as "Grace Trescott".

James Whitmore portrayed "Monk Johnson". Whitmore had just been seen in the Film-Noir, 1958's, "The Restless Years", starring John Saxon and Sandra Dee.

Whitmore's kindly handyman saves a child from a burning building, but his face is burnt. He is so disfigured that the townspeople avoid him, but "Ned Trescott" tries to help and understand the "Monk".

Below, Lois Maxwell as "Ethel Winter".

On October 23, 1960, Lois Maxwell portrayed "Sandi Lewis", in the 7th episode of the First Season of the British television series "Danger Man". Which would become known as "Secret Agent", with that catchy title song, in the United States.

Patrick McGoohan portrayed "John Drake". In 1963, McGoohan would appear in two Walt Disney productions, "The Three Lives of Tomasina" and the excellent, find the complete "The Magical World of Disney", three part series of "Dr. Syn: The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh". Not to forget the British television series, "The Prisoner". 

My article, "Patrick McGoohan IS 'Danger Man', 'Dr. Syn: The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh' and 'The Prisoner", will be found at:

Lois Maxwell portrayed "Sandi Lewis".

Above, Lois Maxwell and Patrick McGoohan. 

Donald Pleasence portrayed "Captain Aldrich". Pleasence had just been seen in the same 1960 version of "The Hands of Orlac", with Donald Wolfit, that starred Mel Ferrer and Christopher Lee. 

Above, Patrick McGoohan, Donald Pleasence and Lois Maxwell.

A corrupt Arabian government is selling opium directly to wholesalers and it's up to secret agent "John Drake" to stop them.

On March 21, 1961, Lois Maxwell portrayed "Esther Hollis", in the episode, "The Room Upstairs, on the American Mystery, Fantasy, Drama television series, "Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond", the original title of the program. David Knight, portrayed her husband, "Will Hollis".

An American, but childless, couple rent a London flat and the wife hears a baby crying, but nobody else hears it. 

An episode of a weekly British detective program and another motion picture with Cameron Mitchell followed. This time, Maxwell was playing Mitchell's wife and their son is kidnappedCameron Mitchell will stop at nothing to get him back, in 1961's, "The Unstoppable Man".

In 1957, Kirk Douglas had starred in an Antiwar motion picture, "Paths of Glory", by a basically unknown Director named Stanley Kubrick. Douglas was impressed by the young Director and hired him for his big budgeted, 1960 epic, "Spartacus". Suddenly the Director was in demand and Stanley Kubrick chose to follow the Kirk Douglas feature with one based upon a scandalous novel from 1955, "Lolita". The motion picture was released on June 13, 1963, in New York City.

"Lolita" starred James Mason as "Humbert 'Hum' Humbert", Shelley Winters as "Charlotte Haze-Humbert" and introduced Sue Lyon as "Dolores Haze-Humbert". Peter Sellers played "Clare Quilty".

Lois Maxwell had 7th billing as "Nurse Mary Lore".

Next was a somewhat low budgeted motion picture, at $1.1 million dollars, with a basically unknown lead actor. By the end of its initial Worldwide release, the Box Office receipts had reached $59.5 million dollars, and Sean Connery had become a star.

DR. NO had its London premiere on October 5, 1962

The tag line:

Is technically true, but this was not the first "James  Bond" appearance. Back on October 21, 1954, on the American anthology series, "Climax". "James Bond", first appeared on Live Television with American actor Barry Nelson as "C.I.A. Agent Bond" and Michael Pate as "M-6 Agent Felix Leiter". The nationality of the characters had been flipped for "Casino Royale". The first "Bond Villain", "LeChiffre", was played by Peter Lorre.

For those of my readers interested in the story behind the creation by Ian Fleming of "James Bond". My article, "Ian Fleming's 'James Bond': 'Casino Royale' Times Three" may be found at:

As I mentioned, earlier, the film's Director would be Terence Young. Young had just directed the 1961, English language dub, of an Italian adventure film,"Orazi E Curiazi", under the title of "Duel of Champions", that starred a dubbed, not his own voice,  Alan Ladd. Young's next motion picture would be 1963's, "From Russia With Love", the second "Bond" film.

The Four Original Recurring Roles:

Sean Connery wasn't the first actor offered the role of "James Bond". The producers wanted Cary Grant, but on the chance this film turned into a series. They knew he wouldn't stay with it. Actually offered the role were, Richard Johnson and Patrick McGoohan, both had previous commitments and a discussion of David Niven, or Ian Fleming's choice, Sir Richard Todd, took place. 

Bernard Lee became "M", because, according to writers John Cork and Bruce Scivally in their 2002, "James Bond: The Legacy", Lee appeared to be the perfect "prototypical Father Figure"Out of 153 feature films, Bernard Lee only went out  of that description twice. He would portray "M" ten times with three different actors as "Bond". Only, sadly, his death, stopped him from making more of the series.

Lois Maxwell was offered both the roles of "Sylvia Trench", which was envisioned as a possible continuing girlfriend of "Bond", or "Miss Moneypenny". Ian Fleming thought Maxwell was the perfect choice for the way he saw the character in his novels.

Jack Lord portrayed "Felix Leiter". Four days before "Dr. No" premiered, Lord started appearing on American television in, "Stoney Burke", about a modern day rodeo competitor. To appear in "Goldfinger", Lord wanted a substantial pay raise. Instead, the producers started a rotating group of actors in the role.

The Three Non-recurring Roles:

The aforementioned, "Sylvia Trench" role, went to Eunice Gayson. She had 3rd billing in Hammer Film's direct sequel to 1957's "The Curse of Frankenstein", 1958's, "The Revenge of Frankenstein".

Gayson's sexy seductive voice in "Dr. No" and "From Russia with Love" wasn't hers, but West German voice actress, Nikki van der Zyl. 

As to "Sylvia Trench" becoming the recurring "Bond girlfriend", both Eunice Gayson and the character were dropped after the second "Bond" feature.

For the title villain, Ian Fleming wanted his close friend, playwright and actor Noel Coward, but Coward turned it down. Meanwhile, the producers considered Max von Sydow, but that didn't work out either. By the time Fleming suggested his step-cousin, Christopher Lee, the producers had signed Joseph Wiseman. Having remembered his outstanding villainous role in Director Billy Wyler's 1951, "The Detective Story", starring Kirk Douglas and Eleanor Parker.

Ursula Andress portrayed the "Second Bond Girl", "Honey Ryder". Initially, British actress Julie Christie was consider for the role, but was dropped as not being "Voluptuous Enough". Two weeks before filming was to begin, the role hadn't been cast. The producers saw a photograph of Andress, taken by her then husband, actor John Derek, and cast her in the role.

Two problems had to be overcome by the producers to use the Swedish actress. 

The first was her voice, her heavy Swedish accent and pronunciation of English words got in the way. So, the voice you hear on-screen, is again voice actress Nikki van der Zyl, below. Hammer Films used van der Zyl for the voice of Andress in 1965's, "SHE" featuring both Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee.

The second problem was Ursula Andress' lack of a tan. To be a woman having lived her life in Jamaica, a tan had to be "Painted" on her daily.

One of the recurring plot devices, had "Moneypenny" daydreaming of going out with and, like the "Bond Girl's", ending up in "James Bond's" bed. The interaction between "Maxwell" and "Connery", in everyone of their films is classic underplaying and delivery. 

When, George Lazenby was "Bond", in 1969's, "On Her Majesty's Secret Service". The interplay was there, but the chemistry didn't seem right. Even when Roger Moore took over, there was something missing between Maxwell and Moore that she had with Connery. Which was more like definite foreplay!

In 1967's, "You Only Live Twice", the audience is reminded, like "Naval Commander James Bond", that "Miss Moneypenny" holds the Naval Rank of "Second Officer" in the "Woman's Royal Naval Service".

Above Bernard Lee and Lois Maxwell. Below, Maxwell and Sean Connery. Note that foreplay is still in play.

"Dr. No" was followed, in 1963, by Maxwell's appearances on two British ITV shows and a light American Romance about airline hostesses. Along with, "From Russia with Love", and a classic Haunted House movie from the United Kingdom.

THE HAUNTING was released, not in the U.K., but the United States on August 21, 1963. The film wouldn't get to the U.K. until January 9, 1964.

In 1959, American novelist Shirley Jackson wrote "The Haunting of Hill House". The novel became the basis of this motion picture's screenplay written by Nelson Gidding. 

Gidding had been nominated for the Academy Award for Susan Hayward's, 1958, "I Want to Live". In 1959, he wrote the screenplay for the taunt bank robbery film, "Odds Against Tomorrow", that starred Harry Belafonte and Robert Ryan. While, in 1971, it was the screenplay for "The Andromeda Strain". 

For this motion picture and the three others I have just mentioned. Nelson Gidding had the same Director, Robert Wise. Wise was the motion picture editor on Orson Welles, 1941, "Citizen Kane"! That earned him a Academy Award nomination. For producer Val Lewton, Wise Directed both, 1944's, "Curse of the Cat People", and 1945's, "The Body Snatcher". In 1951, Robert Wise Directed the classic Allegorical Science Fiction, "The Day the Earth Stood Still", and in 1956, "Helen of Troy".

My article with a concise look at "The Haunting":
"Director Robert Wise: Horror, Science Fiction and the Greek Homer", will be found at the following link:

Should you be a fan of Director Martin Scorsese, this is the Number One film on his list of the eleven most scariest movies of all time. Having worked with Welles and Lewton, Wise made the unconventional choice, for the time, to shoot this big budgeted picture in Black and White to play off the shadows and mood of a haunted house.

Julie Harris portrayed "Eleanor 'Nell' Lance". Harris was currently making appearances on different dramatic television series and televised plays.

Claire Bloom portrayed "Theodora". Bloom had been in Sir Lawrence Olivier's 1955, "Richard the III", was Richard Burton's mother in 1956's, "Alexander the Great", and had been in both Yul Brynner's 1958, "The Buccaneer" and "The Brothers Karamazov".

Richard Johnson portrayed "Dr. Markway". This motion picture was one of the two, released in 1963, that made up the prior commitments for Johnson's turning down the role of "James Bond". The other feature was British Director Val Guest's, small pox outbreak in the U.K. thriller, "80,000 Suspects". Richard Johnson had second billing in that feature and first billing went to Claire Bloom.

Russ Tamblyn portrayed "Luke Sanderson". Tamblyn had just been seen in the Comedy Romance Musical, 1963's, "Follow the Boys", starring singer Connie Francis, Paula Prentiss and French actress Dany Robin. He would follow this picture with the Vikings against Moors, "The Long Ships", starring Richard Widmark and Sidney Poitier. 


Lois Maxwell portrayed "Mrs. Grace Markway".

The screenplay starts with "Dr. John Markway" narrating the history of Hill House. Which was built in 1873 by "Hugh Crain". Crain brought his wife to live there, but she died without entering the house. When her carriage suddenly crashed into a tree as it crossed the property line. His second wife died from a sudden fall down the staircase and their daughter, "Abigail", never left the nursery and died from old age. While calling out for her nurse and companion. The companion inherited the house, but would hang herself on the spiral staircase in the library. 

In 1963, "Markway" brings psychic "Theodora", "Eleanor", who had poltergeist visits as a child, and the current heir to the property, "Luke Sanderson", to investigate the ghostly phenomena. Showing up unexpectedly, is "Markway's" wife, who insists on staying, as the ghosts become restless and invite "Eleanor" to stay with them.

"Mrs Markway" will become a target of the ghosts as she becomes lost within the house and the others cannot locate her.

The film will climax at the tree the first "Mrs.Crain" was killed at.

Indirectly, next, it was "Miss Moneypenny" against "Goldfinger's", "Pussy Galore".

On January 11, 1964, eight months before the release of the next "Bond" entry. Lois Maxwell portrayed "Sister Johnson" and Honor Blackman was still playing, "Catherine Gale", on the British television series. "The Avengers". The episode was entitled, "The Little Wonders".

Above Honor Blackman as "Catherine Gale" and below, Lois Maxwell as the tommy gun shooting, villain, "Sister Johnson". 

A summary of the program can be found on "The Avengers" website at:

My article, "Four Actresses Challenging TV's Stereo Typed Women", is about Honor Blackman, Beverly Garland, Anne Francis and Barbara Stanwyck and can be read at:

Two more television appearances, a British detective series and a forgotten made-for-television movie and Lois Maxwell, became the voice of "Lieutenant Atlanta Shore", for 39 episodes, of Gerry  and Sylvia  Anderson's, 1964, "Stingray".

The fourth "James Bond" film, "Thunderball", was released six months after Lois Maxwell stopped work on "Stingray". Five appearances on British television followed, that included two episodes of "The Saint". Which was loosely based upon detective novelist Leslie Charteris' character of reformed jewel thief, "Simon Templar", played by Roger Moore.

Above, pre-Bond, Moore, and Lois Maxwell, looking nothing like "Moneypenny" with the current British women's hair style.

By now everywhere the movie viewer turned, there were "James Bond" rip-off's. Some, like James Coburn's, 1966, "Our Man Flint" would lead to a sequel, "In Like Flint". Dean Martin first played "Matt Helm" in 1966's, "The Silencers", and would carry that character into another three films. 

So, it wouldn't be out of place, for Italy to make several such rip-offs. Lois Maxwell returned to Italy, to appear in one that was made to appear to be a British import:

O.K. CONNERY aka: OPERATION KID BROTHER released in Italy on April 20, 1967

Neil Connery, Sean's younger brother, portrayed "Dr. Neil Connery" in this feature

In 1984,  still making foreign features, Neil Connery, was in the cast of the 1984, Hong Kong made "Zui ja pai dang 3: Nu huang mi ling (Aces for Places 3)", but also known as, "Mad Mission 3: Our Man from Bond Street". Neil Connery was "Mr. Bond" and French actor, Jean Mersant, played a spy named "James Bond". Neither character related to the Ian Fleming "James Bond".

Above Neil Connery in "Operation Kid Brother".

Keeping with the "James Bond" rip-offs in this feature are other cast members

Daniela Bianchi portrayed "Maya Rafis". Bianchi had played "Tatiana Romanova" in 1963's, "From Russia with Love".

Adolfo Celi portrayed "Mr. Thai - Beta". Celi was "Largo" in 1965's, "Thunderball".

Bernard Lee portrayed "Commander Cunningham".

Lois Maxwell portrayed "Max".

The tie in to Sean Connery's "James Bond" continues in the plot. 

"Dr. Neil Connery" is the younger civilian brother of the British Secret Service's top secret agent. He is brought into M-6 to use his skills in plastic surgery, hypnotism, and lip-reading, to stop an International Crime Syndicate. That are using a magnetic wave generator in the syndicates bid to take control of the World.

Next, it was back to the "Real (?)" "James Bond" and 1967's, "You Only Live Twice", two television shows, and 1969's, "On Her Majesty' Secret Service", without Sean Connery, and for one feature, Connery came to a contract deal, George Lazenby.

On September 20, 1970, Lois Maxwell began to portray "Nancy Williams", in the 39 episodes of the Canadian family television series, "Adventures in Rainbow County". The program would come to the United States on Nickelodeon ten years later.  

The story line has "Nancy" raising her two children, "Billy", played by Stephen Cottier, and, "Hannah", played by Susan Conway, in rural Northern Ontario.

Maxwell followed that series with two appearances as "Miss Holland", on the classic British television Science Fiction series, "UFO", from Gerry and Sylvia Anderson.

"Miss Moneypenny" was back with Sean Connery, for the last time, in 1971's, "Diamonds Are Forever".

Another British mystery based upon an Agartha Christie novel followed and Roger Moore took over in 1973's, "Live and Let Die". Which would be followed immediately with, 1974's, "The Man with the Golden Gun". That co-starred Ian Fleming's choice for "Dr. No", Christopher Lee, as "Scaramanga", the killer of the film's title.

Lois Maxwell's next feature film came from France, but was filmed by Hong Kong's Shaw Brothers. The feature was another "Bond" Comedy rip-off.


The movie starred the group, "Les Charlots (The Crazy Boys)". Who were musicians, singers, comedians and film actors, popular from the 1960's to the early 1980's in France.

The movie opens with the typical "James Bond" opening, but with one slight difference.

Mickey Rooney portrays the American megalomaniac villain, "Marty". He kidnaps "Queen Elizabeth", played by Huguette Funfrock, apparently her actual name, and MI-6 asks their counterpart, the French SDECE, to rescue the Queen.

Above, Mickey Rooney and Huguette Funfrock.

Apparently, in cameo's, are Bernard Lee as "M" and Lois Maxwell as "Miss Moneypenny".

A 1977, Canadian drama, set in 1919, was next for the actress, followed by back to back "Bonds", 1977's, "The Spy Who Loved Me" and, 1979's, "Moonraker". Then, Lois Maxwell, was 18th billed in an American Comedy that was terrible, "Lost and Found", starred George Segal and Glenda Jackson. The film had a recurring plot Comedic gag that by the third time was already worn out and the movie was only a third of the way through. Lois Maxwell followed that turkey with 14th billing in another turkey, 1980's, "Mr. Patman aka; Crossover", starring James Coburn and Kate Nelligan. 

But before Lois Maxwell completely got the bird, there was, 1981's, "For Your Eyes Only" and 1983's, "Octopussy", both with Roger Moore as "007".

A forgotten made-for-television movie and an appearance on another Canadian family television show, 1985's, "The Edison Twins", and it was time for 58 years old, Lois Maxwell's final appearance as "Miss Moneypenny" in:

A VIEW TO A KILL which premiered in San Francisco on May 22, 1985

Maxwell next appeared in a low budget Canadian Horror movie, "The Blue Man aka Eternal Evil",  released first in Italy in October 1985 and then to video. A supposed slasher movie without all the slashing. About a film director who learns astral projection and can't control it while he sleeps.

Above, Lois Maxwell as "Monica Duval" and Michael Sinelnikoff as "William Duval".

"If the Shoe Fits"
was an episode of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents", first shown on February 14, 1987, in it Lois Maxwell played "Ms. Golden".

Then "Miss Moneypenny" was reduced to very minor speaking roles. As in 1988's, Canadian television movie, "Rescue Me"

Lois Maxwell had part of the title role of "Edie", in the 1988, Canadian drama, "Martha, Ruth and Edie". Three old friends meet again, after years have passed, at a seminar they were all attending. The screenplay splits into three stories. As each tells the other what happened after they separated. At 29th billing, Lois Maxwell played the "Older Edie". While, Canadian actress, Marjanka McComb, portrayed the "Younger Edie", of that character's main story line.

"Lady in the Corner", a made for television movie, was first shown on December 11, 1989. It is known for being the last on-screen appearance of Loretta Young. The actress portrayed a magazine publisher, "Grace Guthrie", attempting to stop a hostile takeover of her publishing empire. Brian Keith portrayed her chief editor, "David Henderson".  At 10th billing as "Mary Smith", was Lois Maxwell.

It would be another nine years before Lois Maxwell was on-screen once more. This was in another made-for-television motion picture that was part of a film series made by "Harlequin Romance Novels". "Hard to Forget", was a Canadian and South African production that was first shown on April 11, 1998. It's about, described as a "Sexy Private Investigator", "Max Warner", played by Tim Dutton, on the trail of, described "Femme Fatale", "Nicky Dawson", played by Polly Shannon. Shannon also plays the twin sister "Sandra Applewhite". While, Lois Maxwell portrayed their grandmother, "Helen Applewhite", with 5th billing. The plot has "Max" investigating the murder of "Sandra", or is it "Nicky"?

Lois Maxwell's final on-screen appearance followed ""Hard to Forget", three years later. The picture was a Canadian and British co-production entitled "The Fourth Angel". released August 15, 2001, in France. The story is about a man who seeks justice after his wife and two daughters are gun downed in a terrorist attack in Cyprus. Jeremy Irons portrayed the man, "Jack Elgin", Jason Priestly plays his friend, C.I.A. agent, "Henry Davidson" and Forrest Whitaker, is FBI Agent, "Bernard". Lois Maxwell had 6th billing as "Olivia".

In 2001, Lois Maxwell moved to Perth, Australia, to live with her son Christian's family. She passed away on September 29, 2007. 


No comments:

Post a Comment

Gordon Douglas: The Little Rascals (Our Gang) - Giant Ants - and Francis Albert Sinatra

When asked to name a "Classic Film Director", depending upon how much you're into motion pictures, what's your favorite ge...