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 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.
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.
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.
For her performance, Lois Maxwell received the "Golden Globe" as the "Most Promising Newcomer: Female".
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".
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.
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.
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".
From an opera set in Egypt, Lois Maxwell moved to an Italian World War 2 motion picture.
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".
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.
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".
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".
Lois Maxwell portrayed "Sandi Lewis".
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.
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".
"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".
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:
THE FIRST JAMES BOND FILM!
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.
The Three Non-recurring Roles:
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
The film will climax at the tree the first "Mrs.Crain" was killed at.
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".
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".
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
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".
"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.
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.
BONS BAISERS DE HONH KONG (GOOD KISSES FROM HONG KONG) aka: FROM HONG KONG WITH LOVE released December 17, 1975 in France
The movie opens with the typical "James Bond" opening, but with one slight difference.
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
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.
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