Ed Driscoll

Her Majesty's Secret Secretary

Mark Steyn has a warm remembrance of Lois Maxwell, who for 25 years played James Bond’s Girl Friday, Miss Moneypenny:

Almost everyone connected with Bond turns out to have feet of clay: Sean Connery is a dreary Scottish nationalist off-screen; Roger Moore says he doesn’t like guns; and, when Daniel Craig leapt into his Aston Martin in Casino Royale, it emerged he could only drive automatics. They had to get a stuntman in for the stick shift. But in over a decade of her column in the Toronto Sun, Lois Maxwell revealed a Moneypenny of magnificently robust views. She’d have made a better “Canada’s Thatcher” than Kim Campbell ever could.

She wanted the role Judi Dench got — the first female head of MI6. True, the CIA seems to have dwindled down into the world’s biggest typing pool, sitting around in Virginia monitoring email all day. But even there the stenographer does not get to be boss. And so Lois Maxwell bumped up against the glass ceiling, and never got to be M — the one letter the secretary couldn’t take.

Read the whole thing; for a three-minute look back at the franchise’s peak, click here.