M is for Miss Moneypenny
By Niall McArdle
Where would James Bond be without Miss Moneypenny, the wise and resourceful secretary to Bond’s boss, M? Two women are said to have inspired Ian Fleming to create the character based on three women he knew: Vera Atkins, Joan Bright Astley and Loelia Ponsonby.
Miss Moneypenny may be the ultimate Bond girl: the character appears in all of the Bond films, and maintains an unfulfilled romantic devotion to Bond. And yet in many ways she is also assuredly not a Bond girl: she has little time or respect for most of his bimbos. Although she is smitten with him, and drops hints at marriage at every opportunity, there is always the sense that if they ever got together, she would soon grow tired of his philandering. Then again, perhaps she would reform him (I have always had the impression that Miss Moneypenny is much smarter than Bond).
When they think of Miss Moneypenny, most Bond fans will always think of the incomparable Lois Maxwell. The Canadian actress played the part fourteen times.The role has also been portrayed by Caroline Bliss, Pamela Salem, Samantha Bond, and most recently by Naomie Harris (who actually got to do something more than sit behind a desk pining for Bond.
Of course, M is also for … M, the gruff head of the British Secret Service. Bernard Lee played the part eleven times.
The character has also been played by Robert Brown, Judi Dench, and Ralph Fiennes.
Bernard Lee and Lois Maxwell also made cameo appearances as M and Moneypenny in an Italian Bond spoof.
Today’s other AtoZ blogger of note is Sick B*tch.