Iconic James Bond Actress Dead At 80

By Jason Collins | Published

British actress Pamela Salem, who appeared in Sean Connery’s final outing as James Bond, Never Say Never Again, died at the age of 80. The news of her death was confirmed by her agent, Maddie Burdett Coutts, and the Big Finish Production’s David Richardson. Salem died Wednesday in Surfside, Florida, but the details surrounding her death, including the cause, weren’t revealed.

Pamela Salem Was Miss Moneypenny

Born in India in 1944, Pamela Salem is best known for playing James Bond’s secretary, Miss Moneypenny, in Sean Connery’s 1983 movie Never Say Never Again—a film regarded as an unofficial addition to the Bond canon since Eon Productions didn’t handle its production. However, she was better known among Doctor Who audiences for her portrayal of Professor Rachel Jensen from the Old Who era and for her voice performances in Bing Finish Production’s Doctor Who audiobooks.

A Recurring Doctor Who Guest Star

Pamela Salem made her guest appearance in BBC’s Doctor Who as the sandminer pilot Lish Toos on The Robots of Death episode from 1977, with Tom Baker as the show’s eponymous protagonist. She then portrayed the aforementioned Professor in Remembrance of the Daleks in 1988, with Sylvester McCoy’s Seventh Doctor. Salem reprised both roles for Big Finish’s audio drama series The Robots and its radio spinoff series, Counter Measures.

A Prolific Career

However, Never Say Never Again is far from being the only screen release Pamela Salem is known for. Not accounting for nine Doctor Who episodes, Salem also portrayed the evil sorcerer Belor on the ITV kids series Into the Labyrinth from 1981-1982. She also played an organized crime family member, Joanne Francis, on BBC’s Eastenders for two seasons and 1998’s period drama Gods and Monsters, where she portrayed the mother of Frankenstein director James Whale, played by Sir Ian McKellen.

Big Screen Debut With Sean Connery

Her big-screen debut, however, happened in 1978’s The First Great Train Robbery, which also starred Sean Connery. In fact, Salem shared that it was Connery who recommended her to James Bond producers for the iconic role of Ms. Moneypenny—a role that previously belonged to Lois Maxwell. Pamela Salem’s acting portfolio also included work on Blake’s 7 (1978), The Tripods, All Creatures Great and Small, French Fields, Magnum, P.I., ER, The West Wing, Party of Five, and Big Love.

Decades Of Success In Television And Movies

Besides appearing in Never Say Never Again and The First Great Train Robbery, Pamela Salem also appeared in The Bitch (1979), Night Train to Murder (1983), After Darkness (1985), Thirteen at Dinner (1985), Salome (1986), God’s Outlaw (1987), Succubus (1987), the previously mentioned Gods and Monsters (1998), Quicksand (2002) and April’s Shower (2003). The list goes on, and it only showcases Salem’s remarkable acting versatility and the breadth of her talent.

Pamela Salem Was Part Of Classic British Television

The passing of Pamela Salem at the age of 80 truly marks the end of an era for the fans of British entertainment, and her lasting performances will undoubtedly continue to inspire and captivate future generations of fans and actors—particularly those admiring her work on BBC’s Doctor Who series, which stars Nguti Gatwa as the Fifteenth Doctor and is scheduled to launch in May this year.