Pamela Salem, Miss Moneypenny in ‘Thunderball’ Remake ‘Never Say Never Again,’ Dies at 80

The actress also appeared in “Doctor Who” and Michael Crichton’s “The Great Train Robbery”

Pamela Salem
Getty

Pamela Salem, who notably portrayed Miss Moneypenny in “Never Say Never Again,” has died. She was 80.

The announcement was made by Big Finish Productions, which produced several audio programs featuring Salem. She died in Surfside, Fla.

Salem made her feature debut with Sean Connery in Michael Crichton’s “The Great Train Robbery” (based on Crichton’s book of the same name). She worked steadily through the years, appearing in the Oscar-winning biopic “Gods and Monsters” as “Frankenstein” director James Whale’s mother Sarah Whale. Salem also appeared in nine episodes of “Doctor Who,” 37 episodes of British mainstay “EastEnders” and on American programs like “Magnum P.I.,” “E.R.” and “The West Wing.”

The actress was married to actor Michael O’Hagan from 1983 until his death in 2017, also in Surfside.

The reason that Salem played Moneypenny instead of Lois Maxwell, who portrayed the character in 14 James Bond movies (the last of which, “A View to a Kill,” opened after “Never Say Never Again”), was because “Never Say Never Again” was made outside of the main continuity of the series. This had to do with the fact that Ian Fleming had collaborated on a script that was abandoned but later turned into “Thunderball.” The producer of the earlier version of the movie exerted his rights – and they remade “Thunderball” outside of Eon Productions and MGM.

This meant that two 007 movies were in the marketplace at almost the same time (Eon had Roger Moore in “Octopussy”) and complicated the rights for years to come.

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