10 February 2008

Miss Moneypenny

Call me crazy. It won't be the first nor last time.
Today's blog is in honor of Lois Maxwell, the actress that was best known for her role as
Miss Moneypenny. (revised February 2008)

The Associated Press reports that her first appearance was in 1962 as the secretary to M, the head of the secret service. We know her character well. Many of us admired her wit and professionalism. Many understood her (maybe?) platonic love of James Bond-- Agent 007. Just think of all the characters in TV or Movies that were secretaries, receptionist or some kind of administrative support staff. Here is a list that takes a good look at our role models as seen in film and television.

  • Della Street- played by Barbara Hale- TV Show- Perry Mason
  • Marcia Wallace -TV show- Bob Newhart
  • Loni Anderson- WKRP in Cincinnati
  • Gary Burghoff- Corporal Walter "Radar" O'Reilly. in M*A*S*H. He really epitomized the many challenges of administrative support, no?
  • Carol Burnett as Mrs. Wiggins- The Carol Burnett Show
  • Lilly Tomlin as Deborah Fiderer, President Bartlett's 2nd secretary in West Wing
  • Kathryn Joosten as Delores Landingham, President Bartlett's 1st secretary in West Wing
  • Kathy Kinney as Mimi Bobeck- The Drew Carey Show- She started her career AS a secretary!
  • Jenna Fischer as Pam Beesly, on The Office


  • Dianne Wiest - Movie- “The Associate” (An all time favorite character representing our profession. If you haven't seen this movie.. rent it .. just to see her take on organizing files!)
  • Anne Hathaway- as Andy Sachs in “The Devil Wears Prada”- Who hasn’t been snide to a temp?
  • Maggie Gyllenhaal- "Secretary" (movie)... Definitely NOT for the prude or faint of heart.
  • Christina Applegate as Sue Ellen in “Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead”, the main character Sue Ellen (played by Christina Applegate)
  • Annie Potts as Janine Melnitz in “Ghostbusters”
  • Edie McClurg- She played Grace, the High School secretary in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and in the same year, played Marge Sweetwater, the secretary in the Rodney Dangerfield classic, “Back to School”
  • Renee Zellweger, as Dorothy Boyd- faithful assistant in Jerry Maguire

Definitely the most sarcastic/sardonic and favorite of characters has to be seen in the Saturday Night Live episode showcasing David Spade as Dick Clark’s receptionist. The classic gatekeeper to the extreme… extreme side-splitting laughter- that is. In fact, after he left Saturday Night Live, he parlayed the assistant character into the role of Dennis Finch in the TV series, Just Shoot Me.

Here's one I want to check out!

Wife vs. Secretary- 1936... Starring Jean Harlow as the secretary! Clark Gable as her boss and Myrna Loy as his wife!

All of these are great. So wonderful to see (even if it’s not realistic) our profession in the media.

Kemetia Foley has been an Executive Assistant for over 16 years. You can find her on her blog Paid, Professional, Nudge. For more information on what she is doing, read her complete bio in my post "Introducing Kemetia Foley".

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