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Bond actress and Doctor Who star Pamela Salem dies aged 80

Actress Pamela Salem, known for her role as James Bond’s secretary Miss Moneypenny in Sean Connery’s Never Say Never Again, has died at the age of 80.

The British star, who also had a role in 1978 crime film The First Great Train Robbery opposite Connery, died on Wednesday according to Big Finish Productions, who produced a number of her works.

Born in 1944 in India, she attended Heidelberg University in Germany and the Central School of Speech and Drama in London, before starting in repertory theatre in Chesterfield and York.

Pamela Salem and Tom Baker (Big Finish Productions Ltd/PA)
Pamela Salem and Tom Baker (Big Finish Productions Ltd/PA)

She also appeared in US drama series The West Wing, where she played the UK prime minister, and medical serial ER.

Salem was also known for her science fiction roles in Blake’s 7, The Tripods and Into The Labyrinth.

She reprised her role as Doctor Who character Professor Rachel Jensen, seen on screen in 1988’s Remembrance Of The Daleks episode with the Sylvester McCoy’s seventh Time Lord, and in the spin-off audio drama series Counter-Measures.

Pamela Salem with a Voc robot from Doctor Who (Big Finish Productions Ltd/PA)
Pamela Salem with a Voc robot from Doctor Who (Big Finish Productions Ltd/PA)

Salem moved to Los Angeles in the 1990s, then Miami.

David Richardson, who knew her through producing at Big Finish who make Doctor Who audio dramas, said: “Pamela Salem was lovely, and we all loved her. Whenever there was a Big Finish recording for her, she’d fly in from Miami on her own steam, without fuss or fanfare, and appear at the studio armed with the warmest smiles, the biggest hugs and often presents.

“She was a very gentle person, always interested in everyone from her co-stars to the production team to the guest actors and visitors.”

Doctor Who actors Simon Williams, Pamela Salem, Karen Gledhill, Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred (Big Finish Productions Ltd/PA)
Doctor Who actors Simon Williams, Pamela Salem, Karen Gledhill, Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred (Big Finish Productions Ltd/PA)

In 2020, Salem returned to a reboot of the Doctor Who show The Robots Of Death, where she played Toos opposite Tom Baker’s fourth Doctor, in an audio drama series, The Robots.

Actor Karen Gledhill, who co-starred as Allison Williams in Counter-Measures, said: “Pamela was the kindest, most generous actor I have ever worked with.

“Back in the 80s on Remembrance Of The Daleks (my first proper TV job), she took me under her wing and led me through a wonderful but slightly daunting experience. We became friends, and whenever we met were always so pleased to see each other.”

She also said they “shared a mutual love of dogs – she adored the canine friends that she often rescued and looked after”.

“She was so loved, so respected and will be so missed,” Gledhill added.