Samantha Bond is an English actress, perhaps best known for playing Miss Moneypenny in four James Bond films during the series Pierce Brosnan years, and for her role on Downton Abbey as the wealthy widow Lady Rosamund Painswick, sister of Robert Crawley, the Earl of Grantham. She is also well-known for originating the role of Miz Liz Probert in the Rumpole of the Bailey series. Bond is a member of The Royal Shakespeare Company. In 1989, Bond starred as Mary MacKenzie, a young Scottish woman, in the television adaptation of Oswald Wynd’s novel The Ginger Tree, and was featured in Erik the Viking, an independent fantasy film with Tim Robbins in the title role.
She appeared in a 1990 adaptation of Agatha Christie’s short story, The Adventure of the Cheap Flat, for the series Agatha Cristie’s Poirot on ITV, starring David Suchet as Hercule Poirot. Bond was also seen on ITV in an episode of the Inspector Morse detective drama series based on novels by Colin Dexter, in 1992, and in a 1995 episode of Ghosts, an anthology series of ghost stories on the BBC. In 1996, she portrayed Mrs. Weston in the television movie Jane Austen’s Emma, starring Kate Beckinsale as Emma, a Meridian-ITV/A&E production that has been described as grittier and ‘more authentic’ to Austen’s story than the theatrical film starring Gwyneth Paltrow that was released the same year. The television movie was broadcast in the US in 1997 on PBS.
From 1994 to 2005, Bond played Miss Moneypenny, M’s secretary at MI6, in the four James Bond films with Pierce Brosnan as Agent 007: GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough, and Die Another Day. The role of Miss Moneypenny is the smallest role she ever played, yet the character remains a favourite among James Bond fans. In a BBC interview, Bond remarked that she would retire from the role if and when Pierce Brosnan stepped down as the lead. However, she did appear as Miss Moneypenny in an advertisement for London’s 2012 Olympic bid, alongside Roger Moore, who played James Bond from 1973 until 1985.
Bond co-starred in 2004 with Peter Davison, as a married couple who uproot themselves to a remote island to save their marriage, in the ITV drama-comedy Distant Shores. In 2007, she played the villain Mrs. Wormwood in the pilot episode of the BBC children’s drama series The Sarah Jane Adventures, a spin-off of Doctor Who. She later came back to play the same character in the two-part finale of the show’s second series, Enemy of the Bane.
Bond guest-starred in three episodes of the long-running and popular murder mystery series Midsomer Murders: Destroying Angel in 2001, Shot at Dawn in 2008, both starring fellow RSC member John Nettles in the lead role of DCI Tom Barnaby, as well as the first episode in 2011’s series 14, Death In The Slow Lane. The 2011 episode is notable for Neil Dudgeon’s debut as DCI John Barnaby, who takes over as the new detective in Midsomer after his cousin Tom Barnaby retired.
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