EastEnders and James Bond star dies aged 80

23 February 2024, 09:10

Pamela Salem has died
Pamela Salem has died. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

EastEnders and James Bond actress Pamela Salem has died aged 80.

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Salem was best known for her role as Miss Moneypenny in Never Say Never Again, starring alongside Sean Connery in 1983.

She also appeared as Joanne in EastEnders in 1988.

The actress also starred in Doctor Who, ER and The West Wing during her career spanning five decades.

Production company Big Finish, which was behind several Doctor Who audio dramas that Salem starred in, said: "We are utterly heartbroken to confirm the passing of our dear friend and colleague, Pamela Salem."

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SEAN CONNERY as James Bond 007 and PAMELA SALEM as Miss Moneypenny in NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN 1983
SEAN CONNERY as James Bond 007 and PAMELA SALEM as Miss Moneypenny in NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN 1983. Picture: Alamy

Salem's career began in 1969, with her having guest appearances in shows such as Happy Ever After, Out of the Unknown and Jason King.

She went on to star in The First Great Train Robbery with Sean Connery, before the pair reunited five years later for 007 film Never Say Never Again.

Her other credits include Gods and Monsters and Blake's 7.

The actress was born in Bombay, India, in 1944 and began her acting career in London.

She married fellow actor Michael O'Hagan and they lived in Surfside, Florida, together until his death in 2017.

Pamela Salem has died at 80
Pamela Salem has died at 80. Picture: Alamy

David Richardson, who worked with Pamela at Big Finish, paid tribute to her, saying: "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."

Actress Karen Gledhill 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.

"She led me through a wonderful but slightly daunting experience. We became friends, and whenever we met were always so pleased to see each other. 

"Counter-Measures was a total bonus – nearly eight years of regular contact with this unique woman, whose talent and professionalism shone like the star she was – what a privilege to have worked with her."