Dame Victoire ‘Paddy’ Ridsdale passed away on 16 December (09). The cause of death had not been revealed as WENN went to press.
Ridsdale, a British secretary and intelligence operative, served as the author’s assistant during World War II while he worked in naval intelligence.
She is one of five real-life women who are thought to have been Fleming’s model for the long-suffering secretary of 007’s boss M. Others linked to the character include Kathleen Pettigrew, Vera Atkins, Margaret Priestley and Loelia Ponsonby.
Ridsdale did little to dampen speculation she was the inspiration for flirtatious Moneypenny, telling People magazine in 1998, “(I was never) taken in by his charm. He’d go off and do something brave and come back with silk stockings and lipsticks for me.”
Ridsdale’s husband, former British politician Sir Julian Ridsdale, died in 2004. She is survived by a daughter.