She began her Hollywood career as a model, eventually gracing the covers of such magazines as Elle (1973) or Living Fit (1995), before working her way into film. She squared off against Robert Redford twice, in The Way We Were (1973) and The Great Gatsby (1974). In 1978 she resumed her career with two standout films. As as the doomed Linnet Ridgeway, a spoiled heiress in Death On The Nile, Chiles was fantastic. There she acted against such industry heavyweights as Bette Davis, Angela Lansbury, Mia Farrow, David Niven, Olivia Hussey and George Kennedy. She also played the doomed Nancy Greenly in Coma, opposite Michael Douglas and Geneveive Bujold.
Her hightest profile role was yet to come, in the role of Holly Goodhead in the James Bond film Moonraker. It was the right role at the right time for Chiles. She told PEOPLE Magazine in 1979: “I needed the work, I needed the money, and I needed the experience.” It was a chance meeting with director Lewis Gilbert aboard an airplane that would land Lois the highly coveted role. After talking with Gilbert on board the flight, Gilbert reported back to Cubby Broccoli that he`d spoken with Lois and together, they agreed she was perfect for the role.
She would spend much of the filming of Moonraker in France, where the production had moved to from London to avoid the steep British income tax. What should have been a memorable lark for Lois as a Bond Woman was clouded with concern for her brother, who was suffering from a potentially life threatening disease and was in need of constant blood transfusions. He died sometime after Moonraker premiered.
In deference to Lois` strong feminist feelings at the time, the role of Holly was beefed up to make her an equal partner with 007. Not only was she a brilliant astrophysicist, but now she was also a CIA operative. She helped cement the trend of strong, capable female secret agents that Barbara Bach began with Anya in The Spy Who Loved Me.
Chiles` next big feature was the television show DALLAS, where she played yet another Holly: Holly Harwood. As Holly Harwood, Chiles played an oil baroness in need of a strong hand to help run the company. She cut J.R. Ewing 25% of her action in exchange for his help as a silent partner. While scheming with J.R., she kept her eyes on Bobby Ewing, secretly wanting a relationship that was never going to be.
Lois continued to work in major features after her two year run on DALLAS. She then appeared with Alan Alda and Michael Caine in the hilarious comedy Sweet Liberty (1986), as well as working opposite Holly Hunter and William Hurt in the 1987 Oscar nominated film Broadcast News. Creepshow 2 showcased her work within a horror film. In Creepshow 2, Chiles plays an cheating wife of a rich man who has to speed home quickly before her husband realizes she`s been out. On the way, she runs over a construction worker whom she leaves for dead on the side of the road. But is he really dead?
Through the Nineties Lois has continued to work strong in an industry where parts become scarce for actresses over 40. Among her noteable works were Speed 2 as the mother of the deaf girl, an uncredited cameo in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (that can be found in special edition dvd`s), Bliss, and Curdled.
In 1999 Lois did promotional work for MGM to advertise the release of the Special Edition DVD`s as well as to coincide with the release of The World Is Not Enough. She appeared on such programs as The Today Show on NBC as well as appearing in a special photo spread for Vanity Fair.
Alice, Texas USA