Eye spy with my lit­tle eye

Cockburn Gazette - - SUPANOVA -

DE­SPITE play­ing the role of Agent 99, it was ac­tor Bar­bara Fel­don who put the “smart” in the hit tele­vi­sion series Get Smart.

The New York ac­tor will join Bar­bara Eden from I Dream of Jean­nie in a series of events as part their Su­panova ap­pear­ances in Perth this month.

In the role that de­fined Fel­don, she was cast as the sup­port­ing ac­tor in the show that saw her male lead Don Adams play agent Maxwell Smart.

Fel­don said at the time of tak­ing on the role, her char­ac­ter was so dif­fer­ent to her and not typ­i­cal of the Amer­i­can woman, which was un­heard of in that era of tele­vi­sion.

“Her char­ac­ter was be­yond what I was at that time; I was very much a ’50s girl and very much sub­servient to men and a di­plo­mat,” she said.

“She had el­e­ments that were def­er­en­tial to her guy and she was very care­ful not to ruf­fle the feath­ers of the male species, but on the other hand she was dif­fer­ent to what we saw on tele­vi­sion at that time.

“She was not afraid to be smart al­though she did not feel diplo­mat­i­cally that it was a good thing to show how smart she was.

“She knew she wasn’t in­fe­rior and she catered to the male ego but was out there do­ing her thing.

“You could say 99 was more evolved than the woman play­ing her but by the end of the show I was much more evolved. I had a growth spurt dur­ing the years of mak­ing the show and while 99 started ahead of me, I caught up to her by the end of it.”

Fel­don said while her re­la­tion­ship with Adams did not have the great­est of starts, it turned into a very spe­cial friend­ship.

“Dur­ing the time we did the show we were very nice to each other, very cor­dial, but we had noth­ing to say to each other off screen; we came from very dif­fer­ent worlds,” she said.

“As time went on I came to the re­al­i­sa­tion that I had pre­judged who he was be­cause we re­ally did have more in com­mon than I thought. Dur­ing those years it was a very nice work­ing re­la­tion­ship and it got spec­tac­u­larly good when we were ac­tu­ally act­ing to­gether, with the in­cred­i­ble in­ti­mate rap­port we had be­tween us.”

Fel­don said af­ter the fifth sea­son the show was axed while it was on hia­tus, which did not give the pair a chance to say their good­byes.

“We never heard from each other for decades and then when I ran into him later, it was as though seeds that had been sown ear­lier on dur­ing those years had blos­somed and sud­denly we were so fond of each other,” she said.

Fel­don will share more sto­ries at the Perth Con­ven­tion and Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­tre from June 28 to 30.

Visit www.su­panova. com.au.

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