Eye spy with my little eye
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.