Barbara Feldon: 'Get Smart's Agent 99, Then And Now

By | August 9, 2019

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Left: Barbara Feldon circa 1965. Right: Feldon with Don Adams on 'Get Smart.' Sources: Silver Screen Collection/Hulton Archive/Getty Imagesl IMDB

Audiences fell in love with Barbara Feldon in her starring role on Get Smart as Agent 99, the smart and brassy young agent who was always one step ahead of her partner Maxwell Smart. Feldon could have dined out on the role of Agent 99 forever, but throughout her career she found ways to reinvent herself while living a normal life.

Now, Feldon lives in New York City and works as a writer. She has a book about living alone under her belt and a series of articles. It’s good to see Agent 99 still out there doing good work. 

Before She Was Agent 99, Barbara Feldon Won The '$64,000 Question'

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Left: Feldon with Edward Platt in 'Get Smart.' Right: Feldon in a publicity photo for 'Get Smart.; Source: IMDB

Growing up in Pittsburgh, Barbara Feldon had designs on becoming an actress, but she also kept her head in a book. She was a studious young woman who graduated from Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) in 1955. Two years later she won The $64,000 Question by answering a question about William Shakespeare.

Feldon went on to work as a model, and her most notable ad was for “Top Brass,” a hair product for men. That position went onto earn her guest roles in a handful of ‘60s TV shows like Twelve O'Clock High, Flipper, and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. It’s likely that her time on The Man from U.N.C.L.E. gave her the taste for working as a spy.