1956: Barbara Feldon and “The $64,000 Question”
Actress Barbara Anne Hall Feldon and Gene Kelly, who could sing, dance and act, both grew up in Pittsburgh and achieved fame.
This photograph of the two Western Pennsylvania celebrities was taken in 1956 on the set of the television quiz show “The $64,000 Question.”
Kelly served as master of ceremonies and asked the actress questions about playwright William Shakespeare; her successful answers increased her winnings to $96,000. (Books and ballet were her favorite pursuits as a child and a teen-ager. She studied Shakespeare while a drama student at Carnegie Institute of Technology, now Carnegie Mellon University.)
A statuesque woman, Barbara Hall also was a dancer and performed in the Ziegfeld Follies staged in 1957 at the Winter Garden Theater in New York City.
That same year, she met Katharine Hepburn while auditioning for roles in plays at the American Shakespeare Festival held in Stratford, Conn.
During the 1960s, Ms. Feldon used her sultry looks to pitch a men’s cologne called Top Brass to the “tigers” in the television audience. She also worked as a high-priced fashion model.
From 1965 to 1970, she co-starred as Agent 99 in the hit television show, “Get Smart,” playing opposite Don Adams, who portrayed the brilliant but klutzy spy named Maxwell Smart. The show parodied James Bond and other popular spy movies at a time when the U.S. and Russia were locked in the Cold War.
In 1975, Ms. Feldon played a beauty contest organizer in a satirical movie comedy called “Smile.” She narrated the PBS series “Dinosaurs.”
Now 80 years old, Ms. Feldon is the author of a 2002 book titled “Living Alone and Loving It: A Guide to Relishing the Solo Life.”