Agent 99 was the beautiful, mysterious spy who often had to rescue bumbling Agent 86, Maxwell Smart (Don Adams), her fellow agent and later husband in the wacky spy spoof.

A multi-talented woman of the world, 99 spoke Chinese, German, and French, and was a skillful violinist and harp player, as well as an accomplished dancer.

Agent 99's real name was never revealed --during one episode she said her name was "Susan Hilton," but when Max called her Susan she told him it was a fake name.

The character was also a former fashion model and could have had any man she wanted, but she was obsessed with Max. Barbara told an interviewer that 99 was "totally preoccupied with adoring Max. It was all Max all the time."

She was smarter, more ingenious and more competent than Agent 86. Manytimes she conceived ideas and made Max believe that he'd thought of them. Barbara played her role of the straight man to Max's comedic blundering to perfection, rolling her eyes when he did something stupid.
"Get Smart" was created by writers Mel Brooks and Buck Henry, and Barbara told the Seattle Times that "Buck was going to call the character '100' because she was 100 percent, but then he said that didn't sound like a girl's number, so he called her 99.

"And 100 is a hard thing to say; 99 just rolls off the tongue very conveniently. So that is the official origin of the name."

Barbara said working on the show "was like going to a playground every day and playing. We would laugh all day."
From the sneaker phone to the new face spray and necktie communicator, the show was loaded with spy gadgets from the future. Barbara told the Seattle Times, "I was once invited to the CIA headquarters and they told me that during the '60s they would watch our show and try to make those things happen. Like the necktie that recorded."

Adams recognized his co-star's talent but was sensitive that he was shorter than the 5-foot-9 beauty. She slouched in many scenes so she wouldn't appear taller because she wanted to please Adams.

Originally from Butler, Penn., Barbara started out working as a fashion model, and made commericals for Revlon.
Barbara Feldon Agent 99 "Get Smart"
Barbara Feldon Agent 99
Classic TV Beauties
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She caught the attention of the men in America in a sensual commerical, purring like a tigress for a hair product.

"It was a unique concept. I was lying on a tiger rug talking directly to the camera as though it were a man. I don't think it really sold the product. Nobody was listening."

She said her acting career never got off the ground because she kept getting "discovered and forgotten, discovered and forgotten" and for most roles she was "given a skirt and told to look dishy." So she was content living in New York City modeling and making commercials.

She made appearances in TV shows such as "Rowan & Martin's Laugh In" and "Flipper," and she originally turned down the "Get Smart" role because the contract called for a five-year deal and required her to relocate to LA.

The producers auditioned other actresses for 99 but came back to Barbara with a two-year contract, which she accepted. The irony is the show lasted five years.
Classic TV Beauties 1960s Countdown
BARBARA FELDON as Agent 99 in "Get Smart"
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