Click the below link to read a wonderful article about how secret agent Matt Helm went from hardboiled espionage tales in print to pop camp-filled stories on the big screen when played by debonair Dean Martin opposite some of the big screens most beautiful women in The Silencers (Stella Stevens, Dahlia Lavi, Nancy Kovack); Murderers’ Row (Ann-Margret, Camilla Sparv); The Ambushers (Senta Berger); and The Wrecking Crew (Elke Sommer, Sharon Tate, Nancy Kwan, Tina Louise). Helm, masquerading as an international photographer, was assisted by amorous secretary Lovey Kraveszit (Beverly Adams) and surrounded by a bevy of sexy starlets as models called the Slaygirls or Slaymates.
One of the Slaymatess was Corinne Cole in Murderers’ Row (1966). Below is an excerpt from my interview with her for Glamour Girls of Sixties Hollywood:
In Murderers’ Row (1966) Cole brought new meaning to the term Slaymate as a seductive “Miss January.” Wearing a body stocking and two pink muffs on her hands, the pin-up poses in front of a map of Minnesota for the Slaymate calendar. After the shoot the seductive beauty sneaks into Helm’s bed and snuggles up to him. Tired he asks her to leave and “to go out like a lamb” in which she retorts, “That’s March. I want to wish you a happy new year” and begins kissing him. But this slinky seductive Slaymate has murder on her mind not romance. Alas her nefarious plan goes awry and ends not with a bang but a boom.
Cole recalls “Nancy Kovack was in the first movie [The Silencers] and she was scheduled to play Miss January in this. In between movies she married the great musician Zubin Mehta and passed on the film at the last second. My agent called me and I went to Columbia Studios to read for the part. I did not tell anybody that I knew Dean Martin socially. I had to audition for this role five times until director Henry Levin finally offered me the part.
When I got on the set for the first day of shooting, which was our love scene in bed, Dean Martin said to me, ‘This is a hell of a way to miss my best friend’s wedding.’ Frank Sinatra was marrying Mia Farrow that day at the Sands in my apartment. I said to Dean, ‘Yes, we are missing a big day.’ Nobody outside the Rat Pack knew they were getting married. It was very funny to us. I had a body stocking on because I was supposed to be nude but we couldn’t get the shot because my bra was showing. Finally I said, ‘Frig it! I’m taking off the body stocking!’ They closed the set for me and we got the take. Dean said, ‘What a way to spend the day—being in bed with one of my best friend’s fiancée.’”