THE GIRLS FROM U.N.C.L.E.
With the 50th anniversary of the James Bond movies coinsiding with the release of the latest, Skyfall, the Bond Girls have been getting their rightly time in the spotlight. However, let us not forget their counterparts the U.N.C.L.E. Girls.
The Man from U.N.C.L.E., (originally conceived by Bond creator Ian Fleming as Solo, a show about ace agent, Napoleon Solo, who worked for a United Nations law enforcement unit), became one of the biggest hits on television during the 1964-65 season. The series really found its footing during the latter half of that season and the beginning of the next. Audiences were glued to their sets as the show which safely stylized their fantasies (gorgeous women) and fears (THRUSH a Cold War-like conglomerate of enemy agents). U.N.C.L.E.’s top agents were debonair Napoleon Solo (Robert Vaughn) and sexy Illya Kuryakin (David McCallum), both who took orders from the fastidious bureau chief Mr. Waverly (Leo G. Carroll, who followed actor Will Kuluva as Mr. Allison in the pilot).
Influenced by the wonderful technological space age gadgets on display in the Bond films, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. was a true delight for young viewers, especially men as a number of sexy starlets including Senta Berger, Yvonne Craig, Carol Lynley, Danielle de Metz, Irene Tsu, Barbara Luna, France Nuyen, Luciana Paluzzi, Diane McBain, Anna Capri and others could be seen on the program. The show was so popular that a number of two part episodes were re-edited, padded with new footage or outtakes and rushed into theatres. During the show’s first two years on the air, fans could see their favorite U.N.C.L.E. stars on the big screen in To Trap a Spy (1965), The Spy with My Face (1965), One Spy Too Many (1966) and One of Our Spies Is Missing (1966). Unfortunately, as the series began to become more of a spoof than a dramatic show by season three, the quality of the program suffered though it vastly improved in Season four however weak ratings killed the show in mid-season.
Below is a wonderful tribute to the many beautiful Sixties starlets that tangled/romanced/fought with our Boys from U.N.C.L.E.
To read more about the U.N.C.L.E. gals and others, check out my book (co-written with Louis Paul) Film Fatales: Women in Espionage Films and Television, 1963-1973.