Barbara Feldon

Active - 1967 - 2006  |   Born - Mar 12, 1933 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States  |   Genres - Comedy

Share on

Biography by Hal Erickson

American actress Barbara Feldon claimed to be a lonely child, one whose escape from loneliness took the form of books and ballet. While studying drama at Carnegie Tech, she became an expert in Shakespeare, and in this capacity made her TV debut as a contestant on The $64,000 Question (kinescopes exist of this appearance; Barbara is instantly recognizable, though she hasn't quite lost all her baby fat). Feldon worked as a chorus girl in New York, then slimmed down considerably and became a high-priced fashion model. Commercials followed, in which Feldon pitched deodorant pads and--most famously--men's cologne. Few males who were going through adolescence in the early '60s will forget Feldon pitching Top Brass cologne to the "tigers" in the audience, staring into the camera with almost unbearable sultriness (the actress insisted that her come-hither glare was a result of nearsightedness).

After doing the guest-star round on several TV dramatic programs, Feldon won the role of statuesque Agent 99 on the spy sitcom Get Smart. Part of the fun on this program was watching Feldon try to avoid revealing that she was a few inches taller than co-star Don Adams (in some scenes he was standing on an incline, as proven when the Nickelodeon cable network put together a montage of "who's taller?" scenes from Get Smart in the early '90s). Get Smart ran from 1965 through 1970, but Feldon has occasionally re-created Agent 99, once in a Smart TV-movie reunion, and more recently in a "return" series for the Fox Network, again starring with Don Adams. Feldon's film career has been less remarkable, save for her brilliant interpretation of a near-fanatic beauty contest organizer in the 1975 satirical comedy Smile. In the last few years, Barbara Feldon has distinguished herself as an expert voiceover artist in commercials and TV specials; she can be heard as the narrator of the PBS series Dinosaurs.

Movie Highlights

See Full Filmography


  • Was a chorus girl at the Copacabana nightclub in New York City.
  • As a contestant on the 1950s game show The $64,000 Question, she ultimately won the top prize.
  • In the early '60s, she appeared as a sultry seductress (most famously, lounging on a tiger-skin rug) in TV ads for Top Brass.
  • Performed the one-woman play Love for Better and Verse in the mid-1990s.
  • In the early 2000s, authored the book Living Alone and Loving It: A Guide to Relishing the Solo Life.