Beauty, Fitness & Nutrition

Celebrating Seniors - Barbara Feldon is 83

Would you believe...that writer and actress Barbara Feldon is now an 83-year-old octogenarian senior citizen?

barbara feldon, barbara anne hall, new york city, actress, model, 64,000 question, gene kellyBorn Barbara Anne Hall in Butler County near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on March 12, 1933, Barbara graduated from the Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1955 with a BA in drama.

While pursuing an acting career and living in New York City, she won the grand prize as a contestant on The $64,000 Question in 1957. Right, Barbara Feldon  (then Barbara Hall) being asked a question on The $64,000 Question in 1957 by actor/singer/dancer Gene Kelly. (Photo: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

barbara feldon, barbara anne hall, new york city, actress,  lucien verdoux feldon, lucien feldon, photographer, married, divorcedBarbara met and fell in love with Belgian photographer Lucien Verdoux-Feldon and they married in 1958. Left, Barbara Feldon and Lucien Verdoux-Feldon in their New York City apartment. (Photo: ilovegetsmart.com)

Barbara Feldon told People Magazine in 1983 that while she and Lucien were working to open an art gallery together, she lost 30 pounds, and began to get work modeling and acting in commercials.

Small acting roles on television led to a guest-starring role for Barbara Feldon opposite George C. Scott in an East Side/West Side episode; this role, combined with her commercial work, brought her to the attention of comedy writers Mel Brooks and Buck Henry. When Mel Brooks and Buck Henry were developing a new television comedy, they thought of Barbara Feldon for the role of a female secret agent.

barbara feldon, actress, ,buck henry, mel brooks, get smart, commercials, secret agent 99, don adams, television series, Barbara Feldon's marriage to Lucien Verdoux-Feldon was breaking up, and she moved out to California alone to star in Get Smart as Secret Agent 99, opposite leading man Don Adams (Secret Agent 86).

The Get Smart series ran from 1965-1970, beginning on NBC and ending on CBS. Barbara Feldon was twice nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (1968 and 1969) for her performances on Get Smart.

Right, Don Adams and Barbara Feldon in Get Smart. (Photo: sitcomsonline.com)

 

During the run of Get Smart, Barbara appeared in the movie Fitzwilly (1967) co-starring Dick Van Dyke

After her divorce to Lucien Verdoux-Feldon was finalized in 1967, Barbara Feldon lived with Get Smart producer Burt Nodella from 1968-1979. When her romantic relationship with Burt Nodella ended, Feldon moved back to New York City, where she still lives today.

In her autobiographical book of essays, Living Alone and Loving It (2002), Barbara Feldon said that she and Burt Nodella were still good friends. Update: Burt Nodella died February 2016.

In the post-Get Smart years, Barbara Feldon was seen in guest appearances on television during the 1970's, and in the odd movie such as Smile (1975). She appeared in the 1989 made-for-tv movie Get Smart, Again! Her last big-screen movie appearances was as a septuagenarian senior citizen in The Last Request (2006). Feldon has had a successful career with voice-over work in commercials and other projects, poetry readings, and appearances in off-Broadway plays.

barbara feldon, 2013, octogenarian, senior citizen, get smart, retired, fan conventions, memoirs, writing, anti-aging, rate of aging without exerciseToday Barbara Feldon is essentially retired from acting, although she still attends the occasional Get Smart fan conventions.

Most recently in November 2015, octogenarian senior citizen Feldon told the Sunshine Coast Daily that she'd be traveling from her home in New York City to attend the Supanova in Brisbane, Australia. She also told them she is working on two memoirs - one about her marriage to Lucien Verdoux-Feldon, and another about growing up in Pittsburgh. 

Right, Barbara Feldon in 2013 (Photo: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

When interviewer Colin Broderick (The Wallbreakers) asked octogenarian Barbara Feldon in 2013 what her anti-aging secret was, senior citizen Feldon answered:

"The credit goes to a chart I came across about 35 years ago that showed the rate of aging with and without exercise. It was stunning! Instantly, I became an exercise junky, and have made it the top priority of my day for decades. It’s nothing heroic, just the minimum exertion for the maximum result, which seems to be a half hour of aerobics most days and weights a couple of times a week...Being a vegetarian probably helps too. Well, not strictly vegetarian, I eat fish."

Happy 83rd Birthday, Barbara Feldon!

Anita Hamilton

Baby boomer Anita Hamilton has always been interested in the "real people" stories behind the characters that create and inhabit the world of music, books, movies, television shows, current events, history, etc. A lifelong love of research (ok, nosiness) and writing, combined with a loving and supportive family (complete with 3 mini-dachshund minions), keeps her busy.

Comments

jim

you are as pretty as the Day is Smart
LOve allways
Jim

Michael Fabio

Ms. Feldon,
Can I take you out to dinner?
Michael Fabio
My treat! :)

Bob

You were the best looking lady on tv barbara eden was ther too.

TC

I just finished watching some old episodes of Get Smart and thought Id look up some of the stars to see where they are today. All I can say is wow, Barbara! You are as beautiful as you were back in the 60s! I can't get over it. :)

JulieAnn Smith

Hello Barbara!

I grew up watching Get Smart. I am so happy to have found the show again...my 12 year old son and I watch it together. He loves it just as much as I do!

From what I have read about you, the intelligent persona you portray on the show is by no means an act. I love your stamina and spunk. May you enjoy many more years making a mark on not only the generations passed, but the generations to come.

~JulieAnn

Celeste Olssen

Dear Ms Feldon, I would love a copy of yr book of essays, 'Living Alone and loving it'. I also live alone and I love it too! I have loads of kids but essentially i am by myself. There are not many people who can really enjoy their own company and pursuits and be honest enough to see it as a great option. That's why id love to buy a copy of yr book. And as a devoted Get Smart fan it is even more wonderful to follow the career of so many of the great characters, especially the former 99!

50+ World

Sorry we do not have a contact address for Barbara Feldon.

Steve Phillips

I keep missing you in Pittsburgh. I think that we are the only ones left of the old Kings School Road group.

Steve

Richard

3/22/2017

Dear Ms. Feldon,

I liked "Get Smart" when I was young. Recently I purchased the CD's with introductions by you. I am so impressed with your acting. Your careful and well acted gestures are stunning. Well done! Thank you.

-Richard

vanna

You are adorable. .. :0)

Dave Baldridge

My Mom, then Ginny Colvin, used to babysit for you when you lived across the street from her on Sunset Drive in Bethel Park - do you remember her? You also appeared among the guests in one of her wedding photos. She mentioned you every time we saw Get Smart as I was growing up.

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