January 7, 2011

HONEY WEST: ANNE FRANCIS R.I.P.

Emma Peel of The Avengers wasn't the only female crime-fighter to slip into a black catsuit in 1965. Honey West, a character introduced in a series of novels by Skip and Gloria Fickling, was brought to life by actress Anne Francis. Francis first appeared as Honey in guest spots in Burke's Law (1963-1966), sparking the interest of ABC to develop 30 Honey West episodes. The show was produced by Aaron Spelling, who would go on to create another mystery/adventure with strong female roles, Charlie's Angels (1976-1981).


Honey West centered around a young woman who took over her father's detective agency and dished out justice with the aid of cool gadgets and a male side-kick (John Ericson). Although the production lacked the panache of The Avengers, some effort was made to create a stylish environment for the world of Honey West- the most memorable element being her exotic pet, a sleek ocelot! Actress Anne Francis (Forbidden Planet, Alfred Hitchcock, Man From U.N.C.L.E., Mission Impossible) passed away on January 2nd at the age of 80. Here are samples from Honey West, including an ABC promo introducing the show. More about Honey West at Thrilling Detective here and the Museum of Broadcast Communications here.






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