|A female private eye-ful|
By Hal Humphrey
|In her new ABC-TV series, Honey West, about a girl-type private eye, Anne Francis was going to identify herself by wearing a snakeskin trenchcoat.|
"I did wear it in the pilot film, but then we decided a snakeskin coat was too conservative. Almost any kid you see on the street today wears clothes farther out than that," says Anne quite seriously.
To get far enough out to be in with today's youth, Anne now is sporting a live ocelot named Bruce Biteabit (see cover). It wouldn't be exactly true to state that wherever Anne goes the ocelot named Bruce is sure to follow, but he'll be around often enough to let viewers know Anne or Honey is no ordinary girl.
She won't possess an Aston-Martin sports car equipped with machine guns or an ejection seat, but just a plain custom-built Cobra convertible.
"We aren't going to be James Bond-ish, or futuristic like they are in UNCLE," Anne informs me. "I'm a private investigator with offices in Los Angeles.
Honey West will carry the tools of her trade in a special black-lined case. Among those tools will be a lorgnette with a short-wave radio, one of those martini olives bugged to pick up conversations in chic saloons, a pair of jeweled revolvers and some assorted disguises which Honey effects to change her visage but never her figure.
Anne first portrayed Honey West in a Burke's Law episode this past season, and it served as a pilot film for selling the Honey West series. In it also was John Ericson as an employee of Miss West's. When the series starts in September, John will be elevated to a partner in the business.
According to one of those authoritative sources, the network didn't think it would be quite proper to have Miss West and the handsome Ericson in an employer-employee relationship.
It was also at the network's behest that Irene Hervey has been brought in as Miss West's Aunt Meg, who will be sharing the West apartment.
The talk around the set where Honey West is filmed says Anne Francis isn't too happy with these changes, and is still battling to see that Honey is more of a swinger than ABC would have her.
ABC executives have been sensitive about sex and violence ever since the network took the brunt of a critical attack by the FCC and Sen. Thomas Dodd's investigative committee a few years agoan investigation which cost the then ABC president, Oliver Treyz, his job.
At least Anne will have the distinction (besides owning an ocelot) of being TV's only private eye, female division. CBS had one on its schedule, but it was taken out after president Jim Aubrey's departure last February, Polly Bergen was to play Selena Mead, the secret agent created by Patricia McGerr in short stories and a recently published whodunnit novel. Jack (Dragnet) Webb was to have produced the TV series.
Oh, yes, and I meant to tell those of you looking for Honey West on Sept. 17 that you will first have to turn off Gomer Pyle. They're on at the same time.
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