One amazing series!
Honey West was one of the first female detectives in fiction. Created by Gloria and Forest Fickling, she was the lead character of 10 novels written between 1957 and 1971.
And in a television series that aired on ABC in the 1965-66 season, airing at 9 p.m. Producer Aaron Spelling originally approached Honor Blackman (The Avengers) for the lead, since he had visited England, but she refused the role.
Anne Francis was already a seasoned performer when she began work on the show. Her debut as the character actually took place in the 21 April 1965 episode of Burke's Law. There, she drove a Jaguar XKE, but in the series, she drove an AC Cobra roadster. She also had an assistant, Sam, played by John Ericson, and a pet ocelot, Bruce(!).
Despite good ratings, the show (along with other Friday night shows such as Tammy, The Addams Family and The Flintstones) was cancelled. ABC began airing The Avengers, and the sentiment was that the network did not want more than one action heroine. Still, Honey West was a prototype for other shows, such as The Girl From U.N.C.L.E., The Bionic Woman and Alias.
And she also was an early prototype for the Feline Fatale as well!
Ms. Francis, who was born in Ossining, NY on 16 September 1930, passed away on 2 January 2011 in Santa Barbara, California.
This page updated 2 January 2011.