The Top Ten Secret Agents [LIST, VIDEOS]
This past weekend marked the 50th anniversary of James Bond and in the latest movie “Skyfall” he starts showing his age. Bond also showed his age in “Never Say Never Again” which was Sean Connery’s remake of “Thunderball“.
Although there had been secret agents before Bond, it was 007 which set the trend and opened the door for the many to come. Some are cool,and handsome, some hot as the villains they were trying to save us from (Anne Francis as Honey West, Jennifer Garner as Sydney Bristow in Alias, Piper Perabo in Covert Affairs) and some just plain hysterical. Here’s my “Trev’s Top Ten” of all time list of Secret Agents in no particular order. Feel free to anyone I may have missed.
No matter who plays him 007 rules! Where Sean Connery drove Bond, Roger Moore’s relied more on the emsemble cast. George Lazenby lasted only one movie, Timothy Dalton played him more by the book. Pierce Brosnan’s Bond brought the sexy back to 007 but Daniel Craig in my opinion is the best Bond since Connery.
I think the perfect Bond movie would be to have Connery sans toupee play nemesis Blofeld. Now that would be a movie shaken and not stirred. which reminds me, martini anyone?
Jason Bourne- Bourne Trilogy
This amnesiac assassin played by Matt Damon drove The Bourne identity in 2002, The Bourne Supremacy in 2004,The Bourne Ultimatum in 2007 and the upcoming Bourne Legacy. Entertainment Weekly placed Damon as an action star on its end of the decade list saying,”When he first signed on as the ass kicking assassin, no one would have predicted that Damon would be the decades best mixer of brawn and brains.
Michael Westin- Burn Notice
Jeffrey Donovan stars as this secret agent who was given a “Burn Notice” and forced to live in exile while he tries to find out who burned him. In the mean time he helps people in over their heads and solicits the help of an old girlfriend, Gabrielle Anwar whom you may remember dancing the tango with Al Pacino in “Scent of A Woman” ,an old Navy buddy Bruce Campbell, and his mother played by Sharon Gless.
“Good morning Mr Phelps your mission should you decide to accept it” started every episode of this series which ran from 1966-73. It starred Peter Graves who worked for the Impossible Mission Force, a small group of secret agents used for cover missions against dictators, evil organizations and crime lords.Graves took the role from Steven Hill who eventually goes on to play District Attorney Adam Schiff in Law and Order. This tape will self destruct in 30 seconds. One of the coolest things about this show was its theme.
Ethan Hunt- Mission Impossible
Played by Tom, Cruise in the movie versions of Mission Impossible. Hunt started out as a point man for an experienced field team led by Jim Phelps now played by Jon Voight. Hunt puts together his own team and exposes Phelps for a traitor and goes on to make 2 more movies. Who can forget Cruise suspended a few feet off the floor hanging from the ceiling.
Robert McCall- The Equalizer
The Equalizer played by the late Edward Woodward was a secret agent who tried to atone for the bad things he was forced to do on the job by helping those in need, He found them play placing an ad in the New York newspaper where he lived that read “Got a problem, call the Equalizer” He often used his former agency which was run by Robert Lansing and had a son whom he was now coming to terms with. The Equalizer ran on CBS from 1985-89
Vinny Terrenova- Wiseguy
Ken Wahl’s undercover cop in Wiseguy showed what it was like for an agent who gets so close to the people he’s trying to take down that the line becomes blurred as to who he really is. This show ran on CBS from 1987-90 and spread the story over multiple episides known as “arcs” Among the villans launced on this show were the late Ray Sharkey as Sonny Steelgrave. The last episode is one of the best ever on television. Kevin Spacey, Jerry Lewis, Stanley Tucci, and Tim Curry
The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
The Man From U.N.C.L.E. which stood for “United Network Command of Law Enforcement” With Bond doing so well in the movies, NBC wanted their own TV Bond and so came this series which lasted 3 years with Robert Vaughn playing Napoleon Solo who along with David McCullum’s Illya Kurikakin and Leo G Carrol’s “Mr Waverly” fought the evil “Thrush”
Maxwell Smart- Get Smart
Would you believe Don Adams as Secret agent 86 of CONTROL who with Barbara Feldon as 99 and Edward Platt as the Chief fought KAOS led by among others Bernie Koppell’s Ziegfried “This is Kaos, we don’t cha chacha here!” The hysterical show which later became a movie starring Steve Carrel and Anne Hathaway was brilliant written by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry.
Think “The Shadow meets the Equalizer:” Nick Mancuso stars in the 86-87’s NBC series about a former spy who places an add selling a 1965 Stingray which he drives. Those that answer must in turn provide a favor which is not only his payment but something he will use to help a future “client”
What are some of your favorite spies? Keep the list going by commenting below.