How Honey Ryder And The Prisoner Wound Up In Wyatt Earp’s Mustache
I’m currently doing a Birthday Clock series. Loosely defined, they’re tribute illustrations for people born on a particular day. I use the clock to note achievements and associations. It’s a self-assigned project to help me loosen up, experiment, and become a better digital artist.
I don’t have a set schedule. Sometimes I’m a fan of the person involved. Sometimes I’m amused to discover that certain people share a birthday. Consider the following three people all born on March 19th: actress and 1960s sex symbol Ursula Andress, American Western lawman Wyatt Earp, and television and movie actor Patrick McGoohan.
A larger detail image of the Ursula caricature:
Below, a detail image of the clock, and the McGoohan caricature.
The six with a slash through it is a reference to McGoohan’s character in his celebrated television series, The Prisoner. He was designated as Number Six by his mysterious captors, but steadfastly refused to acknowledge same or even say the number: I am not
a number, I am a free man!!
Wyatt Earp (1848-1929) is one of the most famous names associated with America’s Old West. He was a lawman in both Dodge City, Kansas, and Tombstone, Arizona. He is best remembered today for the Gunfight At The OK Corral, a 30-second shootout in which he, his brothers Virgil and Morgan Earp, and their friend Doc Holliday shot and killed three members of a gang that had had skirmishes with the law, and with the Earps in particular.
Movie accounts of the gunfight usually portray the Earps as the “good guys,” but what really happened is a good deal murkier. Ike Clanton, a survivor of the gun battle, brought murder charges against the Earps and Holliday. A judge later ruled there was insufficient evidence to indict the men.
Ursula Andress (b. 1936) seems destined to be remembered for only one role– the one that made her a star. She was the first “Bond Girl”– as in James Bond. She played Honey Ryder, co-starring with Sean Connery in the very first Bond movie, Dr. No (1962).
She is Swiss by birth, and her accent was so pronounced, her voice was actually dubbed for the movie. The white bikini she wore in her most famous scene later sold at auction for £35,000. Below are two photos of her at the height of her fame.
I’ve always liked actor Patrick McGoohan (1928-2009). In researching this post, I was surprised to learn he was American-born (raised in Ireland and England). He has the interesting distinction of having turned down the chance to be both James Bond and Simon Templar (The Saint).
He first came to prominence playing spy John Drake in the 1960 British television series, Danger Man. The show was retitled Secret Agent when it was broadcast in the United States. He followed this with The Prisoner, an extended television mini-series about an secret agent who resigns, only to find himself held prisoner in The Village, where his captors give him a number and demand “information.” Only 17 one-hour episodes were filmed, but the series remains a cult classic.
The two leftmost photos below show McGoohan as secret agent John Drake in Danger Man; the third, as Number Six in The Prisoner. Nobody glowered quite as effectively as McGoohan– except perhaps Ursula Andress… : )
I’ll close with two video clips, and a music recommendation.
The clip below shows the opening sequence for the first episode of The Prisoner.
Music tip: Most Americans are familiar with the Secret Agent Man theme, sung by Johnny Rivers (#3, 1966). The show’s original British theme was an instrumental called High Wire. In researching this post, I discovered this wonderful version of High Wire played on solo flamenco guitar. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
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