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How Honey Ryder And The Prisoner Wound Up In Wyatt Earp’s Mustache

March 25, 2012

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.

One look at Earp’s prodigious mustache, and I knew I had the makings of an amusing triple caricature. Here’s the final:
Caricatures of actress Bond Girl Ursula Andress, western lawman Marshall Wyatt Earp, and actor Patrick McGoohan who played Secret Agent John Drake and The Prisoner

A larger detail image of the Ursula caricature:

Closeup caricature of actress Ursula Andress who played the first James Bond Girl Honey Ryder in the movie Dr. No

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!!
Closeup of March 19th birthday clock on Wyatt Earp's hat and caricature of actor Patrick McGoohan famous for Secret Agent, Danger Man, and The Prisoner

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.

The photos below (L-R) show Wyatt at approximate ages 19, 50, and 75. The last photo shocked me a little. I didn’t realize he lived well into the automobile era, dying at age 80 in of western lawman legend Wyatt Earp famous for being marshall of Tombstone, Arizona and shooting the Clantons at the OK Corral

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. photos of actress Ursula Andress famous for being the first Bond Girl Honey Ryder in the James Bond movie Dr. No with Sean Connery

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… : )

photos of actor Patrick McGoohan in his roles as Secret Agent and Danger Man John Drake and as Number 6 in The Prisoner

I’ll close with a video clip, and some theme music.

This first clip shows Ursula Andress in her famous bikini scene from Dr. No.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

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Americans are familiar with the Secret Agent Man theme, sung by Johnny Rivers (#3, 1966). Danger Man’s original theme was an instrumental called High Wire. In researching this post, I discovered this wonderful version by the James Wright Orchestra. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.blank vertical space, 32 pixels high

blank vertical space, 32 pixels highWhat do you think? Ever seen a mustache sprout people before? Is it dignified for a famous lawman to walk around with a clock in his hat? Hope you’ll leave a comment.

If you enjoyed this post, I invite you to subscribe. You can either leave a comment and click the box that says Notify me of new posts via email, or click on the Subscribe button below the Portfolio Thumbnails in the sidebar at the top right of this page.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

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Photoshop Tutorial: How To Create A Face From Two Separate Photographs

footer for all future blog posts showing picture of blog author Mark Armstrong, along with short bio and contact information

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. March 26, 2012 5:26 PM

    I have never seen before a mustache sprout people definitely. Perhaps Earp should had won a medal for the World Record, LOL.

    The mustache really brings the character to your work, really funny! Well done! 🙂


    • March 28, 2012 11:19 AM

      Ha! Thanks, Inge. Yes, it seems clear that Wyatt’s greatest achievement was his 20-foot wingspan people-sprouting mustache– a lot more impressive than some 30-second shootout at an old cow pen! I’m sorry now I didn’t think to put a blue ribbon on his mustache. Oh, well… : )

      Many thanks for your cheerful support!


  2. March 26, 2012 10:13 PM

    Well if you had to have two people stuck in your mustache, you could do worse than Ursula and Patrick. My mind is blown. (Hope you’re happy!) Wyatt Earp owned car? Say what? And he aged so nicely didn’t he? He looked young at 75. I guess living an iffy murderer lifestyle isn’t as bad for the complection as one might imagine!

    Patrick McGoohan is one of my favorite actors. He was in several Columbos and they are among the best. They wanted him to take over the role as Columbo for Peter Falk in the 90’s but he refused saying there was only one Columbo!

    I bought the Prisoner series because I loved him on Columbo (can you tell I’m a Columbo nerd?) and I could not figure out what the heck was going on! I wanted to like it and I kind of did, but not as much as . . . .wait for it . . . Columbo!

    Enjoyable post Mark!!


    • March 28, 2012 11:31 AM

      Since you’re such a big Columbo fan, I’m wearing a rumpled old trenchcoat as I type this. I have to draw the line at the cigar, tho. But my socks are pretty smelly– they’ll have to do… : P

      Yes, ol’ Wyatt was pretty well preserved. One other interesting thing I learned about him: he never suffered a bullet wound during any of his shootouts and adventures. Other people got hit (including his three comrades at the OK Corral), but not him. Definitely the sort of thing that adds to a gunfighter’s mystique.

      We can all learn a lesson from The Prisoner: make your creations as opaque and enigmatic as possible. No one will dare admit they don’t get it, they’ll see what they want to see, nod sagely, and declare you a genius. I know that’s the secret of my success, certainly… : )

      Many thanks for your good-humored support, Linda!


      • March 28, 2012 11:54 AM

        You know, I could tell you were wearing that rumpled trenchcoat just from reading your comment, I just have a nose for these things.

        Wyatt was not only lucky but brave. He didn’t know he wasn’t going to get shot! It would be pretty scarey to be involved in a gunfight that’s for sure.

        Ha! Good point about the Prisoner. I’m pretty horrible at being able to follow plots anyway (I had to watch Talented Mr. Ripley 3 times before I understood what was going on!) So if the story is trying to be transparent and vague, I’m pretty much lost from the get go! I did enjoy Patrick McGoohan nevertheless!


  3. March 29, 2012 5:23 PM

    McGoohan did in fact make a cowboy episode in The Prisoner, and in more than one interview (in real life) said that his character,John Drake, operated with the ethos of the western hero: strong, taciturn, moral and disinclined to take advantage of the women, although his gun-fighting was more akin to the style of Destry than most.

    I’m sure Wyatt would have been proud to have him atop his whiskers and Ursula certainly would have been quite safe, albeit she might have preferred otherwise. Nobody will ever know.


    • March 30, 2012 5:43 PM

      Really enjoyed your very interesting and good-humored comment– thank you.

      I’ve read myself that McGoohan turned down the role of 007 on moral grounds, and that, when Danger Man was revived in the mid-60s, he insisted on a minimum of gunplay and “no kissing.” A man of strong principal, who wasn’t afraid to go his own way. We could use more like him, IMHO.

      I see from your blog that you are a true Prisoner aficionado, and I’m delighted that you stopped by. Thanks again, wishing you all the best! : )


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