Happy birthday (No. 96!) Norman Felton, the real Man From U.N.C.L.E.

We just wanted to wish Mr. Norman Felton a happy 96th birthday. It was Felton, looking for a change of pace from producing TV dramas, who spearheaded the project that would become The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

Felton had a notion about a character he dubbed Edgar Solo, who seemed ordinary but worked for a special agency. Felton hoped to entice Ian Fleming into the project. But the author didn’t want to offend Eon Productions, which was beginning to crank out James Bond movies. Nevertheless, Fleming contributed a few ideas, including renaming the hero Napoleon Solo.

While it would be writer/producer Sam Rolfe who’d bring everything to life, it was Felton who oversaw The Man From U.N.C.L.E. for all four of its seasons, 105 episodes and eight theatrical movies developed from episodes.

Back in 2002, HMSS wrote about how Felton’s papers (along with those of 007 screenwriter Richard Maibaum) are stored at the University of Iowa.

And, below, are the end titles of The Giuoco Piano Affair, a first-season episode. In the final shot, that’s Mr. Felton looking over a chessboard at a party scene. Once again, happy birthday, Mr. F.

4 Responses

  1. I did a lengthy (four hour!) video interview with Norman Felton for the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ Archive of American Television. I believe the video is available on their site…or even on their corner of YouTube.

  2. It’s not on YouTube yet.

  3. Outstanding Article , I thought it was grand

    I look ahead to more similar postings like this one. Does your website have a RSS I can subscribe to for fresh posts?

  4. […] who celebrated his 96th birthday earlier this year, has had a fascinating life. Like 007 screenwriter Richard Maibaum, his papers are stored at the […]

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