Real life intrudes on a legacy of the ’60s spy craze

Bill Cosby with Victor Buono in an I Spy episode

Bill Cosby with Victor Buono in an I Spy episode

As 2014 draws to a close, one of the proudest accomplishments of 1960s spy entertainment may be forgotten because of a scandal.

The scandal? The numerous allegations of rape against Bill Cosby, now 77. The accomplishment? How I Spy, the 1965-68 television series, had a major social impact in the United States.

To recap: In the fall of 1965, an African American (Cosby) starring along side a white actor (Robert Culp) on television was a huge deal. I Spy was the least glamorous, most somber, of the American spy series. The show reflected a major social movement. It was more than another television series. After I Spy was canceled by NBC, Cosby’s career advanced to many levels of success.

But, by the end of this year, Cosby was depicted as a fallen icon. The New York Times, IN A DEC. 28 STORY by Lorne Manly and Graham Bowley examined how Cosby’s legal team dealt with the allegations.

As accusations of sexual assault continue to mount against Mr. Cosby — more than two dozen women have gone public, the latest last Monday — the question arises as to why these stories never sparked a widespread outcry before. While many of the women say they never filed police complaints or went public because they feared damaging their reputations or careers, the aggressive legal and media strategy mounted by Mr. Cosby and his team may also have played a significant role.

The final outcome of the allegations remains to be seen. Still, what had been one of the high points of the 1960s spy craze may never be looked at the same way. Real life has a way of intruding — and is always more serious than fiction.

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2 Responses

  1. Why did you include this story about Cosby?

  2. I never really wanted to comment on this topic.
    but I am tempted so here goe’s.

    bill cosby is an American national treasure and icon. he has worked
    very hard and long in show business to reach this level of success.
    I remember growing-up in the 60s era hearing my father say for
    an African American to be starring alongside a whiteman in a top
    action show. he must be somebody very special.

    at that time I was too young to stay-up late to watch this fantastic
    spy show titled ” I spy’ Robert culp and bill cosby were great together
    their relationship on screen was magical.

    bill cosby’s career grow from strength to strength over the year’s
    becoming one of the most loved celebrity around the world.

    today his name is involved in all kind of aligation’s .

    I hope the legendary bill cosby will over come this whole nonsense
    and re-gain his respected name that we his fan’s and the world
    had growed to love.

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