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B Entries
  Barbara Bain
  Gene Barry
  Wesley E. Barry
  Martin Berkeley
  Paul Birch
  Whit Bissell
  Bill Bixby
  Jerome Bixby
  Chesley Bonestell
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  Ray Bradbury
  Adrien Brody
  Mel Brooks
  Raymond Burr
  Tim Burton
  David Butler
(Mildred Fogel 1931– ). American actress.

IMDB credits On the necessarily short list of women who have had an impact on science fiction film, Barbara Bain merits a high position. In the 1950s, she dropped her unappealing birth name, Mildred Fogel, did some work as a dancer, and participated in Lee Strasberg's Actors Studio, where she met her future husband Martin LANDAU. During the next decade, she gave birth to two daughters and made guest appearances in several television series, interestingly anticipating her most famous role by playing comedic spies in "I Was a Spy for the F.O.B. (1963), an episode of The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, and and "KAOS in CONTROL" (1965), an episode of Get Smart.

Then, offered the opportunity to portray a serious professional in the field, Bain was instantly a dominating presence in the high-tech spy series Mission: Impossible (1966-1969) as agent Cinnamon Carter, the epitome of cool sophistication and understated competence, leading her awestruck colleagues to award her three consecutive Emmy Awards for her performances; and, whatever one might think about the geopolitical implications of celebrating a top-secret team dedicated to imposing America's will throughout the globe, anyone would admit that the beautiful Cinnamon Carter was surely the secret agent that America's enemies would most like to be bamboozled by. In one first-season episode, during one of original star Steven Hill's many absences due to his orthodox Jewish beliefs (which would soon lead to his removal from the series), Carter even took control of the IM force and effortlessly orchestrated another impossibly convoluted and smoothly executed scheme; indeed, one regrets that the sexism of the era did not allow producers to solve the problem of Hill's departure by making Bain the new permanent leader of the team. Still, Peter GRAVES proved a palatable replacement for Hill, and with Bain also now regularly accompanied by husband Landau, the series had two outstanding seasons and became a big hit.

At this point, unfortunately, the accountants at Desilu decided that they could save a lot of money by not paying Landau as much as they had promised, a move that predictably prompted his departure and, more grievously, forced Bain to quit the series as a matter of wifely loyalty. As it happens, Landau did turn out to be eminently replaceable—with Leonard NIMOY, suddenly available after the cancellation of Star Trek—but all of the women subsequently brought in to take Bain's place proved that she was irreplaceable, since none of them ever came close to matching her appeal and quiet aura of authority.

The next misfortune that afflicted Bain's life was a phone call from Gerry ANDERSON and Sylvia ANDERSON, who had decided that she and Landau would be the perfect American stars for their new series Space: 1999 (1975-1977). As was so often the case, they were wrong; for while Landau at least tried to convey some energy and conviction in response to some of the most ridiculous stories ever presented in a science fiction series, Bain, who had seemed so commanding in boardrooms and cocktail parties, looked uncertain and confused in outer space, as she listlessly went through the motions of portraying Dr. Helena Russell. Trapped in an unflattering silver jumpsuit, she didn't even look very attractive (which should serve, by the way, to refute the absurd theory that the Andersons' series should be considered watchable because of Sylvia's excellent sense of fashion). The second-season introduction of Catherine Schell as a beautiful alien was manifestly an effort to compensate for Bain's inadequacies by bringing in another strong female presence, but Schell turned out to be another one of the Andersons' poor choices, and the series was soon put out of its misery.

The Landaus then returned to America, confident that no experience could ever be as humiliating as being in Space: 1999—a confidence shattered when they found themselves in something called The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island (1981), the sort of movie identified by its title as irredeemably awful. In the 1980s, like many actresses in their fifties, Bain began finding worthwhile parts hard to come by even as husband Landau made a remarkable comeback—unhappily disparate career paths that undoubtedly led to the couple's divorce in 1993. Still, she has soldiered on with old-lady parts in under-the-radar films and television episodes, though perhaps spooked by her experience with Space: 1999, she has scrupulously avoided appearing in science fiction films. She has also had the satisfaction of outliving her better-known husband and engaging in her widely appreciated charitable work.

Although she did reprise the role of Cinnamon Carter in a nostalgic episode of Diagnosis Murder, "Discards" (1997), what little attention she now receives is usually linked to her miserable work on Space: 1999, a series that is now unaccountably being described as a "cult classic." But the lucky people who were able to watch the first three seasons of Mission: Impossible know what a real cult classic is.

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