Although some folks may point to the Beatles as the hottest pop culture phenomenon of the 1960s, I would direct your attention instead to a gentleman with a license to kill: James Bond, 007.
Think about it. During the 1960s, President John F. Kennedy was (famously) reading From Russia with Love by Ian Fleming, Sean Connery became a mega-star after the third 007 film, Goldfinger (1974), and many new TV series and films qualified as (politely-speaking) Bond knock-offs.
Before long, fans of secret agents could enjoy movie like those in the Dean Martin-fronted Matt Helm franchise (1966-1969) or James Coburn’s Our Man Flint (1966) and In Like Flint (1967).
And on TV, the post-Bond spy boom gave the world The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (1964-1968), Get Smart (1965-1970) and Mission: Impossible (1966-1973) to name just a few spy-oriented productions.
But there is one other secret agent of the 1960s worthy of mentioning today. He is much younger than Flint, Helm, or even Bond.
He is agent Zero M…and he was memorably brought to life by none other than Kurt Russell on no less than three occasions.
Yep, Kurt Russell — not yet a teenager — starred in a series of TV commercials advertising a whole (brilliant) line of Mattel secret agent toys in the sixties.
Whether Zero-M was carrying a radio rifle (which I proudly count in my home office toy collection) a movie camera gun, or a sonic blaster, he was always ready for action.
So, here’s a look back at one of the greatest spies of his generation.
Kurt Russell is Agent Zero-M.
Here’s the secret agent, playing it cool, using the radio rifle.
Here’s Agent Zero-M on a mission in the park. Trapped? Unarmed? Fat chance!
Now, Agent-Zero M goes on a critical mission with a sonic blaster. He must not fail!