There is a reason why I am even wondering if readers know who Melody is.
Only a few years ago, I heard her being interviewed on the radio. Of course, there were lots of delightful stories about her time on the show "F Troop", a 1960s comedy about the military in the old West.
Then she started talking about her trips that she made to war zones like Vietnam, and then also like Afghanistan and Iraq. Very interesting indeed. It seems that these days young soldiers, something like early twentysomethings, do know who she is, and what F Troop was, and all that, and these soldiers were terribly excited to meet her, and to have their picture taken with her. She was a terrific supporter of the U.S. troops.
What are young men and women doing watching a show that is fifty years old? Same thing I did -- taking in the culture of my country of a half century before my time. Becoming educated on the history of the society in which I found myself.
And there she was, investing in her 21st Century fans and the U.S.
Salutes are appropriate.
And I think sixty-six is too young, but I guess the decision wasn't up to me.
Oh yeah. Regarding the audition for the TV show, she was underage when she did that, but her mother wanted her to try. Surprise!, she was hired, and her mother said not to tell them until the job was nailed down. The producers adjusted to the news: originally, the Captain was supposed to be interested in the young woman to provide a love interest. But if she was underage ... too much like a "dirty old man". So they rearranged things so that she would pursue him, and he would be hard to get out of shyness, in a comic way. At least for the first season, until she turned of age.
I remember that, her being terribly forward. It made the Captain kind of a nerd-ish geek that he kept his hands off her. And it was strange when, about the last season, he began responding to her advances.
These are instances of something I find interesting -- fiction being shaped by the reality behind the scenes. The actress was underaged, so the character was changed, and something new was brought to television, and at an appropriate time in the Women's Movement when strong female characters were welcome.
(I see also on The Wordsmith's page that Yvonne Craig has passed on as well. The world is a little less happy with her gone, too.)