The show was revolutionary in its female lead of Laura Holt, a private investigator played by Stephanie Zimbalist. When Laura opens her own detective agency, she finds clients unwilling to hire a woman, so she solves the problem by whipping up a male superior named Remington Steele.
In a whirlwind of events in the series' pilot, Pierce Brosnan assumes Steele's identity and from then on, he and Laura handle cases together. From 1982 to 1987, these bickering detectives were prominent in NBC's line-up with Zimbalist as an inspiration symbol to women everywhere and Brosnan as a charming star rising in the ranks. Here are 10 hidden details you may have missed.
10 Multitasking For Steele
It's not uncommon for actors to get involved in the other aspects of their show. Writing, directing, producing--you name it, they've done it. In the case of "Steele in the Chips", an episode from Season 3, Zimbalist co-wrote the episode.
Said episode finds Laura and Remington looking for an inventor who has disappeared along with his only batch of prototype no-cal cookies. Plus, you'll see a young Geena Davis guest-starring as a tennis pro. Well written, Stephanie.
9 Steele Not Quite Cancelled
Following the end of the fourth season, NBC canceled Remington Steele. People were moving on, and there was no chance of any kind of revival. Until the successful ratings of summer reruns, and then everything changed. At the last second, NBC renewed the show for a limited run for a mid-season replacement.
This produced six episodes, which comprised three movie-length plots. Fans to this day say that that last season was the worst. Should've just stuck with the cancellation, NBC.
8 Steele Movie References
This series was among one of the first to include movie references in its content. Sometimes Remington would approach a case and try to solve it like a plot of one of the movies (sometimes meeting some success by doing so), which was both entertaining and hilarious. Some movies referenced throughout the series were classics like North by Northwest, Rear Window, Gone with the Wind, Arsenic and Old Lace, Citizen Kane and Laura.
Even contemporary movies (at the time) like Smokey and the Bandit, The Shining and Beverly Hills Cop were mentioned. Whatever episode you're watching, chances are you'll catch a movie reference or two.
7 The Famous Steele Composer
While the theme song for Remington Steele may not be among the most famous or memorable, its composer definitely is. Henry Mancini, best known for composing the themes for The Pink Panther, Charade, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and several others is the composer behind the music for this 1980s procedural dramedy.
For music lovers, they can surely identify similar sounds in the theme song that Mancini had in his other compositions; after all, every musician leaves their own personal signature.
6 Name Steele Basics
Remington Steele can be a mouthful. Lots of syllables, but it sounds regal. Professional. We can understand why Laura came up with such a name and stuck with it; it's a good, solid name to back her company. Just how did she come up with it? In one episode, Laura told Remington that she named him "after a typewriter and a football team."
Turns out these two completely different things, when chosen wisely, makeup one heck of a name. Next time you're naming characters or your kids, take this method out of Laura's book.
5 Steele Titles
As you've probably noticed, we've been incorporating "Steele" into the headlines of each entry on this list. We're not going overboard; it's for a reason. Each episode's title on the show included the word "Steele" in it.
Some titles were quite clever, too. Take for instance "Steele Among the Living" and "Scene Steelers." The titles were designed around the episode's content and the show's title. Steele interested?
4 Steele The Part
Brosnan was perfect to play Remington Steele. Suave, savvy, charming, smart. Even had an accent to top it off. Yet, Brosnan was surprisingly not the first choice to play the part.
British actor Anthony Andrews, best known for his roles in Ivanhoe, The King's Speech, and Brideshead Revisited, was the first choice to play the part. When he turned it down, Brosnan came in and steeled the part away...so to speak.
3 Father And Daughter Steele
Stephanie Zimbalist's father, Efrem, is also an actor. Known for his role on 77 Sunset Strip (in which Efrem also played a private investigator like his daughter), Efrem guest-starred on Remington Steele as Daniel Chalmers...who is later revealed to be Steele's father.
Hollywood can be a small world considering all the families of actors, so finding a father and daughter duo on the same show isn't unheard of. Still, it's kind of cool to know this behind-the-scenes fact, and different than Stephanie's real-life father turned out to play the father of her co-star's character.
2 Steele Back To 1969
The concept for this series can be drawn back all the way to 1969. Robert Butler, known for directing episodes of Batman and Star Trek, had the idea for a show centered around a female detective. He pitched the idea but it was placed aside, as it was considered to be too far ahead of its time.
Yet, after successful shows helmed by women in the 1970s such as The Mary Tyler Moore Show and its spinoff, Rhoda, the idea was again revisited. Presto, Remington Steele was born and in some ways, it was still ahead of its time, but that wasn't a bad thing.
1 Steele Doesn't Know His Name
The thing about Remington Steele is the fact that everything--the name and the man behind it - don't exist. It's all a part of Laura's imagination. While the mysterious man that assumed Steele's identity was perfect for the part, we still don't know for sure who he truly is--not even the man himself.
His background from his childhood to his name is all a big mystery, and just when Brosnan's character came close to learning his real name from his recently-discovered father, said father died before he could find out. Sometimes you just catch a bad one.