Man From U.N.C.L.E Star – Robert Vaughn – Dead at 83

Posted by at 11:30 am on November 11, 2016


Robert Vaughn, who played  Napoleon Solo on NBC’s spy yarn The Man From U.N.C.L.E. set TV’s 1960s standard for  crimebusting cool, has died today.  The actor was battling acute leukemia. He was 83. His manager Matthew Sullivan confirmed the news to Deadline.

“Mr. Vaughn passed away with his family around him,” Sullivan said. The actor is survived by wife Linda, son Cassidy and daughter Caitlin.

Vaughn’s lengthy list of credits includes being a shouting audience member on Late Night With Conan O’Brien to what he will be most remembered for Napoleon Solo. The show aired from 1964-68, and paired Vaughn’s elegant, dark-haired Solo with David McCallum’s (NCIS) blond Russian Illya Kuryakin, to t battle against global evildoers. The show contributed mightily to the Secret Agent Man craze of the mid-late ’60s.

Vaughn also had early roles in The Young Philadelphians (1959), for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture, and played a gunman in The Magnificent Seven (1960).

More recently, Vaughn played con man Albert Stroller on British series Hustle (2004-12). During the first two months of ’12, he took on the role of Milton Fanshaw in Britain’s soap opera staple Coronation Street, wooing Stephanie Cole’s Sylvia Goodwin.

Vaughn, while loved for his roles on the tube, also had memorable parts in popular big screen pictures like The Towering Inferno (1974), S.O.B.(1981), Superman III (1983) and, as the uncredited voice of Proteus IV, Demon Seed(1977).

Perfectly willing to have some fun with his  image, Vaughn made knowing appearances in cult fare like BASEketball (1998) and Pootie Tang (2001), not to mention his angry, ranting tirades on O’Brien’s late-night show.

Born in New York City, Vaughn moved to Los Angeles, where he earned a master’s degree in theater at Los Angeles State College of Applied Arts and Sciences, then in 1970 a Ph.D. in communications from the University of Southern California. His dissertation, “Only Victims: A Study of Show Business Blacklisting,” was published in 1972. His memoir, “A Fortunate Life,” was published in 2009.


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