Saturday, November 12, 2016

Tribute: Robert Vaughn (1932-2016)

The year 2016 has been a terrible one, for a lot of reasons. And to cap off a week that already caused many Americans unexpected anxiety and grief, 2016 decided to take one more icon away from us: Robert Vaughn.

Mr. Vaughn died at the age of 83 yesterday. He will always be remembered and loved for his portrayal of secret agent Napoleon Solo in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (1964-1968), a pop culture touchstone of the mid-1960s.

Vaughn's debonair and smooth performances on that series, however, only tell a partial story of the man's Hollywood history.  Vaughn's career on television stretches all the way back to 1955.  He was a regular on many programs, including The Lieutenant (1963-1964), The Protectors (1972-1974), and even the last season of The A-Team (1986-1987).

Mr. Vaughn was also a frequent guest star on cult-tv programs. He appeared in an episode of Boris Karloff's Thriller (1961) called "The Ordeal of Dr. Cordell," an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents in1959 -- called "Dry Run" -- and even an episode of Men into Space (1960) called "Moon Cloud."

His film career was illustrious too. Vaughn was unforgettable in The Magnificent Seven (1964), and in The Mind of Mr. Soames (1970).  He also appeared in such genre films as Starship Invasions (1977), Battle Beyond the Stars (1980), Hangar 18 (1980), and Superman III (1983).

Robert Vaughn was TV's handsome, witty version of James Bond to a whole generation of fans, and yet a lot more than that too. His fine work in film and television shall be remembered, and he shall be missed.  


  1. Nice tribute to Robert Vaughn, R.I.P. another sad loss.

    Two weeks ago, Star Trek "The Galileo Seven" and Land Of The Giant's (Dan Erickson) Don Marshall passed away on Sunday October 30th, 2016.

    I miss these iconic 20th century actors that I grew up watching.


  2. Sheri2:59 AM

    Not only did I love Robert Vaughn in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. as a kid, but also in two other roles in major 1970's movies: "Bullitt" and "The Towering Inferno." He was also unforgettable in two episodes of Columbo--in "Troubled Waters" as the killer, and as a red herring in "Last Days of the Commodore", one of the all-time worst Columbo episodes! Terrible, terrible episode with stupid clues, actors improvising or vamping through redundant dialog, and really odd direction by Patrick McGoohan--Vaughn and Peter Falk keep ending up squished together in close quarters in what seems intended to be some kind of running gag, but comes across as just bizarre instead. Really odd.

    I really liked Vaughn, though, in the more recent British series "Hustle", which aired here in the U.S. on AMC. He once again got to play tongue-in-cheek more often, a la U.N.C.L.E.

  3. Anonymous10:02 PM

    In addition to all his other credits he was truly perfect as the voice of Proteus IV in "Demon Seed".