Jump to content
The Official Site of the Vancouver Canucks
Canucks Community

Robert Vaughn - Star of The Man From Uncle and Magnicent Seven Dead at Age 83


Recommended Posts

From Toronto Star:


NEW YORK—Robert Vaughn, the debonair, Oscar-nominated actor whose many film roles were eclipsed by his hugely popular turn in television’s The Man From U.N.C.L.E., has died. He was 83.

Vaughn died Friday morning after a brief battle with acute leukemia, according to his manager, Matthew Sullivan.

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. was an immediate hit, particularly with young people, when it debuted on NBC 1964. It was part of an avalanche of secret agent shows (I Spy, Mission: Impossible, Secret Agent), spoofs (Get Smart), books (The Spy Who Came in From the Cold) and even songs (“Secret Agent Man”) inspired by the James Bond films.

Vaughn’s urbane superspy Napoleon Solo teamed with Scottish actor David McCallum’s Illya Kuryakin, a soft-spoken, Russian-born agent.

The pair, who had put aside Cold War differences for a greater good, worked together each week for the mysterious U.N.C.L.E. (United Network Command for Law and Enforcement) in combating the international crime syndicate THRUSH.

Article Continued Below

“Girls age 9 to 12 liked David McCallum because he was so sweet,” Vaughn remarked in a 2005 interview in England. “But the old ladies and the 13- to 16-year-olds liked me because I was so detached.”

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. was also a big hit abroad, particularly in McCallum’s native Great Britain.

The show aired until early 1968, when sagging ratings brought it to an end. In his The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Book, Jon Heitland blamed its demise on a shift from straight adventure to more comic plots in the show’s third season that turned off many viewers, as well as time slot changes.


"The Man From U.N.C.L.E" was a hit with young people when it debuted on NBC in 1964.



In recent years, Vaughn had starred for eight seasons on the British crime-caper series Hustle, playing Albert Stroller, the lone Yank in a band of London-based con artists. Hustle also aired in the U.S.

“I imagined that Napoleon Solo had retired from U.N.C.L.E., whatever U.N.C.L.E. was,” Vaughn recalled in 2006. “What could he do now to use his talents and to supplement his government pension? I imagined Stroller as Napoleon Solo, The Later Years.”

Before U.N.C.L.E. Vaughn made his mark in movies, earning an Oscar nomination in 1959 for his supporting role in The Young Philadelphians, in which he played a wounded war veteran accused of murder.

The following year, he turned in a memorable performance as a gunfighter who had lost his nerve in The Magnificent Seven.

Making that movie, Vaughn recalled in 2005, had presented the cast with a vexing problem: no script.

“We had to improvise everything,” he said. “I had to go to the costume department myself and choose the black vest and the black hat.”

A liberal Democrat, Vaughn became passionately opposed to the Vietnam War while he was making U.N.C.L.E. and delivered anti-war speeches at colleges and other venues around the country. He also debated the war with conservative William F. Buckley on the latter’s TV talk show, Firing Line.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...