We’re very sad to hear that Robert Vaughn died today after a brief battle with acute leukaemia. He was 83.
His best-known role, and the one that made him an international name, was as Napoleon Solo in The Man From U.N.C.L.E. The somewhat implausible, but extremely popular NBC series originally ran between 1964 and 1968.
He starred in more than 150 films, many of which have been completely forgotten both by audiences and, as he once candidly admitted, by Vaughn himself.
Between 1972 and 1974 he spent a somewhat acrimonious time playing Harry Rule in the ITV series, The Protectors.
The plot featured three wealthy individuals getting together each week, usually in exotic locations, to solve crimes and protect the innocent.
It was described by Vaughn in his autobiography as “tasteless junk”, but the show proved extremely popular and was only cancelled when a major sponsor pulled out at the end of the second series.
Vaughn’s acting career never reached the heights achieved by some of his contemporaries, possibly because he devoted time to his political activities.
But he had no regrets. “With a modest amount of looks and talent and more than a modicum of serendipity,” he wrote, “I’ve managed to stretch my 15 minutes of fame into more than half a century of good fortune.”
All of us here at Official Gerry Anderson and Anderson Entertainment send our condolences to Robert’s friends and family.