Friday, November 11, 2016

Robert Vaughn

Why do people embrace God?
In my opinion, belief in God and an afterlife is a necessary extension of man's need to feel that this life does not end with what we call death.
-Robert Vaughn
Robert Francis Vaughn(November 22, 1932 – November 11, 2016)
Robert Vaughn died today at his home in Ridgefield, Connecticut, eleven days before his 84th birthday. The cause was acute leukemia.
Vaughn made his television debut on the November 21, 1955 "Black Friday" episode of the American TV series Medic, the first of more than two hundred episodic roles by the middle of 2000.
Vaughn appeared as Stan Gray with Virginia Christine as his older sister, Hester, in the surprise-ending episode "The Twisted Road" of the western syndicated series, Frontier Doctor, starring Rex Allen in the title role as Dr. Bill Baxter.
His first film appearance was as an uncredited extra in The Ten Commandments (1956), playing a golden calf idolater also visible in a scene in a chariot behind that of Yul Brynner. His first credited movie role came the following year in the Western Hell's Crossroads (1957), in which he played the real-life Bob Ford, the killer of outlaw Jesse James. After being seen by Burt Lancaster in Calder Willingham's play End as a Man, Vaughn was signed to a contract with Lancaster's film company and was to have played the Steve Dallas role in Sweet Smell of Success but was drafted into the United States Army before he could begin the film. Vaughn served in the United States Army and became a drill sergeant.
Vaughn's first notable appearance was 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. Next, he appeared as gunman Lee in The Magnificent Seven (1960), a role he essentially reprised 20 years later in Battle Beyond the Stars (1980), both films being adaptations of filmmaker Akira Kurosawa's 1954 Japanese samurai epic, Seven Samurai. Vaughn was the last surviving member of those who portrayed The Magnificent Seven. He played a different role, Judge Oren Travis, on the 1998-2000 syndicated TV series The Magnificent Seven.
In the 1963-64 season, Vaughn appeared in The Lieutenant as Captain Raymond Rambridge alongside Gary Lockwood, the Marine second lieutenant at Camp Pendleton. His dissatisfaction with the somewhat diminished aspect of the character led him to request an expanded role. During the conference, his name came up in a telephone call and he ended up being offered a series of his own — as Napoleon Solo, title character in a series originally to be called Solo, but which became The Man from U.N.C.L.E. after the pilot was reshot with Leo G. Carroll in the role of Solo's boss. This was the role which would make Vaughn a household name even behind the Iron Curtain. Vaughn had guest-starred on Lockwood's ABC series Follow the Sun. In 1963 he also appeared in an episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show as Jim Darling, a successful businessman and an old flame of Laura Petrie in the episode "It's A Shame She Married Me".


From 1964 to 1968, Vaughn played Solo with Scottish co-star David McCallum playing his fellow agent Illya Kuryakin. This production spawned a spinoff show, large amounts of merchandising, overseas theatrical movies of re-edited episodes, and a sequel The Return of the Man from U.N.C.L.E. - The Fifteen-Year-Later Affair. In the year the series ended, Vaughn landed a large role playing Chalmers, an ambitious California politician in the film Bullitt starring Steve McQueen; he was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actor for this role.

In 1966, Vaughn appeared as a bachelor on the nighttime premiere of The Dating Game. He was picked for the date, which was a trip to London. Vaughn continued to act, in television and in mostly B movies. He starred in two seasons of the British detective series The Protectors in the early 1970s. He won an Emmy for his portrayal of Frank Flaherty in Washington: Behind Closed Doors (ABC, 1977) and during the 1980s starred with friend George Peppard in the final season of The A-Team.


In 1983, he starred as villainous multi millionaire Ross Webster in Superman III. In 1983-1984, he appeared as industrialist Harlan Adams in the short-lived CBS series Emerald Point N.A.S., replacing Patrick O'Neal. In the mid-1990s, he made several cameo appearances on Late Night With Conan O'Brien as an audience member who berates the host and his guests beginning with, "You people sicken me..."
In 2004, after a string of guest roles on series such as Law & Order, in which he had a recurring role during season eight, Vaughn experienced a resurgence. He began co-starring in the British TV drama series Hustle, made for BBC One. The series was also broadcast in the United States on the cable network AMC. In the series, Vaughn plays elder-statesman American con artist Albert Stroller, a father figure to a group of younger grifters. In September 2006, he guest-starred on an episode of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.
Vaughn also appeared as himself narrating and being a character in a radio play broadcast by BBC Radio 4 in 2007 about making the film The Bridge at Remagen in Prague, during the Russian invasion of 1968. In November 2011, it was announced that Vaughn would appear for three weeks in the British soap opera Coronation Street. His role as Milton in the long-running program lasted from January to February 2012.

Vaughn was a long-time member of the Democratic Party. His family was also Democratic and was involved in politics in Minneapolis. and early in his career, he was described as a "liberal Democrat". He was the chair of the California Democratic State Central Committee speakers bureau and actively campaigned for candidates in the 1960s.
Vaughn was the first popular American actor to take a public stand against the Vietnam War and was active in the Vietnam-War-era peace group, Another Mother for Peace. With Dick Van Dyke and Carl Reiner, he was a founder of Dissenting Democrats. Early in the 1968 presidential election, they supported the candidacy of Minnesota Senator Eugene McCarthy, who was running for president as an alternative to Vice President Hubert Humphrey, who supported President Lyndon Johnson's escalation of the war in Vietnam.

Vaughn was reported to have political ambitions of his own, but in a 1973 interview, he denied having had any political aspirations.
Vaughn married actress Linda Staab in 1974. They appeared together in a 1973 episode of The Protectors, called "It Could Be Practically Anywhere on the Island". They adopted two children, Cassidy (born 1976) and Caitlin (born 1981). They resided in Ridgefield, Connecticut.
For many years, it was believed Vaughn was the father of English film director and producer Matthew Vaughn, born when the actor was in a relationship with early 1970s socialite Kathy Ceaton. However, a paternity investigation identified the father as George de Vere Drummond, an English aristocrat and godson of King George VI. Early in Matthew's life Vaughn had asked for the child's surname to be Vaughn, which Matthew continues to use professionally.



Good Night Mr. Vaughn

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa

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