FN@F Nerdy News Update: Farewell Robert Vaughn


Robert Vaughn (1932-2016) as Napoleon Solo in a promotional shot for The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (1964-1968). (Image: Silver Screen Collection / Hulton Archive / Getty Images)

Prolific American actor Robert Vaughn has died after a brief battle with acute leukemia. He was 83.

Born to performers radio actor Gerald Walter Vaughn and stage actor Marcella Frances, Vaughn earned his master’s degree in theatre at the Los Angeles State College of Applied Arts and Sciences. He received a PhD in communication from the University of Southern California. His thesis, Only Victims: A Study of Show Business Blacklisting, was published in 1972.

Vaughn made his acting debut in The Pilgrimage Play as Judas Iscariot at Hollywood’s Pilgrimage Theater. He made his screen debut three months later in an episode of the television series Medic (on 21 November 1955), and would go on to play hundreds of other roles on television in the United States and the United Kingdom. However, Vaughn cemented his place in pop culture as Napoleon Solo in the spy caper series The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (1964-1968). His final recurring role on television was as Milton Fanshaw in the long-running British soap opera Coronation Street (thirteen episodes in 2012) and guest starred in a 2016 episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

Vaughn’s first entry in film was as an extra in Cecil B. DeMille‘s classic The Ten Commandments (1956), as an idol worshiper, and the actor would spend the next six decades playing an assortment of characters in movies of varying quality and box office returns. Film credits included Teenage Cave Man (1958), The Young Philadelphians (1959; Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, and Golden Laurel Award nominations), The Magnificent Seven (1960; Golden Globe Award nomination), Bullitt (1968; BAFTA Film Award nomination), The Towering Inferno (1974), Battle Beyond the Stars (1980), Superman III (1983), The Delta Force (1986), Joe’s Apartment (1996), and BASEketball (1998). His last film appearance was in 2016’s Gold Star.

Vaughn is survived by wife Linda Staab and their children Cassidy and Caitlin. His Star on the Walk of Fame is at 6633 Hollywood Boulevard.


Good guys and bad: Robert Vaughn as Senator Gary Parker in the disaster genre masterpiece The Towering Inferno (1974), Ross “The Boss” Webster in the underrated Superman III (1983), and as Milton Fanshaw in the long-running soap opera Coronation Street (2012). (Images: 20th Century Fox / Warner Bros. / Irwin Allen Productions / United Films; Cantharus Productions N.V. / Dovemead Films / Warner Bros. / Columbia-EMI-Warner; ITV Studios)

For the latest in pop culture news and views, listen to Friday Nights @ FRED’s with Kendall, Michael, and Phillip every Friday evening. In the meantime, have your binge on SoundCloud and remember to rate and review us on iTunes. 👽

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: