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Robert Vaughn has died


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Actor Robert Vaughn, an Oscar-nominee for THE YOUNG PHILADELPHIANS (1959) and the star of TV's ​Man from U.N.C.L.E.​, died of leukemia on Friday. He was 83.

 

Vaughn's other memorable films include supporting roles in THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (1960), BULLITT (1968), S.O.B. (1981) and SUPERMAN III (1983).

 

The Hollywood Reporter ​remembers Robert Vaughn here:

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/robert-vaughn-dead-man-uncle-859991

 

 

 

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He was the last of The Magnificent Seven;  they're now all Ghost Riders in the Sky.

Other films not mentioned in the article are Good day for a Hanging and Teenage Caveman.  He did several TV anthology series as well as mini-series such as Captain and the Kings.  And guest roles on conventional series.  His resemblance to Ronnie Burns, son of George Burns and Gracie Allen, got him a memorable role in one story of murder and mistaken identity.

 

Nobody could be a more ruthless villain yet be as vulnerable as his Chet Gwynne in The Young Philadelphians.   I’ll believe He was robbed of an Oscar til my dying day. 

 

He was also active in liberal politics and was often mentioned for office which he never tried.  Those folks are really taking it on the chin this week.

 

At the height of TMFU’s success he described Napoleon Solo as ”too insane to be believable” and was amazed that people took the series seriously.  In short, a classy guy with his head on straight who delivered the goods no matter what the role. RIP, Sir, and thanks for all the good work

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Shortly before he zoomed to television stardom as Napoleon Solo on "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." series, Vaughn co-starred with Gary Lockwood in the NBC drama "The Lieutenant." The series, which aired during the 1963-64 season, was created by Gene Roddenberry of "Star Trek" fame.

 

"The Lieutenant" was set at the United States Marine base at Camp Pendleton in California.. 

 

The name of Lockwood's character on the series? Second Lt. William Tiberius Rice (that middle name would later be shared by a noteworthy "Star Trek" character). Vaughn played Rice's superior officer, Capt. Raymond Rambridge.

 

Among the future "Star Trek" regulars and guest stars who made appearances on "The Lieutenant": Leonard Nimoy, Nichelle Nichols, Walter Koenig, Majel Barrett (who became Roddenberry's wife), Ricardo Montalbán, James Gregory, Madlyn Rhue, Leslie Parrish and Sherry Jackson.

 

 

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1104667/My-magnificent-seven-The-outrageous-memoirs-Hollywood-legend-Robert-Vaughn.html

 

How I escaped a Mexican madam with Steve McQueen

 

On Good Friday, work on The Magnificent Seven shut down in Mexico. Brad Dexter, one of the Seven and a buddy of Frank Sinatra's, suggested Steve and I join him in a visit to what he called 'one of the finest brothels in North America'.
Having spent nearly a decade wandering LA's Sunset Strip, I'd met many ladies of the evening. I considered many of them friends, and had made it a rule not to do business with them. But I decided to tag along.
Brad directed our taxi driver to a lavish high-walled hacienda in a quiet district of Mexico City, where the blonde madam welcomed us like visiting dignitaries at an embassy cocktail party.
Rounds of margaritas appeared, along with beautifully coiffed and gowned ladies. Brad left with a pair of dark-haired beauties as still more margaritas arrived.
With the light slowly dimming in the room and in my head, the madam announced it was time to make a selection.
There were seven girls in the room. In stumbling Spanish, Steve told the madam that all seven should stay 'because we are the Magnificent Seven'.
It seemed to me that we were just two very drunk Americans, and I wasn't feeling very magnificent, but I did not object to Steve's gluttonous suggestion.
I was flush with both pesos and dollars, having been too sick with an upset stomach in Cuernavaca to spend my daily allowance. So Steve and I adjourned to a room with many large pillows and the seven women.
If you've never experienced sex for seven, you're undoubtedly interested in the salacious details. I can only say that, due to the tequila, we did more laughing than anything else.
Near midnight, I recalled that filming was scheduled for the next day. I said to Steve: 'Let's pay our bill and get out of here.'
I was yet to hear about Steve's famous habit of not carrying money. He replied: 'Hey, man, could you loan me some dinero?'
The bill came to something like $700 - pretty big money in the Sixties. I had about 400 on me, along with several hundred pesos, and I offered the whole wad to the madam.
'I'm paying for three and a half senoritas, including tip,' I said, hoping for a laugh.
The madam didn't smile. Instead, she snapped her fingers and a huge hombre entered the room. Fixing a hostile glare on me and Steve, he reached out, grabbed my money, and asked: 'How you plan to pay the rest?'
I smiled at Steve. He smiled at the hombre. The hombre ... he no smile back.
Suddenly a light seemed to dawn in Steve's alcoholic haze. Pulling out his wallet, he produced a Diners Club booklet containing coupons for use at restaurants. 'How about these?' he asked, pathetically. The hombre moved towards us. Several more mean-looking Mexicans materialised.
On cue, Steve and I spun around and pushed through some swing doors. Steve dashed towards the right, while I ran left down a long hall ending in French doors, and vaulted over a balcony.
I landed on moist grass, sprang up and ran to the high wall surrounding the villa grounds, where I scrambled up a trellis and flung myself on to the edge of the wall.
Eyeing the 12ft drop to the street below, I saw two bulky Mexicans standing there as if on guard. I dropped to the ground, expecting to be apprehended if not beaten to a pulp.
I stood up and smiled wanly at the two men. They merely smiled, remarked, 'Buenos noches,' and strolled away.
The next morning, Steve arrived on the set 45 minutes late and badly hungover.
He'd talked his way out of the brothel by promising to pay the balance in full and to tip generously. His years on the street had served him well.
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"The Man from U.N.C.L.E." had different opening credits sequences during its run. This one from Season 1, Episode 7 was an explanatory version and featured Jerry Goldsmith's original theme.

 

 

 

But my favorite version was the iconic Season One sequence that borrowed from the pilot episode. It also used the original Goldsmith theme.

 

 

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When "U.N.C.L.E." switched from black-and-white episodes to color for Season 2, there was another change to the opening sequence. Lalo Schifrin, who would later become celebrated for his musical contributions to "Mission: Impossible," rearranged Goldsmith's theme with a jazzier version.
 

 

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I think Robert Vaughn was one of the most professional actors I've ever seen in television or movies. His performances were always consistently top drawer-- you always felt as though he was giving 100 plus percent.

 

I saw the Towering Inferno first run in a movie theater. What was so exciting about this film was that stars from several decades all came together to create it. And they weren't just any stars, they were the top stars of their decades - -

 

People like Fred Astaire, the star of the 1930s and beyond,

 

Jennifer Jones starred in 1940's,

 

Paul Newman, a star since the 50's,

 

Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway were stars from the 60's.

 

And the only person left to talk about is William Holden who maintained his position in Hollywood from the forties until his death.

 

 

Robert Vaughn's performance in this movie it's so outstanding that when I think of the film I first think of him in spite of the presence of all these Golden Era Stars. Compared to some of these big stars he had a small part, but he managed to get the essence of the movie Within his supporting role.

 

The best thing I ever saw him do was to portray Harry S Truman in a made-for-TV movie called The Man from Independence. It was so far from The Man from UNCLE that you could actually see the profound diversity of Robert Vaughn's talent.

 

Which brings to mind his appearance in a Murder She Wrote - - and there were so many great guest stars in that series--but his appearance was an outstanding and a memorable portrait of a malevolent megalomaniac control freak.

 

Robert Vaughn will be greatly missed.

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When I was becoming aware of him (Man From UNCLE had long since disappeared from syndication), it was the 80's, when Vaughn's career had famously...slid a bit, and he was most visible not just from "Superman III", but from his "Investigations of the Helsinki Formula", which, for all intents and purposes, invented the Infomercial.

(And, because it was one of the few infomercials around at the time of filler-heavy birth-of-cable, was everywhere.  If you were up late at night, it was on seven different channels at the same time, three slots in a row.  SNL at the time did a parody of Vaughn getting a "journalistic cable award", and accepting it with "Well, I certainly didn't expect THIS to get the exposure it did...")

 

One such bit of early-80's paycheck-work actually reminded us he could be pretty cool:

In 1980's none-too-shabby B-scifi Battle Beyond the Stars, writer John Sayles was so determined to intentionally homage The Magnificent Seven, one of the "space cowboys" happens to be Robert Vaughn.  

Not just because he was cheap, but actually...IN Frisco-Western duds, playing Gelt, a retired gunfighter-for-hire who can't run from his past forever, as if he'd literally just stepped out of his Lee-the-gunfighter role.  

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I saw him in a feature-length version of "The Man From U.N.C.L.E" that must have been two back-to-back episodes.

 

His leading lady in both was Pat Crowley.

 

RIP, Robert Vaughn.

 

I also remember one particularly outrageous episode about a school that trained young boys to be assassins.

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When I was becoming aware of him (Man From UNCLE had long since disappeared from syndication), it was the 80's, when Vaughn's career had famously...slid a bit, and he was most visible not just from "Superman III", but from his "Investigations of the Helsinki Formula", which, for all intents and purposes, invented the Infomercial.

(And, because it was one of the few infomercials around at the time of filler-heavy birth-of-cable, was everywhere.  If you were up late at night, it was on seven different channels at the same time, three slots in a row.  SNL at the time did a parody of Vaughn getting a "journalistic cable award", and accepting it with "Well, I certainly didn't expect THIS to get the exposure it did...")

 

One such bit of early-80's paycheck-work actually reminded us he could be pretty cool:

In 1980's none-too-shabby B-scifi Battle Beyond the Stars, writer John Sayles was so determined to intentionally homage The Magnificent Seven, one of the "space cowboys" happens to be Robert Vaughn.  

Not just because he was cheap, but actually...IN Frisco-Western duds, playing Gelt, a retired gunfighter-for-hire who can't run from his past forever, as if he'd literally just stepped out of his Lee-the-gunfighter role.  

 

Like "Battle Beyond The Stars", when it aired on the USA channel a couple of decades ago (USA Up ALL Night), the commentator called it "John Boy In Outer Space". :lol:

 

 

Gelt, ALONE in the dark, with treasure, sitting on his throne. Real symbolic meaning there.

 

VAUGHN-TREASURE.jpg

 

RIP

 

(you couldn't take it with you)

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I've always felt the film BULLITT wouldn't have been nearly a good or as interesting as it is if the politically ambitious character of Chalmers, who butts heads with Steve McQueen's title character throughout, hadn't been so memorably played by Robert Vaughn.

 

And trust me. Considering this gearhead here could probably JUST watch that famous granddaddy of all car chase scenes in this flick on a continuous loop ALONE, that's saying a lot about how much Vaughn contributed to making the rest of the film so much better.

 

(...R.I.P. Robert)

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also worth mentioning, if it hasn't been already, is TRANSYLVANIA TWIST, a mid eighties kitchen sink slapstick comedy in a similar vein as FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLERS, but actually funny. VAUGHAN plays Byron Orlock, an evil vampire who intends to unleash all the forces of evil upon Humanity. There's a really great moment where the heroine asks him "WHY do you want to do this?" and he looks at her and in perfect deadpan says "because I'm evil, you haven't figured that out yet?"

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I've mentioned my admiration and affection for Robert Vaughn a number of times over the years in these forums. I think the first time was when someone posed the topic of "who is your favorite actor from the studio era that's still alive?" I said at that time that it was, for me, Robert Vaughn. I meant it.

 

A number of his roles have been mentioned. Here's another: His voice alone - as Proteus, the computer, was the best thing about the movie 'Demon Seed' (1976).

 

He was a very special actor - classy and intelligent, and he had a wonderful speaking voice.

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