Robert Vaughn was born in a showbiz orientated family in New York in 1932. His mother worked as a stage actress while his dad loved radio and worked as an actor in a radio station’s acting studio. After the divorce of his parents, Robert moved to Minneapolis with his mom, and later attended University of Minnesota (journalism). After studying in Minnesota, he moved to LA and earned his Ph.D. in theatre and communications. His dissertation was a very interesting one, because the topic was - Only Victims: A Study of Show Business Blacklisting. It was published in 1972.
Robert Vaughn debuted as an actor on TV in 1955, in one episode of TV series Medic titled Black Friday. His first movie role came two years later, in a movie Hell’s Crossroads where he portrayed Bob Ford (the real life character who killed famous outcast Jesse James).
In 1959, Vaughn really caught the eye of film critics, and the audience and was nominated for both Golden Globe and an Academy Award for his supporting role in The Young Philadelphians. His next movie was legendary Magnificent Seven where he played a lonely gunman Lee. This role was very important for him, and that is why he agreed to reprise it over 20 years later, in a movie titled Battle Beyond the Stars (both movies mentioned, were actually re-makes of Akira Kurosawa’s iconic movie – Seven Samurai).
During the sixties (1963-65) Robert Vaughn worked with Gary Lockwood on TV show The Lieutenant (where he played Captain Raymond Rambridge), which became a huge success. After this role, he starred in a lucrative TV project: The Man from U.N.C.L.E, where he portrayed Napoleon Solo, and played alongside David McCallum.
After that interesting experience on TV, Robert Vaughn worked with Steve McQueen on a movie called Bullitt (where he played a California born Politian) and again received excellent reviews and was nominated for BAFTA Award.
After this big success, Vaughn decided to continue working on different movies (various genres) but only received smaller roles, and starred in B-production movies. He also stayed active on TV, working on detective TV show The Protectors and another TV series The A-Team.
He stayed pretty active even during 2000’s and co-starred in a TV show Hustle (BBC One production) and a super popular series Law&Order and a spinoff Law&Order: Special Victims Unit.
Nowadays Robert Vaughn is still working, as a spokesperson for various products, and as a narrator in BBC Radio 4 plays and dramas, and even some documentary shows.
- Robert Vaughn and Terence Hill graced the silver screen only once, in a movie from 1987, titled Renegade. Hill played Renegade Luke, and easy living traveller/horseman who made money through small “jobs” – scams and Robert Vaughn played the part of Lawson. The two were crucial for this movies’ huge success and their only collaboration became very successful and lucrative for studio executives.
- The beautiful actress Natalie Wood was married with another Robert (Robert Wagner) but Vaughn was also romantically involved with Nathalie for quite a long time.
- Watch Virus with Robert Vaughn
- Watch The Woman Hunter with Robert Vaughn
- Watch Cuba Crossing with Robert Vaughn