Tribute: Robert Vaughn

Posted on November 12, 2016 at 8:00 am

We mourn the loss of actor Robert Vaughn, whose silky charm made him the perfect choice to play the role of the second most famous spy character created by Ian Fleming: Napoleon Solo on the 1960’s television series “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”

He was also one of the original “Magnificent Seven,” the one with a Southern accent and a drinking problem.

He also appeared in “Bullitt” and “The Towering Inferno,” and played the villain in “Superman III.”

May his memory be a blessing.

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Actors Tribute

Original Version: The Man from UNCLE

Posted on August 13, 2015 at 3:24 pm

This week’s 1960’s spy story, “The Man from UNCLE” is based on a television series from the 1964-68 of the same name. It was inspired by the James Bond films, and Bond creator Ian Fleming even contributed to the original concept, including coming up with the names Napoleon Solo and April Dancer (who would appear in the spin-off, “The Girl from UNCLE”). After a decade of westerns, spies were everywhere on television in the mid-60’s, from the very serious (“Secret Agent”) to the very silly (“Get Smart”). “The Man from UNCLE” was glamorous, witty, and sexy, like the Robert Culp/Bill Cosby series “I Spy.”

In the series, Napoleon Solo (Robert Vaughn of “The Magnificent Seven,” which is also being remade) teamed up with a Soviet spy named Ilya Kuryakin (David McCallum, now better known as Duckie on “NCIS”). UNCLE stands for United Network Command for Law and Enforcement and is a super-secret CIA-ish sort of enterprise with an international reach. The headquarters was reached by going through a tailor shop (this year’s “Kingsman: The Secret Service” paid tribute to that). The boss spy is a Brit played by Leo G. Carroll. The idea that an American and a Soviet would join forces was very daring in the midst of the Cold War, but they had a mutual enemy known as THRUSH, a super-powerful force bent on total world domination.

Here’s the original opening credits.

It was so popular that it inspired some feature films with the same cast.

Guest stars included Nancy Sinatra:

Here’s a look behind the scenes.

And Vaughn discusses his role:

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Based on a television show Original Version Spies
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