Robert Vaughn died from acute leukemia on Friday. The 83-year-old actor had been receiving treatment on the East Coast for this past year.
Vaughn was probably best known for his role of Napoleon Solo, the protagonist of “The Man From U.N.C.L.E., a series influenced by James Bond. The show pitted Solo and his partner Illya Kuryakin (David McCallum) against the evil organization called T.H.R.U.S.H. The series, which ran from 1964 to 1968, spawned a spin-off, “The Girl From U.N.C.L.E.,” and several movies.
Vaughn began acting in the 1950s. His first noteworthy performance was in 1959’s “The Young Philadelphians,” which starred Paul Newman. Vaughn was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
He appeared in “The Magnificent Seven” the following year. The movie, which was directed by John Sturges, was a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s “Seven Samurai.” The film transplanted the story from medieval Japan to the Wild West and also starred Yul Brynner, Charles Bronson and Steve McQueen.
During the 1970s, Vaughn worked on many television miniseries, including 1977’s “Washington: Behind Closed Doors” and 1979’s “Backstairs at the White House.” He received Emmy nominations for his roles in both shows.
By now, Vaughn was often playing senators and other powerful figures. Many of his characters were wily schemers. He continued working in both film and television up through the current decade; he appeared on “Law & Order: SVU” in 2015. His last film appearance was as Carmine in “Gold Star” (2016).
Vaughn is survived by his wife Linda Staab; they married in 1974. They had adopted two children, a daughter named Caitlin and a son named Cassidy.