2016, a year that has already seen so many entertainers pass from this earthly plain, has taken one more from us. Robert Vaughn, veteran of the stage, silver screen and TV screen, has died at the age of 83 years old. R.I.P. Napoleon Solo.
Robert Vaughn suffered through a relatively short battled with acute leukemia, and he passed away from the effects earlier today, as confirmed to Deadline by the actor's manager Matthew Sullivan. It sounds as if things didn't end suddenly, as Vaughn was reportedly surrounded by his family, including surviving wife Linda, son Cassidy and daughter Caitlin.
With well over 200 movies and TV shows to his name, Robert Vaughn has been acting since the 1950s, but arguably his most recognizable performance came in 1964 when he took on the role of the super-cool Thrush-thwarting secret agent Napoleon Solo on the spy drama The Man from U.N.C.L.E., which lasted four seasons and spawned both a spinoff series (The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.) and the Guy Ritchie-directed feature in 2015, not to mention other forms of media. Its influence lives on.
But if westerns were more to your liking, then you probably know Robert Vaughn best for his role of the gunman Lee in the classic The Magnificent Seven, a remake of Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai, and his semi-return to the part for a similar role in Battle Beyond the Stars, the Roger Corman-produced sci-fi adaptation of Magnificent Seven. Vaughn also joined the Magnificent Seven TV series that aired in the late 1990s, although he played a completely different role for that.
To try and sum up the rest of Robert Vaughn's career would be to leave out many memorable roles, but that's just how much the actor worked. On the small screen, he made his presence known on shows like The A-Team, Murder, She Wrote, and dozens more, with his biggest role in recent years coming on the BBC drama Hustle. His last TV appearance was for an episode of Law & Order: SVU in 2015, which was his second appearance on that series. (He also had a few appearances on the original Law & Order.) He won an Emmy in 1978 for Outstanding Supporting Actor for his work in the miniseries Washington: Behind Closed Doors, but I think we can all agree his most important contribution to the arts was as the yelling audience member on Late Night with Conan O'Brien.
On the film side, Vaughn wasn't quite as known, but he certainly appeared in a wide variety of flicks. His most popular film, arguably, would be the classic Steven McQueen actioner Bullitt, but he was nominated for an Academy Award for his supporting role in The Young Philadelphians. He only recently saw his film Gold Star, from director Victoria Negri, released.
We at CinemaBlend send our thoughts and condolences to the family and friends of Robert Vaughn in their time of mourning.