Actor Robert Vaughn has died at the age of 83, his manager confirmed to The Associated Press.
Vaughn’s many film credits included 1959’s Paul Newman-starring The Young Philadelphians — for which Vaughn received a best supporting actor Oscar nomination — 1960’s classic western The Magnificent Seven, 1968’s cop thriller Bullitt, 1969’s World War II-set The Bridge at Remagen, and 1983’s Superman III. But the actor was best known for portraying suave American agent Napoleon Solo on the TV spy show, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Created with input from James Bond author Ian Fleming, the series premiered on NBC in 1964 and made stars out of both Vaughn and David McCallum, who played Solo’s Russian partner-in-espionage Illya Kuryakin.
“I was a working actor, but I wasn’t a negotiating actor,” Vaughn told Entertainment Weekly writer Jeff Labrecque last year, about his immediate pre-U.N.C.L.E. days. “By that I mean, I got the job and I went down and did the job. I couldn’t ask for first-class tickets. I couldn’t ask for outstanding housing. I couldn’t do anything of that nature. But it all changed with Napoleon Solo… Almost within the first month, I notice cars being parked in front of where I lived on Mulholland Drive. There were girls waiting to take a gander at my mug, I guess.”
Vaughn remained a familiar face on both big and small screens following his ’60s heyday and, in recent years, starred on the AMC-screened show Hustle and the long-running British soap opera, Coronation Street.
Vaughn’s manager told the AP the actor died after a battle with acute leukemia.