Happy Birthday to Robert Vaughn! The original Man From U.N.C.L.E. was born on this day in 1932. His career began in the 1950s with work on television and in films, including The Young Philadelphians (1959), for which he received Oscar and Golden Globe nominations. He joined the all-star cast of leading men in The Magnificent Seven (1960), playing a dashing gunslinger who had lost his nerve. Although I was impressed by the many noble and heroic characters in the film as a kid, it was Vaughn's ability to express vulnerability that evoked empathy and it's his image that has stuck with me all these years. After appearing in The Lieutenant (1963-1964), Vaughn was cast to play Napoleon Solo (Ian Fleming contributed the name) in The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (1964-1968). As a kid, I was taken with Vaughn's suave image, but it's been fun to re-explore the series as an adult and appreciate his ability to also bring subtle humor to the character. He had a funny habit of gesturing with his U.N.C.L.E. gun when he spoke, as if it were a cigarette, which gave the character a nonchalance that was both appealing and absurd. Other major highlights in Vaughn's career include Bullitt (1968), Gerry Anderson's The Protectors (1972-1974), Superman III (1983), and contemporary dramas like Law & Order, Coronation Street, and Hustle. He has also done some great Shakespeare, which I spotlighted in the Spy Vibe posts, Shakespeare Spies I and II. I grew up admiring Robert Vaughn both for his expression and presence as an actor and for his commitment to political activism. Learn more: Official fan site, Fans From UNCLE, IMDB. Related Spy Vibe posts: Japanese UNCLE editions, UNCLE Gun, UNCLE Turns 50, UK Comics, UNCLE Manga. Vaughn as Napoleon Solo below from Getty Images.
Selected Spy Vibe posts: Popular Skullture, New Gerry Anderson Sets, New SECRET AGENT set, Art of Modesty, Avengers Blu-ray update, Tokyo Beat 1964, Polaroid Spy, Modesty Monday, Feraud Mod Fashion, Flint Scores!, Bond Danish, Home Movies, New Richard Sala Book, New 007 Comics, Designing Bond Books, Green Hornet Manga, Margaret Nolan Art, No 6 Festival, Barbarella Returns, 007 Audio Books Return, Designer: Gene Winfield, Avengers Interview: Michael Richardson, Ian Fleming: Wicked Grin, Jane Bond Hong Kong Records, Ryan Heshka Interview, Comics Week: Man From R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E., Comics Week: Archie, Comics Week: Robots, Comics Week: Cold War Atomic, Comics Week: SPYMAN, Comics Week: Jimmy Olsen, Rare Avengers Scripts, Man From Uncle UK Comics, Mattel X-15, Thunderbirds Comics, Shakespeare Spies: Diana Rigg, Shakespeare Spies I, Rodney Marshall Avengers Interview, Avengers Book: Bowler Hats & Kinky Boots, George Lois Design & Mad Men, Richard Sala: Super-Enigmatix, Danger Diabolik Soundtrack, Cold War Archie, Playboy Bunny Interview, The 10th Victim Japanese and Kindle, U.N.C.L.E. Japanese Books, The 10th Victim German Edition, The Saint books return, Trina Robbins Interview, Catsuits, Batman '66 Green Hornet Interview: Ralph Garman Ty Templeton.