"I don't think I ever thought of myself as going to be an actor; I always knew that I was an actor. I was an actor when I was four, when I was seven, when I was ten, and so on. I never aspired to this job; I just knew that's what I would do with my life, and I did."
About This Interview
In his two-hour Archive interview, Robert Vaughn (1932-2016) talks about growing up as the son of actors and speaks of his own early stage and radio performances during the 1940s. He outlines his academic studies and his move to Los Angeles, his first television appearances on Medic and Playhouse 90, and being typecast as a villain. He describes some of his early career milestones, including the lead in the play "End as a Man," and his appearance in the feature film The Young Philadelphians, which earned him an Academy Award nomination. Vaughn then details the role for which he is most famous: that of "Napoleon Solo" on the classic 1960's spy series, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. He chronicles the show's casting process, working with co-star David McCallum, Ian Fleming's connection to the series, the show's production schedule, and the series' abrupt cancellation. He recounts his early opposition to the Vietnam War, his scholarly work on the Hollywood Blacklist, published as the book Only Victims, and discusses his approach to acting and researching roles. Vaughn speaks of his Emmy-Award winning work in Washington: Behind Closed Doors, in which he played a character based on H.R. Haldeman, and comments briefly on other series in which he appeared as a regular: The Protectors, The A-Team, and Hustle (Hu$tle). Ron Simon conducted the interview on May 18, 2007 in New York, NY.