Robert Francis Vaughn (November 22, 1932 – November 11, 2016) was an American actor. His best-known TV roles include suave spy Napoleon Solo in the 1960s series The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and wealthy detective Harry Rule in the 1970s series The Protectors.
In more recent times, as grifter and card sharp Albert Stroller, Vaughn appeared in all but one of the 48 episodes of the British television drama series Hustle (2004–2012).
In film, he portrayed skittish gunman Lee in The Magnificent Seven, the voice of Proteus IV, the computer villain of Demon Seed, racist Walter Chalmers in Bullitt, and Ross Webster in Superman III.
After initial appearances in a swathe of TV series, one of Vaughn’s first notable movie roles was as a very verbal “questioning” and “wondering” post-apocalypse caveman in Roger Corman’s 1958 production Teenage Cave Man, a film that clearly ponders conformity and religious repression.
Originally titled Prehistoric World, distributors AIP changed the film’s moniker to reflect the 50s vogue for the youth-orientated drive-in fare. Clearly, Vaughn was no teen. And his clean-cut image and slicked back hair was hardly the look of a cave dweller. Yet, his sardonic performance in this low-budget prehistoric philosophical romp already showed that this was an assertive actor destined for many notable roles to follow.
Horror and sci-fi fans may recall the ever-busy actor in the following roles:
Starship Invaders (1978)
Doctor Franken (TV movie, 1980)
Battle Beyond the Stars (1980)
Killing Birds (1987)
C.H.U.D. II: Bud the Chud (1988)
Transylvania Twist (1989)
Buried Alive (1990)
Witch Academy (1995)
The Sender (1998)