Robert Francis Vaughn was born on November 22, 1932 at Charity Hospital in New York City. He studied at the University of Minnesota and majored in theater at Los Angeles City College where he acquired his Master’s degree. In addition, he pursued his Ph.D. in communications at the University of Southern California. This Academy Award-nominated actor is noted for his work in stage, film and television.
In 1955, Robert Vaughn made his television debut in an episode of the American TV series Medic. The next year, he was seen in his first movie appearance, playing an uncredited extra in The Ten Commandments. His credited debut role was in his portrayal of the real-life Bob Ford, Jesse James’ killer, in the 1957 Western, Hell’s Crossroads. One of his notable performances was in The Young Philadelphians. This earned him a nomination for a Supporting Actor Academy Award. His other roles were in The Magnificent Seven, reprised his role there 20 years later in Battle Beyond the Stars. Both of the films were adaptations of Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 Japanese samurai epic, Seven Samurai. Vaughn was also in The Magnificent Seven, The Lieutenant, and the ABC series Follow the Sun.
From 1964 to 1968, Robert Vaughn portrayed his best-known role, as Napoleon Solo in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (United Network Command for Law and Enforcement). It was after his role here that he appeared in Bullitt with Steve McQueen. During the 1970s, he appeared on stage, playing the lead actor in Tom Stoppard’s play, The Real Inspector Hound. Vaughn then got parts in several B-movies, before he found himself on a number of guest roles, such as those in Law & Order and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. He later co-starred in the BBC series Hustle, portraying the character Albert Stroller. Other than those, he has appeared as spokesman in a set of generic advertisements for various American law firms.