Saturday, March 27, 2010

Robert Culp [1930-2010]: A Great American TV Hero

I'm a few days late getting this post up, but then it's being remembered that counts. American actor Robert Culp [1930-2010] died Wednesday. He left a mark on some terrific television.

I don't actually have the DVDs for Robert Culp and William Katt's series The Greatest American Hero [1981-1983], but I intend to get it someday [no video clip - sorry]. I was a fan of the show when it was on television for three seasons and forty-four episodes. Culp was terrific as Katt's FBI friend Bill Maxwell. He added a spice and fun to the show. He was definitely part of a terrific chemistry in television that yielded an unlikely hit for a relatively short period.

For many he was best known for his role in I Spy [1965-1968] opposite Bill Cosby, but not for me. I've never seen the show. He also appeared in The Man From U.N.C.L.E. [1964], The Outer Limits [3 episodes] [1963-1965] and more. The man was also married five times. Whoa! Ouch! I mean why bother really.
Robert Culp as Commander John Koenig.
More importantly, given my love for Culp's role in The Greatest American Hero and my love for Space:1999 I found this quote interesting. Folks, I only read this quote this morning by chance. If it wasn't a sign from the heavens to mark the moment of Culp's passing for me I don't know what would be. Author Robert E. Wood reports the following passage from his book Destination: Moonbase Alpha. Space:1999 was assembling the leads for its cast. Martin Landau and Barbara Bain were slated for the roles. Wood reports Producer/ Creator Sylvia Anderson had other plans. "Initially Martin was not my choice- I have to say that. I wanted Robert Culp, someone a bit more offbeat." There you have it. Clearly, Sylvia Anderson battled for her voice to be heard, but she was on the losing side of that one. The rest, as they say, is history for Space:1999 and spirited actor Robert Culp.


Anonymous said...

How sad !!!:(, Great Actor,I loved Greatest American Hero,I do not have DVD's either,but was always planning to get them. I watched I Spy for a while It was good what I did see,but I loved Twlight Zone and other shows,I was into SIFI even way back then,I really liked him :(,its sad that all the actors and actress I knew are gone,but no one lives forever,at least they left something to be remembered :)

The Sci-Fi Fanatic said...

I agree. Sad to see so many of those folks who mark our lives exit the planet. I'm with you.