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Vale Robert Culp [Mar. 25th, 2010|10:20 am]
[mood |sadsad]

Bugger of a start to the day.

I've always had a soft spot for Robert Culp. I'd always liked him as an actor from as far back as I can remember. I think I first discovered him in the Demon with a Glass Hand episode of the Outer Limits. It was a tough role to play credibly, but he did it well.

Later I watched him in I, Spy, teamed with Bill Cosby, and in The Greatest American Hero. While I love him in Hero, it's I, Spy that really shows off the man's talents and heart. The stories he wrote and directed are solid and even deal with taboo subjects for the day like the Vietnam War and heroin addiction. Cosby was a virtual unknown, I, Spy being his first TV role, and Culp was the star factor driving the series, but he treated Cosby as an acting equal right from the start.

Culp and Cosby had also decided on a 'non-statement' in regards to race, as in, Cosby being African American would never be noteworthy. Their characters, like the men, were equals. So when a script was written in which someone made thinly veiled racial comments directed at Cosby's character, Culp walked into the production office with him to tell them that this wasn't to be allowed to happen again.

Most recently, I was delighted to finding him voicing a character in the Half Life games.

Robert Culp's acting career spanned over five decades. Think I'll spend a bit of time revisiting it over the next few weeks.

From: (Anonymous)
2010-03-25 12:05 am (UTC)
Damn. I was a big I Spy fan way back when. It was a good thing to watch alongside Man from UNCLE. Those guys always seemed so cool.
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[User Picture]From: threemonkeys
2010-03-25 12:07 am (UTC)
That was me (threemonkeys) - stupid work proxy server wouldn't let me access the login function.
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[User Picture]From: jeriendhal
2010-03-25 12:51 am (UTC)
When I Spy had an episode going on all cylinders, it was like listening to spoken word jazz.
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[User Picture]From: king_espresso
2010-03-25 02:05 am (UTC)
He also wrote some great cinema essays a few of which are available on Google books. Extremely eruditee and written from an actor's POV which is valuable. He wrote a fair bit on Pekinpah with whom he worked on TV.
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From: jblum
2010-03-25 02:13 am (UTC)
I can technically claim that I acted opposite Robert Culp!

"Acted" in the sense of, he was in the foreground while I was being an extra in "The Pelican Brief". But it was still fascinating -- they did a whole bunch of takes, and he never delivered the exact same line twice...
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[User Picture]From: stephen_dedman
2010-03-25 05:41 am (UTC)
While I liked Culp in The Greatest American Hero and the little-seen telemovie Spectre, my favourite performance of his was as the villain in The Great Scout and Cathouse Thursday - a character described as "so low, he could walk under a snake while wearing a top hat." He, Lee Marvin and Oliver Reed seemed to be having enormous fun making that one.
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[User Picture]From: possbert
2010-03-25 09:14 am (UTC)
He was in a couple of eps of Mission:Impossible - in the first he was uncredited and played a boxer. He had a rather nice boxer's body. Enjoyed him in I Spy.
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[User Picture]From: meljane
2010-03-26 04:54 am (UTC)
I'd forgotten he had been in Everybody loves Raymond and remember him more from Greatest American Hero which was one of fav shows in the 80's.

I think I'll might have a squiz at some of the movies he's done and try and get ahold of Greatest American hero .
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