Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Robert Culp Dead After I Spy's Collapse 79

Robert Martin Culp August 16, 1930 – March 24, 2010 was an American actor and scriptwriter, perhaps best known for his work in television. Culp earned an international reputation for his role as Kelly Robinson on I Spy 1965-1968, the espionage series, where he and co-star Bill Cosby played a pair of secret agents.

Robert Culp

Robert Culp, the actor perhaps best known for his secret agent role opposite Bill Cosby in the '60s series "I Spy," has died. He was 79.The Oakland, California-born Culp began his TV career in the '50s with the Western "Trackdown," followed by roles in such classics as "The Outer Limits," "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." and "Columbo." His film roles included turns in 'Bob & Ted & Carol & Alice' and 'The Pelican Brief.'

Robert Culp

Actor Robert Culp, who starred with Bill Cosby in the 1960s NBC series I Spy, has died at the age of 79, after collapsing outside of his Hollywood home today. Culp enjoyed a 40-year career in Hollywood post-Spy, notably in the 1980s ABC show The Greatest American Hero and recently with a recurring role on Everybody Loves Raymond.

His first starring role came on CBS' Western series Trackdown, in which he played a gun-slinging Texas Ranger. Culp went on to play Kelly Robinson in the NBC series I Spy from 1965 to 1968 with Cosby. It was the first prime-time series with a black actor in a lead role. Married five times, Culp is survived by wife Candace Falkner, three sons and two daughters, four of whom are from a previous marriage.

Culp was born in Oakland, California in 1930. He graduated from Berkeley High School. He also attended the University of Washington School of Drama and graduated from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California. In addition to many other TV guest shots, Culp had another hit in the early '80s, starring as a tough FBI agent opposite William Katt in "The Greatest American Hero," and landed a later recurring role in "Everybody Loves Raymond" as Ray Romano's father.

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