Robert Francis Vaughn was born at Charity Hospital in New York on November 22, 1932. The son of show-business parents, his father, Walter, was a radio actor and his mother, Marcella, was a stage actress. Robert came to the public's attention first with his Oscar-nominated role in The Young Philadelphians (1959) in 1959. The next year he was one of the seven in the western classic The Magnificent Seven (1960).
Despite being in such popular films, he generally found work on television. He appeared over 200 times in guest roles in the late 1950s to early 1960s. It was in 1963 that he received his first major role in "The Lieutenant" (1963). Robert took the role with the intention of making the transition from being a guest-star actor to being a co-star on TV. It was due to his work in this show that producer Norman Felton offered him the role of Napoleon Solo in "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." (1964).
Four extremely successful years (1964-68) followed as the series became one of the most popular TV shows of the 1960s. made Vaughn an international TV star, but he wanted to embark on a career in film, and did so soon after the show ended in 1968 by co-starring in Bullitt (1968) with Steve McQueen.
Now working in film full-time, he starred in The Bridge at Remagen (1969) and The Mind of Mr. Soames (1970) before making a change by going back to TV, this time in England, He took a lead role in the series "The Protectors" (1972) and stayed in England for the first half of the 1970s. He returned to the US in the mid-'70s and embarked on a very successful run of TV mini-series roles that resulted in his receiving an Emmy award in 1978 for "Washington: Behind Closed Doors" (1977) (mini) and a nomination the following year for "Backstairs at the White House" (1979) (mini).
The 1970s proved a important time in Robert's life, as in 1974 he married actress Linda Staab, and completed his thesis on Hollywood blacklisting during the McCarthy "Red Scare" era, published in 1972 as "Only Victims: A Study of Show Business Blacklisting". During the 1980s he mixed TV with film. Roles in such films as S.O.B. (1981), Superman III (1983), The Delta Force (1986) and Black Moon Rising (1986) were highlights. In TV he appeared in many successful shows, most notably in "The A-Team" (1983) and "Emerald Point N.A.S." (1983).
He continued to mix the types of projects, even appearing on stage on numerous occasions. The 1990s has seen the same variety of roles. Made-for-TV movies have been a popular choice for him, as well as such series as "As the World Turns" (1956), "The Nanny" (1993) and "Law & Order" (1990), and he had a role in the 1998 series that was a remake of the classic film in which he appeared, "The Magnificent Seven" (1998). Even though he's also appeared in major features such as Joe's Apartment (1996) and BASEketball (1998), he's taking it more easy these days. He has been working on his autobiography titled "Christ, Shakespeare, Ho Chi Min: As I Knew Them" for some years now, but no date has been set for publication.