End Credits #53: Cinema's 2016 Lost Treasures
These are some of Cinema's sad departures of 2016 taken from my personal notes soon after the tragic events took place:
Still another terribly tragic loss has occurred in the acting community. He was Lee, the last of The Magnificent 7 and now he too has passed on, and "magnificent" is surely a word that suited him. This is really sad news for me personally since I had the utmost admiration for, and extreme privilege of meeting and chatting with, this most distinguished gentleman about his televised debate with William F. Buckley on the Vietnam War, a debate many political pundits at the time thought he won. I will forever cherish my encounter with Robert Vaughn whose poise, confidence, and intelligence helped dignify and vividly enliven the roles he so consummately portrayed on stage, motion pictures and television. An early Academy Award-nominated performance as the weak and helpless Chester A. Gwynn in The Young Philadelphians is uncannily naturalistic for those who only know him from his most famous roles as suave secret agent Napoleon Solo on the hit 1960s TV series The Man from U.N.C.L.E., its motion picture spin-offs, or the brash Senator Walter Chalmers in Bullitt. His assured demeanor lent authenticity to another Senator he portrayed in The Towering Inferno alongside his previous fellow actors Steve McQueen (The Magnificent 7, Bullitt) and Paul Newman (The Young Philadelphians). He also lent his considerable acting prowess to the films The Caretakers, The Venetian Affair, If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium, The Bridge at Remagen, The Mind of Mr. Soames, Brass Target, and S.O.B. amongst many others. Younger viewers may know him best for his role as Albert Stroller on the TV series Hustle (2004-2012), Milton Fanshaw on the 2012 series Coronation Street, or his guest appearances on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (2006-2015). My sincerest condolences to his family and friends. Robert Vaughn (November 22, 1932 – November 11, 2016) R.I.P.