Robert Culp: 1930-2010
Robert Culp, best known to genre fans as FBI Agent Bill Maxwell on The Greatest American Hero and as Trent in the Outer Limits episode “Demon With A Glass Hand”, passed away after a fall outside his Los Angeles home. He was 79.
Culp gained fame very early in his career as the star of
the 1957-59 Western television series Trackdown
in which he played Texas Ranger Hoby Gilman, but was best known in the 60’s for the series I Spy, where he co-starred with Bill Cosby, the first time a black actor got equal star billing. Culp wrote the scripts for seven episodes, one of which he also
directed. One episode earned him an Emmy nomination for writing. For all
three years of the series he was also nominated for an acting Emmy for lead actor, but lost each time to Cosby. He returned to prominence in 1981 with The Greatest American Hero, a role that brought him a new generation of fans, many of which he greeted the last few years at conventions as talk of a movie adaptation surfaced.
We were lucky enough to interview Robert Culp back in 2008, and he was one of the nicest guys you could ever hope to meet. My wife still has an audio clip where he wished her a happy birthday.
Take the time tonight and watch some of his great work. Choose from his Emmy nominated written episode of I Spy:
or The Greatest American Hero: