Birthday: August 16, 1930
Died At Age: 79
Sun Sign: Leo
Also Known As: Robert Martin Culp
Born in: Oakland, California
Famous as: Actor
Height: 6'2" (188 cm), 6'2" Males
Spouse/Ex-: Candace Faulkner (m. 1981 – div. 2007), Elayne Carroll (m. 1951 – div. 1956), France Nuyen (m. 1967 - div. 1970), Nancy Ashe (m. 1957 – div. 1966), Sheila Sullivan (m. 1971 – div. 1976)
father: Crozier Culp
mother: Bethel Collins
children: Jason Culp, Joseph Culp, Joshua Culp, Rachel Culp, Samantha Culp
Died on: March 24, 2010
place of death: Los Angeles, California
education: Berkeley High School
Who was Robert Culp?
Robert Culp was an American actor, voice artist, screenwriter, and director. He had given hundreds of performances in his career spanning over 50 years. However, he is best recognized for his role as Kelly Robinson in the espionage television series ‘I Spy’ and as FBI Agent Bill Maxwell in the comedy drama series ‘The Greatest American Hero’. Culp is also known for his work in films like ‘Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice’ and ‘Hannie Caulder’. Born as the only child to an attorney and his wife, he attended multiple universities including University of the Pacific, Washington University and Washington School of Drama; however, he never graduated from any of these. Culp worked as a cartoonist in his teen years before starting his professional acting career. Besides being an actor, he was a screenwriter as well and wrote scripts for many ‘I Spy’ episodes and even directed a few of them. Slim, tall and exceedingly good-looking, the actor was married five times and fathered five children. On March 24, 2010, Culp collapsed and died of a heart attack while jogging at a local park near his apartment in Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles, at the age of 79.
Childhood & Early Life
Robert Culp was born on August 16, 1930, in California, USA, to attorney Crozier Cordell Culp and his wife Bethel Martin.
He studied at Berkeley High School and later attended University of the Pacific but did not graduate. Eventually, he went on to attend Washington University and University of Washington School of Drama. However, Culp didn’t graduate from any of these. He attended acting classes at HB Studio in New York.
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Robert Culp first garnered popularity in 1957 when he appeared as Ranger Hoby Gilman in the CBS Western television series ‘Trackdown’. After this, he featured in another western series titled ‘Bonanza’.
In 1960, he featured in two episodes of ‘Zane Grey Theater’ as well as in an episode of CBS' ‘The DuPont Show with June Allyson’. That year, the actor also made a guest appearance in NBC’s Western series ‘Tate’.
He played a morphine-addicted soldier in the series Rawhide’s episode titled "Incident on Top of the World" in 1961. Around this time, he joined the team of NBC’s ‘The Barbara Stanwyck Show’ and the network’s war drama ‘The Americans’.
Culp then went on to act on the big screen, appearing in the 1963 movies ‘PT 109’, ‘The Raiders’ and ‘Sunday in New York’.
He featured as Captain Shark in NBC's ‘The Man from U.N.C.L.E.’ in 1964. That year, he also starred in ‘Gunsmoke’ as Joe Costa. Soon after this, he played Frank Melo in the educational series ‘Mr. Novak’.
Culp next appeared in ‘Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice’, a 1969 comedy drama flick directed by Paul Mazursky, also featuring Natalie Wood, Dyan Cannon and Elliott Gould.
He gave another memorable performance as Thomas Luther Price in the British Western movie ‘Hannie Caulder’ in 1971. During this period, he also joined the cast of NBC's ‘The Name of the Game’ along with fellow actors Darren McGavin, Robert Wagner and Peter Falk.
In 1973, Culp had a lead role in the sci-fi series ‘Space: 1999’. From 1981-83, he co-starred as FBI Agent Bill Maxwell in the comedy drama superhero series ‘The Greatest American Hero’.
In the ensuing years, he had guest spots in the TV series ‘Hotel,’ ‘The Golden Girls,’ ‘Highway to Heaven,’ and ‘The Cosby Show’.
In 1998, the actor acted as Warren Whelan in the immensely popular drama series ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ appearing as the father of Debra Barone. His last movie, ‘The Assignment,’ was unreleased at the time of his death.
Robert Culp’s most memorable character was of secret agent Kelly Robinson in NBC’s hit series ‘I Spy’ that ran from 1965 to 1968. He also wrote scripts for seven episodes of the show, which earned him an Emmy Award nomination for writing. Culp also directed one episode of the series.
Family & Personal Life
Robert Culp was married five times and had five kids: sons Joshua, Jason and Joseph, and daughters Rachel and Samantha.
On the morning of March 24, 2010, he went for a walk and was found lying unconscious on the sidewalk by a jogger after a while. He was rushed to Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. He was 79. The cause of his death was ruled to be a heart attack.
His grandson is Elmo Kennedy O'Connor, who is a rapper and performs in Los Angeles under the name Bones.