Robert Culp was born on August 16, 1930 in Oakland, California, United States, is Actor, Writer, Director. Tall, slim and exceedingly good-looking American leading man Robert Culp, a former cartoonist in his teen years, appeared off-Broadway in the 1950s before settling into polished, clean-cut film leads and "other man" supports a decade later. Hitting the popular TV boards in the hip, racially ground-breaking espionage program I Spy (1965), he made a slick (but never smarmy), sardonic name for himself during his over five-decade career with his sly humor, casual banter and tongue-and-cheek sexiness. Though he had the requisite looks and smooth, manly appeal (not to mention acting talent) for superstardom, a cool but cynical and somewhat detached persona may have prevented him from attaining it full-out.He was born Robert Martin Culp on August 16, 1930, in Oakland California. The son of attorney Crozie Culp and his wife, Bethel Collins, who was employed at a Berkeley chemical company, he offset his only-child loneliness by playacting in local theater productions. Culp also showed a talent for art while young and earned money as a cartoonist for Bay Area magazines and newspapers in high school, but the fascination with becoming an actor proved much stronger. He attended Berkeley High School and graduated in 1947. The athletically-inclined Culp dominated at track and field events and, as a result, earned athletic scholarships to six different universities. He selected the relatively minor College of the Pacific in Stockton, California primarily because of its active theater department. Transferring to various other colleges of higher learning (including San Francisco State in 1949), he never earned a degree. After performing in some theatre in the San Francisco area, he moved to Seattle and then New York in 1951.Studying under famed teacher Herbert Berghof and supporting himself during this time teaching speech and phonetics, Bob eventually found work on the theatre scene, making his 1953 Broadway debut (as Robert M. Culp) in "The Prescott Proposals" with Katharine Cornell. He eventually returned to Broadway with "Diary of a Scoundrel" starring Blanche Yurka and Roddy McDowall in 1956 and with a strong role in "A Clearing in the Woods" (alongside Kim Stanley) a year later. He earned an off-Broadway Obie Award for his very fine work in "He Who Gets Slapped" in 1956, and also appeared in the plays "Daily Life" and "Easter".Gracing a few live-TV dramas during his New York days, he returned to his native California for his first major TV role. It was an auspicious one as post-Civil War Texas Ranger "Hoby Gilman" in the western series Trackdown (1957). He earned widespread attention in the series that based many of its stories from actual Texas Ranger files, and the show itself received the official approval not only of the Rangers themselves but by the State of Texas. The series led to a CBS spin-off of its own: Wanted: Dead or Alive (1958), which made a TV star out of Steve McQueen.From there, Culp guested on a number of series dramas: Bonanza (1959), The Rifleman (1958), Rawhide (1959), The Detectives (1959), Ben Casey (1961), The Outer Limits (1963), Naked City (1958) and Combat! (1962). He also starred in the two-part Disney family-styled program "Sammy the Way Out Seal" (1962), which was subsequently released as a feature in Europe. He and Patricia Barry played the hapless parents of precocious Bill Mumy and Michael McGreevey whose "adopted" pet animal unleashes major chaos in their suburban neighborhood.During this time, Bob began to seek lead and supporting work in films. Despite his co-starring with Cliff Robertson, Rod Taylor and the very perky Jane Fonda (as her straight-laced boyfriend) in the sparkling Broadway-based sexcapade Sunday in New York (1963); playing Robertson's naval mate in the popular John F. Kennedy biopic PT 109 (1963); recreating the legendary "Wild Bill" Hickok in the western tale The Raiders (1963); and heading up the adventurous cast of the Ivan Tors' African yarn Rhino! (1964) (which included Harry Guardino and the very fetching British import Shirley Eaton), Culp wasn't able to make a serious dent in the medium.TV remained his best arena and gave him more lucrative offers, professionally. It rewarded him quite richly in 1965 with the debonair series lead "Kelly Robinson", a jet-setting, pro-circuit tennis player who leads a double life as an international secret agent in I Spy (1965). Running three seasons, Culp co-starred with fellow secret agent Bill Cosby, who, as "Alexander Scott", posed as Culp's tennis trainer. The role was tailor-made for the suave, Ivy-League-looking actor. He looked effortlessly cool posing in sunglasses amid the posh continental settings and remained handsomely unflinching in the face of danger. It was the first U.S. prime-time network drama to feature an African-American actor in a full-out starring role and the relationship between the two meshed perfectly and charismatically on screen. Both were nominated for acting Emmys in all three of its seasons, with Cosby coming out the victor each time. Filmed on location in such cities as Hong Kong, Acapulco and Tokyo, Culp also wrote and directed certain episodes of the show He also met his third wife, the gorgeous Eurasian actress France Nuyen, while on the set. They married in 1967 but divorced three years later. At this stage, the actor already had four children (by second wife, sometime actress Nancy Ashe).Following the series' demise, Culp took on perhaps his most-famous and controversial film role as Natalie Wood's husband "Bob" in the titillating but ultimately teasing "flower power" era film Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969), with Elliott Gould and Dyan Cannon as the other-half couple who examine the late 60s "free love" idea of wife-swapping. The film was nominated for four Academy Awards (two went to supporting actors Gould and Cannon). The movie did not reignite Culp's popularity on the large screen, but it did lead to his rather strange pairing with buxom Raquel Welch in the violent-edged western Hannie Caulder (1971) and a reunion with his I Spy (1965) pal Cosby in the far-more entertaining Hickey & Boggs (1972), which reestablished their great tongue-in-cheek rapport as two weary-eyed private eyes. Culp also directed the film while his real-life wife, actress Sheila Sullivan, played his screen wife as well.The late 1970s produced a flood of routine mini-movies and B-pictures, the latter including Inside Out (1975), Sky Riders (1976), Breaking Point (1976), The Great Scout & Cathouse Thursday (1976), Flood! (1976), Goldengirl (1979) and Hot Rod (1979). While he remained a sturdy and standard presence in such mini-movies as Houston, We've Got a Problem (1974), Spectre (1977) and Calendar Girl Murders (1984), his better TV-movie roles were in A Cold Night's Death (1973), Outrage (1973), A Cry for Help (1975) and as "Lyle Pettyjohn" in the acclaimed mini-series sequel Roots: The Next Generations (1979).Bob returned to series TV as stern "CIA Chief Bill Maxwell", whose job was to protect handsome Robert Redford lookalike William Katt, who starred as an ersatz The Greatest American Hero (1981). The show lasted three seasons. Other series guest spots, both comedic and dramatic, included Hotel (1983), Highway to Heaven (1984), The Golden Girls (1985) and an episode of his old buddy's show The Cosby Show (1984). He was also a guest murderer in three of the "Columbo" episodes. Although he was relegated to appearing in such film fodder as Turk 182! (1985), Big Bad Mama II (1987) and Pucker Up and Bark Like a Dog (1989), the 1990s offered him one of his best film roles in years as the ill-fated President in the Denzel Washington/Julia Roberts political thriller The Pelican Brief (1993). A year later, he again reteamed with Cosby in the TV-movie I Spy Returns (1994).Culp became very active in the 1960s Civil Rights movement and later became a prominent face in local civic causes, joining in a lawsuit to cease construction of an elephant exhibit at the Los Angeles Zoo and accusing officials there of mistreatment. In the long run, however, the construction was given the green light. Culp also married a fifth time to Candace Faulkner and, by her, had daughter Samantha Culp in 1982. Older sons Jason Culp (born 1961) and Joseph Culp (born 1963) became actors, while another son, Joshua Culp (born 1958), entered the visual effects field. Daughter Rachel, an outré clothing designer for rock stars, was born in 1964.In later years, Culp could be seen occasionally as Ray Romano's father-in-law on the hugely popular Everybody Loves Raymond (1996). His last film, the family drama The Assignment (2010), was unreleased at the time of his death. On March 24, 2010, the 79-year-old Culp collapsed from an apparent heart attack while walking near the lower entrance to Runyon Canyon Park, a popular hiking area in the Hollywood Hills. Found by a hiker, Culp was transported to a nearby hospital where he died from the head injuries he sustained in the fall. Five grandchildren also survive.
Robert Culp is a member of Actor
Robert Culp Net worth: $7 Million
Culp was born on August 16, 1930, in Oakland, California. He was the only child of Crozier Cordell Culp, an attorney, and his wife, Bethel Martin (née Collins) Culp. He graduated from Berkeley High School, where he was a pole vaulter and took second place at the 1947 CIF California State Meet.
Robert Culp first came to national attention very early in his career as the star of the 1957–59 CBS Western television series Trackdown, in which he played Ranger Hoby Gilman, based in the town of Porter, Texas, of which he is also the sheriff.
Culp married five times and fathered three sons, Joshua (1958), Jason (1961), and Joseph (1963) and two daughters, Rachel (1964) and Samantha (1982). From 1967–70, he was married to Vietnamese-French Actress France Nguyen (known as France Nuyen), whom he had met when she guest-starred on I Spy. She appeared in four episodes, two of them written by Culp. (Culp and Nuyen also co-hosted the second episode of the infamous TV comedy Turn-On in 1969, but the program was never shown, as the series was cancelled after its first airing.)
In 1960 he appeared in two episodes of Zane Grey Theater, playing different roles in "Morning Incident" and "Calico Bait". Trackdown then had a CBS spin-off of its own, Wanted: Dead or Alive, with Steve McQueen as bounty hunter Josh Randall. After Trackdown ended in 1959 after two seasons, Culp continued to work in television, including a guest-starring role as Stewart Douglas in the 1960 episode "So Dim the Light" of CBS's anthology series The DuPont Show with June Allyson. In the summer of 1960, he guest-starred on David McLean's NBC Western series Tate.
Culp had a recurring role on Everybody Loves Raymond as Warren Whelan, the father of Debra Barone and father-in-law of Ray Barone. He appeared on episodes of other television programs, including a 1961 season-three episode of Bonanza titled "Broken Ballad", as well as The Golden Girls, The Nanny, The Girls Next Door, and Wings. He was the voice of the character Halcyon Renard in the Disney adventure cartoon Gargoyles.
Culp worked as an actor in many theatrical films, beginning with three in 1963: As naval officer John F. Kennedy's good friend Ensign George Ross in PT 109, as legendary gunslinger Wild Bill Hickok in The Raiders, and as the debonair fiance of Jane Fonda in Sunday in New York.
In 1964, Culp played Charlie Orwell, an alcoholic Veterinarian, in an episode of The Virginian (NBC 1962-71) titled "The Stallion". That same year, he appeared in yet another Western, Gunsmoke. In the series' episode "Hung High", he portrays an outlaw named Joe Costa, who attempts to frame Matt Dillon for lynching a prisoner who had killed the marshal's friend.
In 1968, Culp also made an uncredited cameo appearance as an inebriated Turkish waiter on Get Smart, the spy-spoof comedy series, in an I Spy parody episode titled "Die Spy". In this, secret agent Maxwell Smart played by Don Adams in effect assumes Culp's Kelly Robinson character, as he pretends to be an international table-tennis champion. The episode faithfully recreates the I Spy theme music, montage graphics, and back-and-forth banter between Robinson and Scott, with actor/comedian Stu Gilliam imitating Cosby.
He starred in Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice in 1969, with Natalie Wood. Another memorable role came as another gunslinger, Thomas Luther Price, in Hannie Caulder (1971) opposite Raquel Welch. A year later, Hickey & Boggs reunited him with Cosby for the first time since I Spy. Culp also directed this feature film, in which Cosby and he portray over-the-hill private eyes. In 1986, he had a primary role as General Woods in the comedy Combat Academy. Culp played the U.S. President in Alan J. Pakula's 1993 murder mystery, The Pelican Brief.
In 1971, Culp, Peter Falk, Robert Wagner, and Darren McGavin each stepped in to take turns with Anthony Franciosa's rotation of NBC's series The Name of the Game after Franciosa was fired, alternating a lead role of the lavish, 90-minute show about the magazine Business with Gene Barry and Robert Stack. Also in 1971 he portrayed an unemployed actor, the husband of ambitious Angie Dickenson, in the TV movie "See the Man Run". Culp played the murderer in three Columbo episodes ("Death Lends A Hand" in 1971, "The Most Crucial Game" in 1972, "Double Exposure" in 1973) and also appeared in the 1990 episode "Columbo Goes To College" as the father of one of two young Murderers. He also played the murderer in the pilot episode of Mrs. Columbo starring Kate Mulgrew in the title role.
In 1973, Culp almost took the male lead in the sci-fi television series Space: 1999. During negotiations with creator and executive Producer Gerry Anderson, Culp expressed himself to be not only an asset as an actor, but also as a Director and Producer for the proposed series. The part instead went to Martin Landau.
The 1980s brought him back to television. He starred as FBI Agent Bill Maxwell on The Greatest American Hero and had a recurring role as Warren Whelan on Everybody Loves Raymond. Culp gave hundreds of performances in a career spanning more than 50 years.
Culp co-starred in The Greatest American Hero as tough veteran FBI Special Agent Bill Maxwell, who teams up with a high-school Teacher who receives superpowers from extraterrestrials. He wrote and directed the second-season finale episode "Lilacs, Mr. Maxwell", with free rein to do the episode as he saw fit. The show lasted three years from 1981-83. He reprised the role in the spin-off pilot "The Greatest American Heroine" and a voice-over on the stop-motion Sketch comedy Robot Chicken. During that time, Culp was rumored to replace Larry Hagman as J. R. Ewing in Dallas. However, Culp firmly denied this, insisting he would never leave his role as Bill Maxwell. In 1987, he reunited with Cosby on The Cosby Show, playing Dr. Cliff Huxtable's old friend Scott Kelly. The name was a combination of their I Spy characters' names.
Culp appeared in the 1993 live action video game Voyeur as the game's villain, industrialist/politician Reed Hawke. He lent his voice to the digital character Doctor Breen, the prime antagonist in the 2004 computer game Half-Life 2. The video clip of "Guilty Conscience" features Culp as an erudite and detached narrator describing the scenes where Eminem and Dr. Dre rap lyrics against each other. He only appears in the music video. In the album version, the narrator is Mark Avery.
In I Spy Returns (1994), a nostalgic television movie, Culp and Cosby reprised their roles as Robinson and Scott for the first time since 1968. Culp and Cosby reunited one last time on the television show Cosby in an episode entitled "My Spy" (1999), in which Cosby's character, Hilton Lucas, dreams he is Alexander Scott on a mission with Kelly Robinson. Robert Culp also appeared on Walker, Texas Ranger as Lyle Pike in the episode "Trust No One" (February 18, 1995).
On November 9, 2007, on The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly interviewed Culp about the actor's career and awarded Culp with the distinction "TV Icon of the Week". Culp played "Simon", Blanche's beau, in the episode "Like the Beep Beep Beep of My Tom Tom" when Blanche needs a pacemaker on The Golden Girls.
Culp was taken to Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center; but all efforts at resuscitation failed, and he was pronounced dead around 11:00 a.m. He was 79 years old. Although the first reports from the police suggested that Culp died from striking his head on the ground when he fell, it was subsequently determined that he had collapsed and died of a heart attack. The only apparent injury he had sustained in his fall was a minor cut on his head. Following that official investigation, Culp's body was buried at Sunset View Cemetery in El Cerrito, California. Later, on April 10, 2010, a memorial Service for Culp was held at Grauman's Egyptian Theater in Los Angeles, with his family, friends, and some of his fans attending.
At the time of his death, Culp had just completed performing a supporting role as "Blakesley" in the film The Assignment. Culp was also working on several screenplays at the time of his death. One of those screenplays, an adaptation of the story of Terry and the Pirates, had already been accepted for filming and was scheduled to start production in Hong Kong in 2012, with Culp directing the film. Terry and the Pirates had been Culp's favorite comic strip as a boy, and it was his long-time wish to make a film based on it.