Robert Culp - Rotten Tomatoes

Robert Culp

Highest Rated:   100% Sunday in New York (1963)
Lowest Rated:   0% Running Mates (2000)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Not Available
Tall, straight-laced American actor Robert Culp parlayed his appearance and demeanor into a series of clean-cut character roles, often (though not always) with a humorous, mildly sarcastic edge. He was perhaps best known for three accomplishments: his turn as a Southern California documentary filmmaker who decides, along with his wife (Natalie Wood) to suddenly go counterculture with an "open marriage" in Paul Mazursky's Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969); his iconic three-season role as an undercover agent in the espionage-themed series I Spy (1965-8); and his three-season run as Bill Maxwell on Stephen Cannell's superhero spoof series The Greatest American Hero (1981-3). Born in Oakland, California in 1930, Culp attended several West Coast colleges while training for a dramatic career. At 21, he made his Broadway debut in He Who Gets Slapped. Within six years, he was starring in his own Friday night CBS Western, Trackdown (1957-9) as Hoby Gilman, an 1870s era Texas Ranger. During the two-year run of this program, Culp began writing scripts, a habit he'd carry over to other series, notably The Rifleman and Gunsmoke. These all represented fine and noble accomplishments for a young actor, but as indicated, I Spy delivered a far greater impact to the young actor's career: it made Culp (along with his co-star, Bill Cosby) a bona fide celebrity. The men co-starred in the NBC adventure yarn as, respectively, Kelly Robinson and Alexander Scott, undercover agents involved in globetrotting missions for the U.S. government. Both actors brought to the program a sharp yet subtle sense of humor that (coupled with its exotic locations) made it one of the major discoveries of the 1965-6 prime-time line-up. During the second of I Spy's three seasons, Culp made his directorial debut by helming episodes of Spy; he went on to direct installments of several other TV programs. The success of Bob & Carol at the tail end of the 1960s proved that Culp could hold his own as a movie star, and he later directed and co-starred in 1972 theatrical feature Hickey and Boggs, which reunited him with Cosby, albeit to much lesser acclaim. Unfortunately, as the years rolled on, Culp proved susceptible to the lure of parts in B-pictures, such as Sky Riders (1976), Flood! (1976) and Hot Rod (1979), though he delivered a fine portrayal in television's critically-acclaimed Roots: The Next Generations (1979). Culp rebounded further with the semicomic role of CIA chief Maxwell on American Hero, but many now-infamous behind-the-scenes issues (and external issues, such as the shooting of Ronald Reagan) beleaguered that program and ended its run after only three seasons. In the years that followed, Culp vacillated between exploitation roles, in tripe such as Big Bad Mama 2 and Silent Night, Deadly Night 3, and more respectable, mainstream guest turns in television series including The Cosby Show and Murder, She Wrote. He enjoyed one of his most prestigious assignments with a supporting role in the big screen John Grisham-Alan Pakula thriller The Parallax View (1993), opposite Denzel Washington and Julia Roberts. In the years that followed, Culp's on-camera presence grew less and less frequent, though he did make a cameo in the 1996 Leslie Nielsen laugher Spy Hard. Television continued to provide some of Culp's finest work: he rejoined old friend Cosby for a 1994 I Spy TV-movie reunion and made guest appearances in such series as Lonesome Dove, Law & Order and The Dead Zone. Following a period of semi-retirement, Culp died suddenly and rather arbitrarily, when he sustained a head injury during a fall outside of his Hollywood home in March 2010. He was 79 years old.

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
83% Doomed: The Untold Story Of Roger Corman's The Fantastic Four
  • Actor
2015
No Score Yet The Hanged Man
  • Actor
2014
60% Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel
  • Actor
$22.4k 2010
60% The Almost Guys
  • The Colonel
2006
No Score Yet Santa's Slay
  • Grandfather
2004
No Score Yet Innocents
  • Judge
2002
0% Running Mates
  • William Parker Gable
2000
No Score Yet Newsbreak
  • Judge McNamara
2000
60% Hickey & Boggs
  • Frank Boggs
  • Director
2000
No Score Yet Hollywood Screen Tests
  • Actor
2000
No Score Yet Wanted
  • Fr. Patrick
1999
16% Most Wanted
  • Donald Bickhart
1997
No Score Yet Mercenary
  • McClean
1997
8% Spy Hard
  • Businessman
1996
No Score Yet Xtro 3: Watch the Skies
  • Guardino
1995
27% Panther
  • Charles Garry
1995
No Score Yet XTRO 3 - Watch the Skies
  • Actor
1995
No Score Yet I Spy Returns
  • Kelly Robinson
1994
No Score Yet Then They Came for Me
  • Actor
1994
53% The Pelican Brief
  • The President
1993
No Score Yet Timebomb
  • Mr. Phillips
1991
No Score Yet The Arrival
  • Actor
1991
No Score Yet Murderous Vision
  • Dr. Bordinay
1991
No Score Yet Perry Mason: The Case of the Defiant Daughter
  • Richard Stuart
1990
No Score Yet Voyage of Terror: The Achille Lauro Affair
  • Gen. Davies
1990
No Score Yet Silent Night, Deadly Night III: Better Watch Out!
  • Lt. Connely
1989
No Score Yet Pucker up and Bark Like a Dog
  • Actor
1989
No Score Yet Big Bad Mama II
  • Daryl Pearson
1987
No Score Yet Combat High
  • General Woods
1986
No Score Yet The Gladiator
  • Lieutenant Frank Mason
1986
No Score Yet The Blue Lightning
  • Lester McInally
1986
20% Turk 182!
  • Mayor Tyler
1985
No Score Yet The Key to Rebecca
  • Actor
1985
No Score Yet Calendar Girl Murders
  • Richard Trainor
1984
No Score Yet Her Life as a Man
  • Actor
1983
0% National Lampoon's Movie Madness
  • Paul Everest
1982
No Score Yet Who Murdered Joy Morgan?
  • Actor
1981
No Score Yet Who Murdered Joy Morgan?
  • Lou Corbin
1981
No Score Yet The Night the City Screamed
  • Actor
1980
No Score Yet Joshua of Jericho
  • Actor
1979
No Score Yet Hot Rod
  • T.L. Munn
1979
No Score Yet Golden Girl
  • Actor
1979
No Score Yet That's Action
  • Actor
1977
No Score Yet The Great Scout & Cathouse Thursday (Wildcat)
  • Jack Colby
1976
No Score Yet Breaking Point
  • Frank Sirrianni
1976
No Score Yet Flood!
  • Steve Brannigan
1976
No Score Yet Sky Riders
  • Bracken
1976
No Score Yet Inside Out (The Golden Heist) (Hitler's Gold)
  • Sly Wells
1975
No Score Yet The Castaway Cowboy
  • Calvin Bryson
1974
No Score Yet The Chill Factor
  • Robert Jones
1973
No Score Yet A Name for Evil (The Grove) (The Face of Evil)
  • John Blake
1973
No Score Yet Columbo: The Most Crucial Game
  • Actor
1972
No Score Yet Columbo: Death Lends a Hand
  • Actor
1971
No Score Yet Hannie Caulder
  • Thomas Luther Price
1971
91% Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice
  • Bob Sanders
1969
No Score Yet Demon with a Glass Hand
  • Actor
1964
No Score Yet Rhino!
  • Actor
1964
100% Sunday in New York
  • Russ Wilson
1963
60% PT 109
  • Ens. George 'Barney' Ross
1963
No Score Yet Sammy, the Way-Out Seal
  • Chet
1962
No Score Yet Robert Montgomery Presents
  • Actor
1957

Quotes from Robert Culp's Characters