Robert Culp

Can’t allow Robert Culp’s passing to go unremarked.  When I was a boy, Bill Cosby was my hero.  Had all his records, went to his shows, even, through the machinations of my show biz father, got to meet him as he filmed the hopscotch credit sequence to his first TV special and then got to watch him film a scene of I Spy with co-star Culp.  I loved I Spy beyond telling and saw every episode.  The best by far was one called “Home to Judgment,” for which Culp wrote the screenplay.

Culp was the embodiment of swinging cool and the on-screen relationship he forged with Cosby–the first black star of a dramatic TV series–was a model of what they now call male bonding or bromance but which we used to call friendship.  It displayed the sixties dream of an America beyond prejudice–that dream the left deferred with race baiting, affirmative action and identity politics.

It saddened me to hear Culp died last week at 79.  Rest in peace–and go for yourself, my man.

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  • Lars Walker

    I don’t think Culp ever got the appreciation he deserved, and I don’t think “I Spy” ever really got the credit it deserved for its cultural impact. For a generation of kids, “I Spy” made racial prejudice, suddenly, not just obsolete but irrelevant.

  • C.

    Robert Culp deserved an Emmy for his role in I Spy. How about an Emmy for lifetime achievement?