Mar 24, 2010

Robert Culp Dead at 79

Robert Culp, the actor paired with Bill Cosby in the TV series "I Spy" and was Bob in the popular sex comedy "Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice," died Wednesday after collapsing outside his Hollywood home. He was 79.

Hillard Elkins, Culp's manager, said the actor was on a walk when he fell. He was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead shortly after. Culp's son was told he died of a heart attack, Elkins said.

Los Angeles police Lt. Robert Binder said no foul play was suspected, though police are uncertain if the fall was medically related. Binder said a jogger found Culp, who apparently fell and struck his head.

Culp played Kelly Robinson on "I Spy," which aired from 1965 to 1968. The series is primarily celebrated for Bill Cosby (as Alexander Scott) being the first African American star of a television show, but Culp did more than his fair share to make the show a hit. The series greatly advanced both stars' careers.

After "I Spy", his most remembered film role is as Bob in "Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice," a satire on the the radical sexual ideals of the 1960s. Bob and Carol (Culp and Natalie Wood) are the ones lured into the idea of wife-swapping by their best friends, Ted and Alice (Elliott Gould and Dyan Cannon).

Culp was married five times, to Nancy Ashe, Elayne Wilner, France Nuyen, Sheila Sullivan and Candace Faulkner. He had four children with Ashe and one with Faulkner.


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