some newspaper, 1982
TV's Men from U.N.C.L.E. tell why they're coming back after 15 years
THE MEN from U.N.C.L.E. are back -- older and heavier but the same dashing daredevils ready to save the world from destruction. This time they're making a movie.
It's been 15 years since Robert Vaughn (as Napoleon Solo) and David McCallum (Illya Kuryakin) touched off an international fad as the dashing spies from U.N.C.L.E. -- the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement.
In their 60's heyday, they were superstars as well as sex symbols, but when the show bit the dust after four years, from 1964 to 1968, both stars spent some quiet, almost forgotten years.
McCallum, now 50, remembers those frantic days. "I was the Farrah Fawcett of the Sixties," he said. "I didn't go anywhere."
"There were always crazy scenes if I made a public appearance.
"This morning, when I looked out of my room at Caesar's Palace in Vegas, where we're filming, I saw a big sign: 'Robert Vaughn and David McCallum now filming...' You shake your head and you realize that it's all happening again. It's scary.
"I imagine that will be on my tombstone: 'Here lies Illya Kuryakin, who sometimes know as David McCallum.' It's strange to be back after the years of privacy, but I wanted to do it."
The movie is The Man From U.N.C.L.E. -- The 15 Years Later Affair, airing in early 1983 on CBS.
In it the retired superspies are forced back to work when a madman holed up in the Nevada desert with nuclear arms demands money -- or else goodbye world. For Vaughn and McCallum, the screen reunion is a happy one. "It's sensational to be back together again," says McCallum. "Although Bob and I haven't maintained close contact throughout the years, our relationship is great.
"We have different life-styles. I hang out with a motorcycle crowd, and he lives up in Connecticut with the country club set."
The two Sixties heroes have become dedicated family men since their days of mass popularity. Vaughn, married to actress Linda Staab, has a 15-month-old daughter, Caitlin, and a seven-year-old son, Cassidy. McCallum and his wife, Katherine, have two children -- Sophie, 10, and Peter, 12.
Life after U.N.C.L.E. saw McCallum doing a lot of theater and Vaughn appearing in prestigious TV minis, such as Washington Behind Closed Doors, which won him an Emmy in '76.
At no time did their popularity reach the peak of the 60's. But at no time did they lose the touch that made their TV characters the dashing folk heroes of an era.
"Once I put on that tuxedo again, I am Napoleon Solo, even after 15 years," says Vaughn, 50.
Both men admitted it came as a surprise to them that the new U.N.C.L.E. movie would become a reality. And both jumped at the opportunity to play it again, mainly because the expensive production promises to be as slick as the 60s series.