At the Booth Theater at 222 West 45th Street the cast of "The Flip Side," a British comedy, goes over its lines. (New York Times)


It doesn't sound real, normal, or anything else "actor-ish," but David McCallum's popularity doesn't bother Bob Vaughn. How long this will continue, of course, no one knows. BUT---right now, and for the past several months, as David's image took greater shape with the fans, Bob took less notice of it than anyone around him---although he is too smart a guy not to have noticed. However, it should be noted that HIS own status also has risen enormously, as well.

Bob recalls how a season ago he was the number two (and less) dog on The Lieutenant, Gary Lockwood, a guy built emotionally like Bob---with no jealous bones in his body---kept asking the producers to give more work to Bob, so Gary would get a chance to breathe easier. "Now," laughs Bob, "I know what Gary was talking about." Bob is happy to see more of the work load on The Man From U.N.C.L.E. taken off him and given to David. BUT---will there be more given to David? It doesn't look like it.

Despite the fact the producers (and a new gang is taking over) know that David has a new popularity, they also think the relationship between him and Bob has made the show so popular. However, they tell us, "There'll be more interplay between them." Proof of how these guys feel about each other is a confidential memo sent from the departing producer to the new men, telling how well the two stars get along.

"I can't forsee any problems at all between the two of them," the memo reads. "Never have I seen such a case of non-inflated egos in actors. They are both hard-working, intelligent men."

The plan will be to keep David as strangely mysterious and unattainable. And that's much like what both of them really are off-screen. They guard their leisure and privacy with a passion. Both cherish the ability to get away from each other with as much honesty as they enjoy working together on the set. They stand on no ceremony visiting each other's dressing rooms---and also know when to get out without any real problem.

David respects Bob's great intelligence---and Bob stands in awe of David's engineering (electronic) ability, a field in which he seems to be blank, as compared to his language, history, politics, economics, etc.

Both love the adulation---and right now there's apparently enough for both to handle.

As we said---let's hope it continues this way.