"...On opening night, the lights hit me and I went backstage and sat behind the flats, listening. Not to the people onstage. I knew what they were saying. To the audience. I had never experienced that before. It was alive. I had never been so thrilled in my life. I never stopped working as an actor from then on."
About This Interview
In his three-hour Archive interview, Robert Culp (1930-2010) talks about his childhood interests and how he aspired to be an animator for Disney when he grew up. He talks about his acting training and his move to New York City, breaking into theater and television. He explains how he was able to get work in television as an indirect result of the Hollywood Blacklist: since he was a newcomer, he had no affiliations. He talks about his early experiences in Los Angeles as a struggling actor and describes his first role as a series regular on the series Trackdown, which he calls a "western Dragnet." He speaks fondly of working with Dick Powell, whose Four Star Productions produced this series. He describes some of the roles he had in a variety of the popular TV genres of the day— western, detective, medical, sci-fi— including his memorable parts on the classic sci-fi anthology The Outer Limits. He then speaks in great detail about the role and the series for which he is most closely associated: "Kelly Robinson" on I, Spy. For this series he talks about the on-location shooting, working with co-star Bill Cosby (and the controversial casting of an African-American lead), and talks about some of the series' episodes in which he acted as well as wrote. He then speaks about two other series in which he memorably appeared: The Greatest American Hero and Everybody Loves Raymond. Stephen J. Abramson conducted the interview in Los Angeles, CA on November 6, 2007.