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- Who is your favorite Bonanza character?: Adam
- Location: Long Island, NY
Date of Birth - 8/16/30
Date of Death - 3/24/10 (heart attack)
Birth Name -Robert Martin Culp
Robert Martin Culp was born in Oakland California. The son of attorney Crozie Culp and his wife, Bethel Collins, who was employed at a Berkeley chemical company, he offset his only-child loneliness by playacting in local theater productions. Culp also showed a talent for art while young and earned money as a cartoonist for Bay Area magazines and newspapers in high school, but the fascination with becoming an actor proved much stronger. He attended Berkeley High School and graduated in 1947. The athletically-inclined Culp dominated at track and field events and, as a result, earned athletic scholarships to six different universities. He selected the relatively minor College of the Pacific in Stockton, California primarily because of its active theater department. Transferring to various other colleges of higher learning (including San Francisco State in 1949), he never earned a degree. After performing in some theatre in the San Francisco area, he moved to Seattle and then New York in 1951.
Bob made his 1963 Broadway debut in "The Prescott Proposals". His first major TV role was in 1957 playing Texas Ranger "Hoby Gilman” in “Trackdown”. He went on to play in many TV shows including “Bonanza”.
"Bonanza" Broken Ballad (1961)
Ed Payson, a reformed gunfighter, has returned to Virginia City to tend some property he owns. When he's welcomed with resistance by some of the townspeople, Adam decides to help him, even though everyone thinks he may have murdered Dave, the grocer's son.
His big break came in 1965 as the debonair series lead "Kelly Robinson", a jet-setting, pro-circuit tennis player who leads a double life as an international secret agent in “I Spy” with costar Bill Cosby, who, as "Alexander Scott", posed as Culp's tennis trainer. It was the first U.S. prime-time network drama to feature an African-American actor in a full-out starring role and the relationship between the two meshed perfectly and charismatically on screen. Both were nominated for acting Emmys in all three of its seasons, with Cosby coming out the victor each time.
After “I Spy” Culp took on perhaps his most-famous and controversial film role as Natalie Wood’s husband "Bob" in the titillating but ultimately teasing "flower power" era film “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice” (1969).
In later years Culp could be seen occasionally as Ray Romano's father-in-law on the hugely popular “Everybody Loves Raymond” (1996).
Culp was married five times and had five children. Both he and Bill Cosby were involved in civil rights causes and, when Martin Luther King was assassinated in 1968, the pair traveled to Memphis, Tenn., to join the striking garbage workers King had been organizing.
In 2010 the 79-year-old Culp collapsed from an apparent heart attack while walking near the lower entrance to Runyon Canyon Park, a popular hiking area in the Hollywood Hills. Found by a hiker, Culp was transported to a nearby hospital where he died from the head injuries he sustained in the fall.
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