Best Actor in a Television Series, Miniseries, or Motion Picture Made for Television
I Spy [TV Series]
Tall, straight-laced American actor Robert Culp parlayed his appearance and demeanor into a series of clean-cut character roles, often (though not always) with a humorous, mildly sarcastic edge. He was perhaps best known for three accomplishments: his turn as a Southern California documentary filmmaker who decides, along with his wife (Natalie Wood) to suddenly go counterculture with an "open marriage" in Paul Mazursky's Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969); his iconic three-season role as an undercover agent in the espionage-themed series I Spy (1965-8); and his three-season run as Bill Maxwell on Stephen Cannell's superhero spoof series The Greatest American Hero (1981-3).
Born in Oakland, California in 1930, Culp attended several West Coast colleges while training for a dramatic career. At 21, he made his Broadway debut in He Who Gets Slapped. Within six years, he was starring in his own Friday night CBS Western, Trackdown (1957-9) as Hoby Gilman, an 1870s era Texas Ranger. During the two-year run of this program, Culp began writing scripts, a habit he'd carry over to other series, notably The Rifleman and Gunsmoke.