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Robert Culp never cracked Emmy's secret code

March 24, 2010 |  4:48 pm
Robert Culp died TV news

Robert Culp may have portrayed a secret government agent on TV, but there's one thing he never spied on his mantle at home: an Emmy or Golden Globe.

Before his death today at age 79, Robert Culp was nominated by both of those awards, but he had bad luck. Actually, he had really bad luck at the Emmys considering that he lost best drama actor three years in a row (1966-68) to his "I Spy" costar Bill Cosby. Culp was also nominated once for writing (1967), losing to Bruce Geller ("Mission: Impossible"). That other hit espionage TV series, "Mission:Impossible," out-gunned "I Spy" twice in the battle over best drama series (1967, 1968). In 1966, "I Spy" lost to "The Fugitive."

Both Bill Cosby and Robert Culp lost best TV actor at the Golden Globes in 1967 to Dean Martin ("The Dean Martin Show"), but "I Spy" won best TV show that same year. Culp isn't listed as one of the technical winners of that statuette, but he deserves much of the credit for his dashing role as a spy parading as a pro tennis player. 

Photo: Robert Culp and Bill Cosby in "I Spy" (NBC)

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Photo: Fox

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