My Secret Life: Robert Vaughn, actor, 79
My parents were... always on the road. They were actors, so I was raised predominantly by grandparents in Minnesota. I spent holidays with my mother and stepfather but lived in my grandparents' house.
When I was a child I wanted to... There was absolutely no question in my mind – from the first moment I was conscious of it, when I was about six, I wanted to be an actor. It was so thrilling to watch people on stage saying lines and making people happy – even when I didn't know what it was, I could see what a pleasure it was for the actors and what a pleasure it was for the audience.
If I could change one thing about myself... I think I appear to people who don't know me as distant, cool, but I'm none of those things – when you get to know me I'm a lot of fun! I'm more of a listener than a talker; I can't change it but I would if I could.
You may not know it but I'm very good at... sports. Throughout school I was very active; I was captain of the track team and played basketball and football.
You wouldn't know it but I'm no good at... There is something I desperately want to be good at but I'm not – I would love to have learnt to sing.
At night I dream of... Marilyn Monroe. I did have occasion to meet Marilyn once, when I was very young. I had a job escorting interviewees at a television studio. This girl came in, her name was Norma, and she had dark glasses, very pretty. She stopped to drink from a water fountain and she was really struggling, I had to hold her head and help her drink!
I wish I'd never worn... During The Man From UNCLE I got into a gorilla suit.
I drive... a 1962 Lincoln Continental convertible. It looks very much like the car Kennedy was assassinated in. She's called LC – her initials – but I call her Elsie.
The person who really makes me laugh... My best friend of almost 50 years, an actor and colleague of mine, Sherwood Price. I know that when I put my hand on the doorknob, that within 15 minutes of being inside I'll be screaming with laughter. He's what's called an insult comedian – he insults you and makes you laugh at the same time.
My secret crush is... Marilyn Monroe – but it's not a secret!
Movie heaven... My favourite movies are Gone with the Wind and Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront, directed by Elia Kazan. No matter whether I look at it once a week or once a year it still stands out as the best directed and acted film in American cinema.
My greatest regret... That I never got the opportunity to have one of the Hamlets I did photographed. I didn't think about it at the time, but I wish I could give that to my children as a memory of their pop.
My real-life villains... Such a long list, starting with Mao Tse-Tung, Hitler, Stalin – all the 20th-century villains involved.
The last time I cried... When my dog died about two or three years ago. I was here filming Hustle but I thought I'd get back to see him before he died. I didn't, but his ashes are on my mantelpiece.
My five-year plan... Well, to stay vertical and stay articulate.
What's the point? I'm not a person to dwell on the meaning of life; I go from day to day. My grandmother said: "Live for today, for tomorrow may be as yesterday". Live each day, for you can only control the present.
A life in brief
Robert Vaughn was born in New York in 1932. He has appeared in over 150 films, including The Magnificent Seven and Bullitt. In 1959, Vaughn was Oscar-nominated for his role in The Young Philadelphians. He went on to star in the Sixties TV series The Man from UNCLE and then The Protectors in 1972. Vaughn wrote a PhD on blacklisting in Hollywood, published as Only Victims. Since 2004, he has appeared in BBC1's Hustle; the new series begins on 6 January and the DVD of season seven is out on 9 January
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are in need of a HR Manage...
£35000 - £40000 per annum + £65,000 OTE: h2 Recruit Ltd: London, Birmingham, M...