Robert Wolders, who is known for his role in the Western television series Laredo and as the longtime companion of Hollywood icon Audrey Hepburn, died on July 12. He was 81.
The official Twitter account of the Audrey Hepburn Children’s Fund announced the news saying, “With the heaviest heart we salute our Board Member, mentor and friend Robert Wolders. May your beautiful soul rest in peace. Your shining example lives on.”
Wolders was born in the Netherlands on Sept. 28, 1936. He studied acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. No details have been released about the cause of death.
He appeared on many TV shows during the ’60s and ’70s. His first role was in 1965 on NBC’s Flipper. He went on to appear in The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Bewitched, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The John Forsythe Show and many others. He joined the second and final season of the action comedy Laredo in 1966 as Texas Ranger Erik Hunter.
On the film side, Wolders starred in the 1967 war drama Tobruk alongside Rock Hudson and George Peppard. The Arthur Hiller-directed movie marked the final Universal Pictures film for Hudson and was set during World War II.
Because of his good looks and accent, he was typecast many times as a romantic interest, European or otherwise. In 1975 he starred in CBS’ The Legendary Curse of the Hope Diamond, which would be his last time on screen as an actor. He ended his acting career after he married his Interval co-star Merle Oberon. They were married until her death in 1979.
Starting in 1980, Wolders and Hepburn were companions until her death in 1993. Hepburn was a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and Wolders would accompany the Breakfast at Tiffany’s legend to many missions for the children’s charity. After her death, he had had a relationship with Leslie Caron of Gigi and then with Shirlee Fonda.