He's been in sitcoms such as Citizen Smith and Porridge and dramas such as Our Friends in the North, yet only now could you say he has achieved global stardom – all thanks to a recurring guest role in the biggest show on television.
Not bad for a 92-year-old.
"It has been incredibly successful," says Mr Vaughan of Game of Thrones, the phenomenally popular swords, sex and dragons fantasy saga that returned to screens around the world last week.
"It does not surprise me," says the Wem-born actor speaking to the Shropshire Star.
"It has been a success because it is an absolutely wonderful story, but I am surprised that it has surpassed all other successes of recent years.
"It has everything doesn't it?" he says.
"To see its appeal to the general public you only have to see the opening night being shown in many, many countries. It has a universal appeal."
Mr Vaughan returns to our screens this week in the series's second episode.
He plays Aemon Targaryen, part of the Night's Watch – a sort of Foreign Legion defending a massive wall of ice against invasion.
His is one of the few characters that has managed to stay alive (so far) throughout all five seasons of a show based on the fantasy novels of George RR Martin – a writer happy to kill off characters at the drop of a hat. And hopefully his character will survive for the rest of this series, and the series still to come – although how many there will be remains to be seen.
Executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss said this week that their great Game is approaching its final act.
"We could go another four years," Benioff said, "but the one thing that really got us excited when we pitched this was that this isn't just a regular series.
"It's a real story with a beginning, a middle, and an end.
Whatever happens, Mr Vaughan says he is grateful to have been involved.
"It is a privilege, to be honest, to be working with such a marvellous crew, such a wonderful set of directors, and superb adaptational authors," adds the actor, who now lives in West Sussex.
"I have been very lucky and I was very lucky to land this one, I think."