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Rod Taylor Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (3) | Trade Mark (2) | Trivia (23) | Personal Quotes (7)

Overview (4)

Born in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Died in Beverly Hills, California, USA  (heart attack)
Birth NameRodney Sturt Taylor
Height 5' 11" (1.8 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Suave and handsome Australian actor who came to Hollywood in the 1950s, and built himself up from a supporting actor into taking the lead in several well-remembered movies. Arguably his most fondly remembered role was that as George (Herbert George Wells), the inventor, in George Pal's spectacular The Time Machine (1960). As the movie finished with George, and his best friend Filby Alan Young seemingly parting forever, both actors were brought back together in 1993 to film a 30 minute epilogue to the original movie! Taylor's virile, matinée idol looks also assisted him in scoring the lead of Mitch Brenner in Alfred Hitchcock's creepy thriller The Birds (1963), the role of Jane Fonda's love interest in Sunday in New York (1963), the title role in John Ford's biopic of Irish playwright Sean O'Casey in Young Cassidy (1965), and a co-starring role in The Train Robbers (1973) with John Wayne. Taylor also appeared as Bette Davis future son-in-law in the well-received film The Catered Affair (1956). He also gave a sterling performance as the German-American Nazi Major trying to fool James Garner in 36 Hours (1964). Later Taylor made many westerns and action movies during the 1960s and 1970s; however, none of them were much better than "B pictures" and failed to push his star to the next level. Aditionally, Taylor was cast as the lead in several TV series including Bearcats! (1971), Masquerade (1983), and Outlaws (1986); however, none of them truly ignited viewer interest, and they were canceled after only one or two seasons. Most fans would agree that Rod Taylor's last great role was in the wonderful Australian film The Picture Show Man (1977), about a traveling side show bringing "moving pictures" to remote towns in the Australian outback.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: firehouse44

Spouse (3)

Carol Kikumura (15 October 1980 - 7 January 2015) (his death)
Mary Beth Hilem (1 June 1963 - 18 September 1969) (divorced) (1 child)
Peggy Williams (1951 - 1954) (divorced)

Trade Mark (2)

Virile, adventurous characters.
Often played stolid and macho action heroes in war films and westerns.

Trivia (23)

Father: William Sturt Taylor; Mother: Mona Stewart
Father of Felicia Taylor with his second wife, Mary.
20th Century-Fox considered him for the astronaut role in 1968's Planet of the Apes (1968) but, perhaps seeking a bigger box office name, gave the part to Charlton Heston.
Played Tarzan in an Australian children's radio serial in the early 1950s.
Attended East Sydney Art College.
His second wife, Mary Beth Hilem, died on March 7, 2009.
Taylor had completely retired from acting when Quentin Tarantino offered him the role of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in Inglourious Basterds (2009). At first Taylor declined the part, suggesting that Tarantino should cast Albert Finney (who had played Churchill to great acclaim in The Gathering Storm (2002)), but eventually the director talked him into it.
Was originally considered for the role of Roper in Enter the Dragon (1973) but was thought to be too tall, compared to the actor he'd be sharing many action scenes with, Bruce Lee -- the part eventually played by John Saxon.
He originally planned to become an artist, and as a teenager he studied at the East Sydney Technical and Fine Arts College. He became interested in acting. He saw Laurence Olivier in "Richard III" on an Old Vic tour, and this inspired him to become an actor.
His father was a steel-construction contractor and draftsman, and his mother, a children's book author.
Briefly pursued a career as a painter before turning to acting.
Ran his own TV production company, Rodlor Inc..
He was considered for the role of Colonel George Taylor in Planet of the Apes (1968) before Charlton Heston was cast.
Is one of two actors to appear in movies, directed by Alfred Hitchcock and Quentin Tarantino. Bruce Dern is the other.
Rod Taylor fell down about two weeks before his death and was hospitalized. He returned home, and he subsequently had a heart attack and died in his bed at his home in Beverly Hills, CA, surrounded by his family and friends.
He was considered to star with John Wayne in Rio Bravo (1959), Circus World (1964) and The War Wagon (1967), before he finally got to work with Wayne in The Train Robbers (1973).
He was once engaged to Anita Ekberg, who died four days after him.
Became a US citizen in 1982.
Taylor refused a screen test for James Bond, considering it beneath him. "Every time a new Bond picture became a smash hit," he later admitted, "I tore out my hair.".
In the early 1970s he saved the Australian Opera (now Opera Australia) with a $250,000 donation.
He never carried a film that was a big box office hit.
In the late 1960s he focused on action films. Critics felt he looked too short, old and out-of-shape to be believable in those roles, and the films all flopped at the box office.
He was little seen in movies after the 1960s.

Personal Quotes (7)

"Pretending to still be the tough man of action isn't dignified for me any more. There comes a time when you're over the hill and there are plenty of great looking younger actors who can take your place. The action stars of today are making some wonderful films. There are no 'I could do it better' feelings in me. The younger they come, the better they get. That's why Olympic records are broken." (from a 1987 interview)
I want to make movies about Australia to be shown to people all over the world. It annoys me to talk to people overseas who are surprised we have not only kangaroos but telephones ... I think I've built up a pretty good international reputation - I'm lucky enough to have some sort of status - and I want to use it to help Australian films. (1968)
[on The Catered Affair (1956)] The Brooklyn accent I put on during the test so convinced the producers that I was from New York that they cast me as a Bronx boy. They didn't know I was just 18 months out of Australia until the movie was half finished.
I'm about the only Australian in movies who doesn't pretend to be something else. Flynn pretended he was American, Finch pretends he's a Pommie, Merle Oberon says she was not born in Tasmania.
I can fight, and I have, but so help me I haven't hit anybody in 20 years. Not rafts of girls any more, and no wives coming up or thought of. [Ex-]wives are at present costing me $60,000 a year. (1975)
I make love to as many women [as] will let me. If a girl gives me half a chance, I'll bed her down, and that's the truth.
When I arrived at LA airport, to be met by some Hollywood promoters, they were expecting some six foot, pretty guy. Instead they were shocked to see a five foot ten punk, with a broken nose.

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