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Rodney Sturt "Rod" Taylor (born January 11, 1930) is an Australian-born actor.

Life and career

Born in Lidcombemarker, a suburb of Sydneymarker, Australia, Taylor was the only child of William Sturt Taylor, a steel construction contractor and commercial artist, and the former Mona Thompson, a writer of plays and children's books. His middle name comes from his great-great grand uncle, Captain Charles Sturt, a famous Britishmarker explorer of Australia.

He attended Sydney Technical and Fine Arts College before deciding to become an actor upon seeing Laurence Olivier in an Old Vicmarker touring production in Australia. After acquiring radio and stage experience in Australia (his radio work included a stint on Blue Hills), Taylor moved to the United Statesmarker in 1954, where he became a leading man in feature films of the 1960s and 1970s.

In 1955, Taylor guest-starred in the third episode entitled "The Argonauts" of the first hour-long western television series, Cheyenne, an ABC program starring Clint Walker. Taylor and Edward Andrews played gold seekers Clancy and Duncan, respectively, who are best of friends until they strike it rich, only to see Native Americans release their gold dust to the wind.

In the 1960-1961 television season, Taylor starred as foreign correspondent Glenn Evans in the ABC dramatic series Hong Kong. His principal co-star was Lloyd Bochner. The program faced stiff competition on Wednesday evenings from NBC's Wagon Train.

In 1961, Taylor guest-starred on Marilyn Maxwell's short-lived ABC series Bus Stop. In 1962, he starred in an episode of The DuPont Show of the Week (NBC) entitled The Ordeal of Dr. Shannon, an adaptation of A. J. Cronin's novel, Shannon's Way.

Equally adept at light comedy and drama, Taylor's best-known films are the H.G. Wells science-fiction classic The Time Machine (1960) and Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds (1963). In the latter, Taylor starred as Mitch Brenner, a man whose town and family home in Northern Californiamarker come under attack from flocks of angry black birds for no discernible reason.

His other films include Sunday in New York, Fate is the Hunter, 36 Hours, Young Cassidy, The Glass Bottom Boat, Darker Than Amber, The Picture Show Man, and Cry of the Innocent.

Prior to that, Taylor had broken into Hollywood with small roles in big pictures like Giant (1956), Raintree County (1957) and Separate Tables (1958).

Taylor was reportedly up for the role of Caucasian martial artist Roper in the Bruce Lee vehicle Enter the Dragon. The 1973 film was directed by Robert Clouse, who had also directed Taylor in 1970's Darker Than Amber. However, Taylor was supposedly deemed too tall for the part, and the role went to John Saxon.

In the 1970s, Taylor turned again to television. He starred in 1971's Bearcats! on CBS and in The Oregon Trail on NBC in 1976. He appeared in 30 episodes of Falcon Crest as well as multiple episodes of Murder, She Wrote and Walker, Texas Ranger.

In 1993, Taylor hosted the documentary Time Machine: The Journey Back, directed by Clyde Lucas. At the end of the special came a mini-sequel, written by David Duncan, the original writer of the George Pal classic. Taylor recreated his role as George, reuniting him with Filby (Alan Young).

Inglourious Basterds from director Quentin Tarantino in 2009 featured Taylor as British prime minister Winston Churchill.

Married to third wife Carol Kikumura, Taylor is the father of former CNN financial reporter Felicia Taylor (born 1964), from an earlier marriage. A life-long artist, he had homes in southern Californiamarker and in Australia.

Partial filmography





TV shows

Taylor has had several lead roles in television, from the early 1960s to the early 2000s. Among his TV shows are

Among semi-regular appearances or multiple episodes:

External links



The Complete Rod Taylor Site


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