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.
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