Friday, January 9, 2015

Rod Taylor, 1930-2015

Rod Taylor and Tippi Hedren in The Birds (1963)

The news came in overnight of the death of actor Rod Taylor. Taylor, who was born in Australia but moved to Hollywood early in his career after landing a part in a Hollywood-financed movie filmed in Australia. Taylor worked in supporting roles in movies such as The Catered Affair and Separate Tables before getting his chance to be a leading actor in the 1960 science fiction classic The Time Machine.

Rod Taylor in The Time Machine (1960)

For those who don't know, The Time Machine is based on HG Wells' novel about a Victorian-era man who invents a time machine and travels to the distant future, 800,000 years ahead, and finds that human life on Earth has devolved into a childlike race of Eloi living above ground, and the evil Morlocks. Taylor's character falls in love with one of the Eloi. I have to admit this movie has never quite been a favorite of mine, but it does show up a lot on TCM.

Taylor actoed regularly throughout the 1960s, playing alongside a cast of big stars in The VIPs; opposite James Garner in 36 Hours, and opposite Doris Day in The Glass Bottom Boat>. There's also Sunday in New York, which was just on the other day.

I don't know that TCM has announced any programming tribute for Taylor yet.

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