Monday, January 14, 2013

An Octogenarian Aussie

I missed acknowledging, last Friday, the 83rd birthday of Australian-born actor Rod Taylor. In addition to starring in the 1960 science-fiction film The Time Machine and Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds (1963), Taylor appeared with Dennis Cole in the 1971 historical action series Bearcats! and the 1983 spy drama series Masquerade.

Taylor also featured in Fate Is the Hunter (1964), Hotel (1967), Nobody Runs Forever (1968), and The Train Robbers (1973). He even did a turn as British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious asterds (2009).

However, many Rap Sheet readers may remember Taylor best for his performance as Travis McGee in Darker than Amber, the 1970 cinematic adaptation of John D. MacDonald’s 1966 novel. As author Gar Anthony Haywood put it recently on Facebook, Taylor was the “best Travis McGee EVER.” If you’ve never seen the film, click here to watch its opening sequence as well as a late fight scene between Taylor and William Smith that apparently became much more violent than the director had expected.

8 comments:

Bill Crider said...

Let's not forget DARK OF THE SUN.

J. Kingston Pierce said...

Of course not, Bill. More on that here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_of_the_Sun

J. Kingston Pierce said...

I also neglected to mention that Taylor starred with Lloyd Bochner in the 1960–1961 TV adventure drama Hong Kong, playing an American journalist who worked in that often trouble-prone and exotic city.

More here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hong_Kong_%28TV_series%29

Elizabeth Foxwell said...

Significant turn by Taylor as well in _The Twilight Zone_ (along with Jim Hutton), "And When the Sky Was Opened" (1959).

michael said...

The episodes from Hong Kong can be viewed on youtube. The first here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTVk51p0B6A

Bill Crider said...

Thanks, Jeff. I should've known there'd be a Wikipedia article. I still remember seeing that one on the big screen. I was so impressed that I went out and bought the paperback and became a long-time reader of Wilbur Smith's novels.

karabekirus said...

I think his best performance was in Chuka

Mike Ripley said...

And he was the only incarnation of John Gardner's cowardly spy Boysie Oakes in "The Liquidator".