Rod Taylor

Filmography

1954

King of the Coral Sea

Long John Silver

 

1955

The Virgin Queen 

Hell on Frisco Bay 

Top Gun

 

1956

World Without End

The Catered Affair 

Giant 

The Rack

 

1957

Raintree County

 

1958

Step Down to Terror 

Separate Tables

 

1959

Ask Any Girl

 

1960

The Time Machine 

Colossus and the Amazon Queen

 

1961

One Hundred and One Dalmatians

 

1962

Seven Seas to Calais

 

1963

The Birds 

The V.I.P.s 

A Gathering of Eagles 

Sunday in New York

 

1964

Fate Is the Hunter

 

1965

36 Hours 

Young Cassidy 

The Liquidator 

Do Not Disturb

 

1966

The Glass Bottom Boat

 

1967

Hotel 

Chuka

 

1968

Dark of the Sun 

Nobody Runs Forever 

The Hell with Heroes

 

1970

Zabriskie Point 

Darker than Amber 

The Man Who Had Power Over Women

 

1973

The Train Robbers 

Gli eroi (a.k.a. The Heroes) 

Trader Horn 

The Deadly Trackers

 

1974

Hell River (a.k.a. Partizani)

 

1976

Blondie

 

1977

Gulliver’s Travels 

The Picture Show Man

 

1979

The Treasure Seekers

 

1982

A Time to Die

 

1983

On the Run

 

1984

Terror in the Aisles

 

1985

Marbella, un golpe de cinco estrellas 

Mask of Murder

 

1995

Open Season 

Point of Betrayal

 

1998

Welcome to Woop Woop

 

2009

Inglourious Basterds

Awards

Rod Taylor was never nominated for an Academy Award.

I’d much rather turn down a starring role in a bad picture and do a small role in a very good picture. ~ Rod Taylor  

Fan Favorite Films

The Time Machine

The Birds

 

Rod Taylor: Learn more about him, review his filmography and more

Actors, Biographies

Born in Australia, Taylor made his feature film debut in the Australian Lee Robinson film King of the Coral Sea (1954), playing an American. He later played Israel Hands in a Hollywood-financed film shot in Sydney, Long John Silver (1954), an unofficial sequel to Treasure Island. Following these two films, Taylor was awarded the 1954 Rola Show Australian Radio Actor of the Year Award, which included a ticket to London via Los Angeles, but Taylor did not continue on to London.

Taylor soon landed roles in television shows such as Studio 57 and the films Hell on Frisco Bay (1955) and Giant (1956). In 1955, he guest-starred in the third episode (“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 friends until they strike it rich, only to see Native Americans release their gold dust to the wind. The episode was a remake of the film The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948). Taylor was considered for one of the leads in Warner Bros. Television’s Maverick.

Toward the end of 1955, Taylor unsuccessfully screen tested to play boxer Rocky Graziano in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s Somebody Up There Likes Me after James Dean’s death, but his use of a Brooklyn accent and physical prowess in t Save & Exit he test impressed the studio enough to gain him a long-term contract. At MGM, he played a series of support roles in The Catered Affair (1956), Raintree County (1957), and Ask Any Girl (1959). He had a significant role in Separate Tables (1958), which won Oscars for two of its stars, David Niven and Wendy Hiller. He also made a strong impression guest-starring in an episode of The Twilight Zone titled “And When the Sky Was Opened” (1959).

Taylor’s first leading role in a feature film was in The Time Machine (1960), George Pal’s adaptation of the science-fiction classic by H. G. Wells with Taylor as the time traveler who, thousands of years in the future, falls for a woman played by Yvette Mimieux.

Taylor starred in Alfred Hitchcock’s horror/thriller The Birds (1963), along with Tippi Hedren, Suzanne Pleshette, Veronica Cartwright, and Jessica Tandy, playing a man whose town and home come under attack by menacing birds. Taylor then starred with Jane Fonda in the romantic comedy Sunday in New York (1963).

During the mid-1960s, Taylor worked mostly for MGM. His credits including The V.I.P.s (1963), his first feature film role as an Australian, with Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, and Maggie Smith; Fate Is the Hunter (for 20th Century Fox, 1964) with Glenn Ford and Suzanne Pleshette; 36 Hours (1964) with James Garner; Young Cassidy (1965) with Julie Christie and Maggie Smith; The Liquidator (1965) with Jill St. John; and The Glass Bottom Boat (1966) with Doris Day.

He began to change his image toward the end of the decade to more tough-guy roles, such as Chuka (1967), which he also produced, and starred in Dark of the Sun (or The Mercenaries, 1968) again with Yvette Mimieux; Nobody Runs Forever (1968) where he played New South Wales Police Sergeant Scobie Malone, this Taylor’s first starring feature film role as an Australian; and Darker than Amber (1970) as Travis McGee.

In 1973, Taylor was cast in The Train Robbers with John Wayne and Ann-Margret. The film was a box office success. Taylor also played in television roles throughout the 1990’s.

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

Taylor returned to Australia several times over the years to make films, playing a 1920s traveling showman in The Picture Show Man (1977) and a paid killer in On the Run (1983). In the black comedy Welcome to Woop Woop (1997), he played the foul-mouthed redneck Daddy-O.

By the late 1990s, he had moved into semi-retirement. He appeared in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds in 2009, portraying Winston Churchill in a cameo.

Taylor suffered a fatal heart attack on January 7 2015 in Beverly Hills, California at the age of 84, four days short of his 85th birthday.

In 2017, a documentary on Rod’s life, “Pulling No Punches”, was released and entered into the Beverly Hills Film Festival.

In Our Bookstore

Rod Taylor: An Aussie in Hollywood