Tags: Rod Taylor | The Birds | The Time Machine | obit

Rod Taylor, 'The Birds' and 'The Time Machine' Star, Dies at 84

Thursday, 08 Jan 2015 10:03 PM

Rod Taylor, the Australian-born actor who starred in George Pal's adaptation of H.G. Wells' "The Time Machine" and in Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds," then decades later made a memorable swan-song appearance as Winston Churchill in Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds," died Wednesday of a heart attack in Los Angeles. He was 84.

His daughter Felicia, a former CNN correspondent, confirmed the news Thursday.

Taylor made his feature starring debut in 1960 sci-fier "The Time Machine," portraying a fictionalized Wells, who invents a time machine in Victorian England and travels to the distant future. The next year he voiced the lead canine, Pongo, in Disney's "101 Dalmatians," and starred in a brief ABC adventure series, "Hong Kong." Even after an impressive performance in Hitchcock's well-received "The Birds," the actor never quite made it into the first rank of Hollywood actors.

He was part of the starry ensemble of Liz Taylor-Richard Burton starrer "The V.I.P.s" and was second lead in "A Gathering of Eagles," "Fate Is the Hunter" and "36 Hours."

In 1965 he starred in "Young Cassidy," about the early life of the Irish playwright Sean O'Casey, leading a cast that included Julie Christie, Maggie Smith, Michael Redgrave and Edith Evans.

Taylor starred in a couple of late-career vehicles for Doris Day, "Do Not Disturb" and "The Glass Bottom Boat," then led the ensemble in "Hotel." The actor starred opposite his "Time Machine" co-star Yvette Mimieux in the well-regarded actioner "Dark of the Sun" and had a supporting role in Antonioni's 1970 romantic drama "Zabriskie Point."

He had another go at TV with the short-lived CBS series "Bearcats" in 1971 and NBC Western "The Oregon Trail" in 1976. But Taylor's film career sputtered by the 1970s. He was second lead to John Wayne in "The Train Robbers," starred in the 1977 Australian effort "The Picture Show Man," about the early film business in the country; and starred alongside Rex Harrison in bland Mario Puzo adaptation "A Time to Die" in 1982.

In addition to daughter Felicia Taylor, from his second marriage, the actor is survived by third wife Carol Kikumura, to whom he was married since 1980.

© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

   
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Rod Taylor, the Australian-born actor who starred in George Pal's adaptation of H.G. Wells' The Time Machine and in Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds, then decades later made a memorable swan-song appearance as Winston Churchill in Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds, ...
Rod Taylor, The Birds, The Time Machine, obit
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2015-03-08
Thursday, 08 Jan 2015 10:03 PM
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