View Full Version : Rod Taylor, Hollywood Leading Man Who Battled ‘The Birds,’ Dies at 84

January 9th, 2015, 02:49 PM
By ANITA GATES (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/g/anita_gates/index.html)JAN. 9, 2015

Rod Taylor and Tippi Hedren in "The Birds."
Credit Universal Studios Home Entertainment

Rod Taylor (http://www.rodtaylorsite.com/), the ruggedly handsome Australian-born actor who fended off attacks from above in Alfred Hitchcock’s revered horror film “The Birds” and helped an 8,000th-century people escape a monster race in the film version of the science-fiction classic “The Time Machine,” died on Wednesday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 84.

His death was announced by his daughter, Felicia Taylor, a former correspondent and anchor for CNN and CNBC.

Mr. Taylor was only the second Australian actor, after Errol Flynn (who was born in Tasmania), to achieve major Hollywood stardom, though many moviegoers did not know his origins. He made more than 50 films but played Australians in only a handful. In his most famous roles, he played a Briton and an American. His “Time Machine” character, an inventor, was known as H. George Wells, for H. G. Wells, the British author of the classic time-travel novel on which the film was based. In “The Birds,” Mr. Taylor was a California lawyer who offers a ride to a reckless blond heiress (Tippi Hedren) and ends up fighting off gangs of the homicidal title characters.

And it was back to the British accent in his last film. The director Quentin Tarantino persuaded Mr. Taylor (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rw4XQWzW0L8) to make a comeback of sorts by playing Winston Churchill in his 2009 World War II (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/w/world_war_ii_/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier) film, “Inglourious Basterds.”

Rodney Sturt Taylor was born on Jan. 13, 1930, in Sydney, Australia. The only child of William Taylor, a steel-construction contractor and draftsman, and the former Mona Stewart, a children’s book author, he grew up in Lidcombe, a Sydney suburb.

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January 11th, 2015, 05:13 AM
Fantastic actor and a great Aussie bloke. RIP, Rod.

January 16th, 2015, 10:26 AM
My favorite Rod Taylor movie is The Time Machine. For me, it's one of those "always watchable" movies. Just a few days before Taylor died, I was surfing TV and caught it in the middle. Naturally, I watched the second half.

January 27th, 2015, 06:27 AM
^ Reading that made me wonder what happened to the very cool time machine prop. Well, Google did good:


January 27th, 2015, 06:39 AM