Very, very sad news this evening: Actor Rod Taylor has passed away.
The Complete Rod Taylor Site reports Taylor died at his Los Angeles home on Wednesday, January 7th. He would have been 85 this Sunday.
SUNDAY IN NEW YORK (1963). I have a lovely memory of seeing that film on a big screen at the TCM Classic Film Festival last April with an entire row of enthused Rod Taylor fans.
I wonder if he realized how many people, including young film fans, continue to enjoy and appreciate his work? Not to mention the fact that he continues to enchant new generations of children as the voice of Pongo in Disney's ONE HUNDRED AND ONE DALMATIANS (1961).
I paid tribute to Taylor on his birthday last year; that post includes links to all Rod Taylor films previously reviewed here.
Obituaries have been published by Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, the BBC, and People, while the Los Angeles Times has written about five of Taylor's most memorable roles.
Taylor fans will also enjoy a post at the TCM Movie Morlocks site from just a few weeks ago, "10 Things You Might Not Know About Rod Taylor" by Kimberly Lindbergs.
Taylor's daughter, former TV news correspondent Felicia Taylor, said, "My dad loved his work. Being an actor was his passion – calling it an honorable art and something he couldn’t live without."
The BBC quoted Tippi Hedren, Taylor's costar in THE BIRDS (1963), as saying Taylor was "a great pal to me and a real strength. He was one of the most fun people I have ever met, thoughtful and classy. There was everything good in that man."
Update: Turner Classic Movies will be paying tribute to Rod Taylor on Thursday evening, January 29th, with a five-film lineup consisting of THE TIME MACHINE (1960), THE BIRDS (1963), SUNDAY IN NEW YORK (1963), YOUNG CASSIDY (1965), and THE GLASS BOTTOM BOAT (1966).
TCM has created a memorial video for Taylor which may be found at their Twitter account.