Classic Movie Hub (CMH)


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Robert Taylor

Robert Taylor

2 children with Ursula Thiess: Terrance (b. June 18, 1955) and Tessa (b. 1959)

Actively supported his best friend Ronald Reagan's campaign to become the Republican Governor of California in 1966.

After studying at Doane University, he followed his cello teacher to study at Pomona College, California, where he began acting and was encouraged to join MGM's acting school before signing a seven-year contract with the studio initially at $35 a week. This is said to have set the stage as being the lowest-paid major star in the history of Hollywood; he remained at MGM for twenty-four years.

After Taylor died of lung cancer - he was a chain smoker - at the age of 57, he was interred in Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery, in Glendale, California. Many Hollywood celebrities attended his funeral, and his best friend Ronald Reagan, the Governor of California, gave the eulogy.

After Taylor's battle with lung cancer was publicly disclosed in the autumn of 1968, he admitted in interviews that he had started smoking in his early teens, and had often smoked three packets of cigarettes a day as an adult.



After the war he joined The Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals founded in February of 1944 by Sam Wood and Walt Disney.

After their divorce, his ex-wife Barbara Stanwyck auctioned off their $100,000 home at 423 North Faring Road, in the Bel-Air section of Los Angeles, and all its furnishings, and collected 15 percent of Taylor's earnings until he died in 1969.

Directed 17 United States Navy training films during World War II.

Following the success of Knights of the Round Table (1953) Taylor's movie career declined. He managed to remain at MGM until 1958, when he signed for his own television series, "The Detectives" (1959).

Four episodes of "The Robert Taylor Show" had been produced and a fifth was in line at the time of the sudden cancellation of the unaired series in the summer of 1963. Scripts had been written by Bruce Geller, Leonard Freeman, Tom Seller, and Lawrence Edward Watkin. NBC felt the new series was too controversial.

He and Clark Gable were very good friends, and Taylor was one of the active pallbearers at Gable's funeral in November 1960.

He gave Elizabeth Taylor her first screen kiss in Conspirator (1949). After the first kiss scene was completed, she went to her dressing room, flopped in chair and said to her hairdresser: "I've just been kissed by Robert Taylor!".

He holds Hollywood record for longest contract with one studio (MGM) 24 years from early 1934 to late 1958 and he holds Hollywood record for lowest contract salary (initially $35 a week, in 1934).

He inspired the fictional character called Danger: Diabolik (1968), an anti-hero featured in Italian comics. Diabolik was created by sisters Angela and Luciana Giussani in 1962, and his features was graphically inspired by Taylor: dark hair with a distinctive widow's peak, and striking blue eyes and eyebrows.

He left his signatures, footprints and handprints in the cement in the forecourt of Grauman's Chinesse Theater in Hollywood, together with Barbara Stanwyck, on June 11, 1941.

He starred in the first pro-Indian movie of the American cinema: Devil's Doorway (1950) first Anthony Mann's western, although Broken Arrow (1950) was released one month before. Devil's Doorway was completed first but held back from release due to the nervousness of MGM's studio brass over the subject matter.

He was called "The New King", after Clark Gable's departure from MGM in 1953.

He was diagnosed with lung cancer in the spring of 1968, having been feeling increasingly breathless and tired for some time. He immediately underwent cobalt treatment, however he did not give up smoking until shortly before undergoing major surgery to remove his entire right lung on 8 October 1968.

He was ranked fourth in Box Office appeal in 1936, third in 1937 and sixth in 1938.

He was romantically involved with actresses Virginia Bruce, Irene Hervey, Lia Di Leo, Virginia Grey and Eleanor Parker.

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