By Chuck Ross
Actor Rod Taylor, 84, has died, his daughter Felicia, a former CNN News correspondent, has confirmed to People magazine. No cause of death was given.
Taylor’s first lead role was in the baby-boomer childhood favorite “The Time Machine” which co-starred Yvette Mimieux , a bunch of Eloi and lots of scary Morlocks.
He also co-starred, with Tippi Hedren, in Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds.” Hedren told People, in a statement, “There are so many incredible feelings I have for him. Rod was a great pal to me and a real strength, we were very, very good friends. He was one of the most fun people I have ever met, thoughtful and classy, there was everything good in that man.”
People writes, “The Australia-born movie star appeared in more than 50 Hollywood films throughout his career, from ‘The Time Machine’ and ‘The Train Robbers’ to ‘The Catered Affair.’ More recently, he voiced Pongo in Disney’s family-favorite ‘101 Dalmatians’ and played Winston Churchill in ‘Inglourious Basterds.”’
Taylor would have been 85 later this month.
Taylor was also in lots of TV shows, both as a regular and as a guest star. Says his Wikipedia entry, “Taylor had several lead roles in television, from the early 1960s to the early first decade of the 21st century. Among his TV shows as a regular were: ‘Hong Kong’ (1960, ABC); ‘Bearcats!’ (1971, ABC; ‘The Oregon Trail’ (1977, NBC); ‘Masquerade’ (1983, ABC); and ‘Outlaws’ (1986, CBS).
He also appeared in episodes of “Murder, She Wrote” and “Falcon Crest.”
Here’s a trailer for “The Time Machine” that we found on YouTube: