Five memorable roles from actor Rod Taylor


Born Rodney Taylor in Sydney, Australia, the actor would find fame in Hollywood as Rod Taylor, playing a string of virile leading man roles throughout the 1960s and on into the ‘70s. Taylor died at his home in Los Angeles on Thursday at age 84.

In his career, he worked with an array of filmmakers from classic-era titans such as Alfred Hitchcock to new-style directors such as Quentin Tarantino. He co-starred alongside such leading ladies as Tippi Hedren, Doris Day and Jane Fonda.




An earlier version of this post said that “The Glass Bottom Boat” introduced Doris Day’s song “Que Sera, Sera.” The film included the song, but it was introduced previously.


Here are just a few of Taylor’s memorable roles. He also appeared in “Giant,” “The V.I.P.s,” “Young Cassidy,” “Zabriskie Point” and many more.

“The Time Machine”

In director George Pal’s adaptation of this H.G. Wells classic sci-fi adventure tale, Taylor got his first starring role in a Hollywood film.

“The Birds”

In Alfred Hitchcock’s adaptation of the Daphne du Maurier story, Taylor is the Bodega Bay lawyer who becomes involved with a woman, played by Tippi Hedren, just as a series of strange attacks by birds begins.

“101 Dalmatians”

Personally selected by Walt Disney himself, Taylor voiced the leading dog Pongo in the 1961 animated film. In the film Pongo and his mate Perdita try to thwart the evil plans of the villainous Cruella De Vil.

“The Glass Bottom Boat”

In this breezy romance opposite Doris Day, Taylor stars as a government scientist caught up in espionage intrigues. Directed by Frank Tashlin, the film included Day’s signature song, “Que Sera, Sera.”

“Inglourious Basterds”

Many modern moviegoers likely know Taylor best for his role in Quentin Tarantino’s 2009 revisionist WWII picture, in which the actor had an extremely memorable, albeit small, role as Winston Churchill.

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