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Rod Taylor was born Rodney Taylor in a suburb of Australia in 1929. He had planned to be an artist, but he saw Laurence Olivier in a stage production in Australia and that convinced him to become an actor! He moved to the U.S. in 1954 (wisely changing "Rodney" to "Rod"!), and he was far from an overnight success, doing much TV, and getting some small parts in major movies. In 1960, he got two big breaks. He was given the lead role in a TV series, Hong Kong, and was cast as George, The Time Traveler, in the wonderful movie, The Time Machine. Taylor continued in TV, until 1963, when he played the lead in Hitchcock's great The Birds, and that finally made him a movie star. He was very busy throughout the rest of the 1960s, in both romantic comedies and action movies. His career paralleled that of Sean Connery, who also had striking good looks and a great speaking voice, who also worked with Hitchcock but got an even bigger break in becoming James Bond, and Taylor likely got every single role that Connery turned down! In the 1970s he returned to a mix of movies and TV, and while he kept working in the 1980s and 1990s, his appearances became increasingly sporadic. In 2009 Quentin Tarantino talked him out of retirement to play Winston Churchill in Inglourious Basterds! He passed away in 2015 at the age of 84.

One final footnote. I loved The Time Machine as a kid (who wouldn't love it, with the scary Morlocks and the gorgeous young Yvette Mimieux, along with Taylor and Alan Young?), and have watched it umpteen times over the years. Yet somehow I missed that in 1993, the man who wrote the screenplay for the movie, David Duncan, wrote a brief scene, showing The Time Traveler and his best friend Filby reuniting many years later, and was able to coax both Rod Taylor and Alan Young (the original actors) to recreate their roles! This was filmed as "Time Machine: The Journey Back" and is included in a DVD release of the movie, along with a "Making of..." segment. I learned of this researching Taylor, and I ordered it, and recommend you do the same!
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