Rod Taylor News and Site Updates
May 26, 2019
In observance of the birthday of John Wayne (1907-79), I have created a
page and added information about the friendship between Rod Taylor and
John Wayne. It was one of the most important personal and professional
relationships in Rod's life. Read on! >>
April 28, 2019
A month has gone by, but the site hasn't been idle. I have been doing a
deep dive into Rod's radio career
in Sydney from 1950-54, trying to bring more detail to each show listed
and adding more shows as I discover them.
In addition to adding information, I've been delighted to find episodes
available for free download from old time radio (OTR) collectors or for
purchase from commercial sites. Grace Gibson Productions is the primary
one among the latter. Look for links throughout the page.
I've also found some new photos among the archives, such as this one
from behind the scenes of a 1952 production. Tea time for Rodney!
I must credit each of these sources for providing information,
confirmation and/or leads to further detail in my searches:
Trove digitized newspapers from the National Library of Australia
Rod Taylor: An Aussie in Hollywood, book by
Drama in Silent Rooms, book by Peter Philp
Film and Sound Archive, Australia
The exploration and updates will continue, but please have a look at the
increasingly lengthy radio page, notably the
section that's headed "Radio Roles by Year." I'll eventually create new
pages for each decade, but for now, scroll away! >>
March 28, 2019
An article in Photoplay magazine, March 1957, featured a photo of Rod
Taylor on the beach in Malibu (see below). I recently acquired a contact
sheet with outtakes from the photo shoot, with more pictures of Rod
romping with dogs, leaping over rocks and lugging a surfboard.
For your viewing enjoyment, use the links below or visit the
Body Beautiful page.
March 17, 2019
Check out the new page featuring awards that
Rod earned throughout his career. From Sydney radio in 1954 to a Golden
Globe for "Hong Hong" to being part of the best ensemble cast in his
final movie role, Rod has racked up some eclectic honors.
This photo provides a sample as well as the inspiration for the new
entry. Read more >>
February 6, 2019
The latest video uploads and page updates:
January 24, 2019
Wishing a happy birthday today to an unsung hero in Rod Taylor history:
Liz was a secretary at MGM in the 1960s, she was asked to help produce
the fan club newsletter for Rod Taylor. She jumped at the chance!
Because of the efforts of Liz and a team of fans across the country, the
Rod-Lore newsletter was chock full of information about Rod, his films
and his family.
She often recruited the help of special correspondents, notably
and his assistant,
Marco Lopez, who reported about "The Glass Bottom Boat" on Catalina
The semi-annual newsletter included a letter from Rod, an update from
Liz, a Q&A with Rod, and then reviews and reports about the movies he
was making or had just been released.
Information from from Rod-Lore is scattered throughout this site, but
one of the best examples of Liz's work is her report in the October 1964
location with 36 Hours" (PDF).
Liz turns 85 today, and here are photos of her at Rod's home in 1964 and
at the screening of "Rod Taylor: Pulling No Punches" in 2017. Happy
January 16, 2019
Rod Taylor was the only big-screen Travis McGee, appearing in an
adaptation of John D. MacDonald's "Darker than Amber." I've updated the
page for this movie significantly, with more info, an expanded gallery,
articles from when the movie was being made in Florida, and the entire
movie, uploaded to MediaFire. See it all
I also recently uploaded one of Rod's worst films, "Germacide" (aka
Germicide, Blondy or Vortex). See the
Germacide page >>
Finally, you can view Rod's scenes from the short-lived Joe Pesci series
"Half Nelson" in a YouTube video on this page
January 11, 2019
Today is Rod's birthday! His career was a gift to us all.
Today's update is an expanded page about his artwork, complete with a
gallery of Rod's painting, pottery and furniture-making. Enjoy!
Artist page //
January 7, 2019
Remembering Rod Taylor, who died on this date four years ago (Jan. 11,
1930-Jan. 7, 2015). Thanks to his rich array of movies and shows, he is
still very much with us. It's as if he made time stand still.
Revisit the tributes written following his death
on this page >>
January 2, 2019
Let's head to the Caribbean to soak up some warmth and dive into blue
waters. Grab your treasure map and head to the page for "The
Treasure Seekers" to read the updated page and watch the movie. The
movie had a troubled run through production and release. Its appearance
on VHS surprised even its star, when a fan handed Rod Taylor a copy to
autograph in the mid-1980s.
December 27, 2018
Who loves ya, baby? In 1981, Rod Taylor guest-starred in "Hellinger's
Law," which would have been Telly Savalas' follow-up to "Kojak." The
show wasn't picked up as a series, and "Hellinger's Law" has never had a
home-video release. I've uploaded Rod's scenes from a VHS tape recorded
from TV. See the "Hellinger's Law"
page for more info and the video, which amounts to about 10 minutes from
the 90-minute broadcast.
Another new video treat: "Capital Gains,"
which was an installment of "Goodyear Theatre" in 1960.
Page updates in 2018
Here's a roundup of pages that had significant upgrades over the past
few months, with additional information, galleries and video.
Marbella: Information added and full movie
uploaded (converted from VHS).
Sunday in New York: New info and
pictures in the gallery.
The following Rod Taylor gems have never had a home-video release, so I
have uploaded taped-from-TV versions from my collection:
Utah Development Company ads:
Among Rod Taylor's less popular works are a series of ads he filmed for
the Utah Development Company in Australia.
The ads aired on Australian TV in 1977 and also were included in an
hour-long TV news investigation of the company on Australia's "Four
Corners." I pieced together the video using the "Four Corners"
footage and some some 35mm workprints (without audio) I acquired and had
Rock Star Rising:
The audiobook that Rod narrated -- first titled "Hard Rock Lovers" and
then "Rock Star Rising" -- is now available for free on YouTube, thanks
to the book's author, Paul Kyriazi.
Ready for a 60-year-old Rod Taylor rarity? In 1958, Rod Taylor starred with Rod Steiger in "A Thing
to Fight For," an episode of
the CBS antholgy series Schlitz Playhouse. It had been on my "most wanted" list for a long time, and I
found it on 16mm film via eBay. A local company converted the film for
me, and I am happy to share the bounty.
Hell on Frisco Bay:
Rod's first movie made in America had a beautiful DVD/Blu-Ray
release. I've updated the page with more photos and background
Playhouse 90: More
photos and info on all five of Rod's Playhouse 90 appearances.
Studio One in Hollywood:
More background on this un-Rod-like role.
Zane Grey Theater: More
photos and info for "Picture of Sal."
Kennedy: More photos and info.
I put together a page for all the laurels for "Rod Taylor:
Pulling No Punches." It provides a roundup of awards, film festival
selections and reviews for the documentary.
While Wimbledon was on in July, my mind turned to tennis and,
naturally, to what a great player Rod Taylor was! The result is a new
tennis page, with a roundup of Rod's tennis
exploits, on camera and on the courts. Read on >>
August 7, 2018
A frequent question to this site is "Why doesn't Rod Taylor have a star
on the Hollywood Walk of Fame?" The short answer is "He didn't want
Here's some background info:
The Walk of Fame is administered by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.
It is designed as a tourist attraction, but it is indeed an honor to get
a star. There is a rigorous nomination process and a significant fee.
About 300 nominations are made each year, and only about 20-30 are
There is a five-year waiting period for a posthumous nomination.
Anyone, including a fan, can nominate a celebrity as long as the
celebrity or their management is in agreement with the nomination.
This is probably the biggest answer to the "Why no star?" question: The
celebrity didn't want it. That seems to be true in Rod's case.
There also is a steep fee (granted, the celebrity can afford it, but if
it were a fan-underwritten effort, it's pricey). When I first researched
a Walk of Fame star in about 2002, the fee was $8,000. Three years ago,
it was $30,000. Today, it is $40,000. The fee primarily pays for
installation and the star ceremony.
Finally, regarding Rod: A former castmate of Rod's inquired about
getting him a star after he died in 2015. His widow, Carol, was touched
at the suggestion but replied that Rod would not approve of a posthumous
star for many reasons.
For more information about the process of getting a star, visit the
Jan. 11, 2018
As a birthday remembrance for Rod Taylor, I posted an album of photos of
Rod as a youth in Australia. You can view it
on Facebook. Watch Rod grow up!
Jan. 3, 2018
A DVD edition of "Rod
Taylor: Pulling No Punches" was released in Australia on Jan. 3,
released the PAL-format DVD and also offers it
On Demand. The film is also available from iTunes in
The filmmakers hope to report on releases in other regions in the
Below is a preview of the cover, which lists a couple
An extended interview with Rod Taylor and Tippi
Hedren from 2012.
A Q&A with Tippi Hedren and Veronica Cartwright
conducted at the Burbank International Film Festival Sept. 20, 2017.
June 22, 2017
How about a little sunbathing to kick off the summer?
Many thanks to Howard Spellman for sending along these photos from 1957.
"My father remodeled Rod Taylor's beach house and brought me out there
to show me what he does for a job," Howard wrote in an email. "I'm the
little 5-year-old kid showing off my muscles, and this year I'm eligible
for Social Security!"
Also in the photo is actor Jeff Richards, who was separated from his
wife and stayed with Rod in the Malibu house for a while.
Coincidentally, Jeff's real name was Taylor -- Richard Taylor -- but it
was changed when he signed with MGM in the late 1940s.
Here are a couple of other photos of the "Two Taylors": Rod and Jeff
Richards in the MGM commissary and on a fishing pier.
May 29, 2017
TCM has a lot of Rod Taylor on its schedule for the next couple of
months. But there's no bigger news than
Friday, Aug. 18, 2017 being Rod Taylor Day on TCM's annual Summer Under
the Stars lineup.
Here's the schedule (U.S. Eastern Time) for the big day:
6:00 a.m. - 36 Hours
8:00 a.m. - The Liquidator
10:00 a.m. - The Glass
12:00 p.m. - The Time
2:00 p.m. - Seven Seas
3:45 p.m. - Hotel
6:00 p.m. - Sunday in
8:00 p.m. - The Birds
10:15 p.m. - Dark of the
12:15 a.m. - The Man Who
Had Power Over Women
2:00 a.m. - Young Cassidy
4:00 a.m. - The Deadly
May 24, 2017
Actress Dina Merrill shared the screen with Rod Taylor in sparkling
performances that spanned the decades. Merrill died May 22, 2017, at age
93. She was the daughter of Wall Street broker E. F. Hutton and cereal
heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post. Despite this great fortune, she was
very much a working actress, appearing in scores of movies and TV shows
over more than a half a century. Check out
this page for a roundup of her appearances with Rod Taylor spanning
May 14, 2017
In observation of Mother's Day, I scanned and assembled some treasures
from my archives that feature Rod's mother, Mona Taylor.
Born in 1902 in the region around Hull and Grimsby in Lincolnshire,
England, Mona was a proper English lady. She immigrated to Australia
and, in 1928, she married Bill Taylor, a knockabout Aussie bloke. Their
personalities clashed, but they were married for 55 years. Bill died in
1983, and then Mona moved to California to live near Rod. She died in
Mona Taylor (née Thompson and also known as Mona Stewart Taylor) was a
writer of short stories, novels and poems. Here's one special item that
she penned: "A
Letter from Australia" (PDF) in the Rod-Lore fan newsletter of April
May 2, 2017
Walk the red carpet with the filmmakers and friends at the Beverly Hills
Film Festival! A photo album of activities surrounding the screening
"Rod Taylor: Pulling No Punches" is available at my
Facebook page. Feel free to Friend me while you're there!
May 1, 2017
The Rod Taylor documentary "Pulling
No Punches" was a winner at the Beverly Hills Film Festival!
The film won the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the festival, which
ran April 26-30, 2017.
Feb. 1, 2015
Want to hear an hour-long discussion about Rod Taylor's life and career
from experts on the topic? Then have a listen to the second half of a
recent broadcast of an Australian Radio show,
Film Buff's Forecast, from Jan. 31, 2015.
Start at the 56:00 mark for the segment, which features a conversation
with Steven Vagg, the author
of "Rod Taylor: An Aussie in Hollywood"
and Mark Hartley, an Australian filmmaker and director who interviewed
Rod for the "Pulling No Punches"
I want to thank Stephen for telling the listeners about the "awesome"
and "lovely" webmaster of this site at the end of the broadcast! I
appreciate the sentiments and the shout-out.
Jan. 11, 2015
Today would have been Rod's 85th birthday. The world has been
celebrating his life and career this week upon the news of his passing.
Rod died at home on Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015, surrounded by his family
I want to thank all the fans who have left such lovely messages in the
guestbook, and I encourage everyone to continue posting comments:
I also am posting obits and tributes to Rod
from major media outlets. It is so heartening to see the outpouring of
love and appreciation for his talents, versatility and all-around
My favorite tribute so far is
Rod Taylor: An Appreciation of the Under-Appreciated by
Bartlett at the Hollywood Reporter site. Here are some excerpts,
with some good news:
Draw a circle around Taylor's career from 1955-65, and you
justifiably can rate that period with the heydays of any Australian
actor, before or since. His work during this time spanned almost every
genre: sci-fi ... horror ... animation ... drama ... breezy romantic
comedies ... and biopics.
Two months ago, I submitted his name to the Australian Academy of
Cinema and Television Arts — which celebrates our country's greatest
achievements in film and television — for its lifetime achievement
award. Because Rod Taylor was rarely mentioned in Australia when we
spoke of success stories. Because he was the son of a steelworker who
forged his way to Hollywood. Because he started his career near the
sprockets of a movie frame, then ended up front and center.
Jan. 8, 2015
The saddest of
news to report: Rod Taylor has died.
Liz Ploger, an
assistant to Rod in the 1960s, wrote to me today that Rod fell down about two
weeks ago and was hospitalized. He was able to return home, and he
subsequently had a heart
attack and died in his own bed.
Rod died at home on Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015, surrounded by his family
His daughter, Felicia said in a statement: "My dad loved his work. Being
an actor was his passion – calling it an honorable art and something he
couldn’t live without."
TCM has scheduled a five-film tribute to Rod Taylor on Jan. 29, starting
at 8 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time. The featured films will be
The Time Machine,
The Birds, Sunday in New York,
Young Cassidy and
The Glass Bottom Boat.
Feb. 3, 2014
Rod Taylor participated in a rare autograph signing session on Jan. 31,
The OC Dugout, also known as Orange County Sportscards, held a private
autograph signing session with Rod, and the results are
posted at the ocsportscard store on eBay. The items are pricey but
beautiful! Below is one of the photos they took of Rod during his