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March 13, 2018

The Rod Taylor documentary had two well-received screenings and all-around positive reviews during the Glasgow Film Festival.

"Rod Taylor: Pulling No Punches" was shown Feb. 25 and Feb. 26, 2018, during Glasgow's 14th annual celebration of cinema – now one of the largest film festivals in the UK. The festival showcased more than 180 films from 51 countries.  The Australian-made Rod documentary was part of the "Stranger than Fiction" strand of films featuring true stories.

The screenings were followed by Q&A sessions with director Robert de Young and producer Stephan Wellink. Wellink applauded the "great feedback from a well-informed audience during the Q&A."

Leading up to the film festival, these reviews from the UK praised the film:

Eye for Film called the documentary "one of the most enjoyable works of its kind.... Even if you have no idea who he is when you start watching, you’re guaranteed a good time – and that was Rod Taylor, all the way."

The Peoples Movies said that Rod Taylor, "even in the later stages of life and battling illness, proves to be a charismatic and exuberant storyteller. Taylor is clearly enjoying reminiscing and it's undeniably infectious to behold."

60 Minutes With reviewed the DVD stating: "Featuring '60s style animated graphics and music, "Rod Taylor: Pulling No Punches" has all the pizzazz of a TV show/movie that Rod would have starred in back then, while also shining a light on all of the fantastic work that he has done over a long and varied career."

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, 2017

A DVD edition of "Rod Taylor: Pulling No Punches" was released in Australia on Jan. 3, 2018. Umbrella Entertainment released a PAL-format DVD and also offers it On Demand. The film is also available from iTunes in Australia and New Zealand.

The filmmakers hope to report on releases in other regions in the near future.

Below is a preview of the cover, which lists a couple of extras:

  • 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.

Laurels for Pulling No Punches
Updated Jan. 29, 2018

The "Rod Taylor: Pulling No Punches" continues to earn laurels! Here's an updated roundup of the prizes and film festival selections for the documentary:

Glasgow Film Festival 2018
The Rod Taylor documentary was screened at the Glasgow Film Festival on Feb. 25 and Feb. 26, 2018. Q&A sessions with director Robert de Young and producer Stephan Wellink followed the screenings. Glasgow's 14th annual celebration of cinema – now one of the largest film festivals in the UK – will showcase more than 180 films from 51 countries.  The Australian-made Rod documentary is part of the "Stranger than Fiction" strand of films that offer a treasure trove of true stories.

Impact Docs Awards 2018
"Pulling No Punches" received an Award of Excellence in the Impact Docs Awards 2018. Impact Docs is an international awards competition -- not a traditional film festival -- designed to help industry professionals who create fresh, standout documentaries achieve the publicity and credibility they deserve. Entries do not compete against each other but are judged against a high standard of merit and are scored accordingly.

Burbank International Film Festival 2017
"Pulling No Punches" received the award for Best Feature Documentary at the Burbank International Film Festival, where it was screened Sept. 10, 2017. The screening was followed by a Q&A with Tippi Hedren and Veronica Cartwright, Rod's co-stars from "The Birds."

This was the second U.S. screening of the documentary, which also won the Audience Award for Best Documentary during its U.S. premiere at the Beverly Hills Film Festival, April 26-30, 2017. 

Oniros Film Awards 2017
The film earned two laurels in the Oniros Film Awards (OFA), a monthly and annual award competition based in Italy. For August 2017, the award for Best Documentary was presented to director Robert de Young and Best Producer was presented to Stephan Wellink.

The OFA's mission is discovering quality and ambitious films by promoting filmmakers’ works and by helping them realize their dreams. The name of the award comes from the Greek word oneiros, which means "dream."

IndieFEST Film Awards 2017
The Rod documentary earned one of the top prizes -- Award of Excellence: Special Mention -- in the season's IndieFEST judging, announced in August 2017. The IndieFEST Film Awards is not a traditional film festival. Rather, it is an international awards competition that strives to give talented directors, producers, actors, creative teams and new media creators the positive exposure they deserve. Stephan Wellink, Robert de Young and the team behind the Rod documentary certainly deserve the opportunity and accolades!

Gig Harbor Film Festival 2017
"Pulling No Punches" was well-received when it screened at the Galaxy Theatre during the Gig Harbor Film Festival on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017. After the screening, director Robert de Young fielded questions from the enthusiastic audience.

Hollywood International Moving Pictures Film Festival: Award of Recognition for Best Documentary Feature, August 2017.

Hollywood International Independent Documentary Awards: Award of Excellence, August 2017.

Atlanta Docufest: Semifinalist in the Atlanta International Documentary Film Festival 2017.

The Monthly Film Festival: Finalist for Best Feature Film among the nominees considered in September/October 2017.

July 5, 2017

It's widely known that Rod Taylor took off for America in November 1954, having earned the Rola Award for his excellent work in radio. I've updated the page with his lengthy radio credits, and have found some information about some of his early activities in the United States.

An item in the Los Angeles Times on Jan. 11, 1955, said that Rod Taylor was about to launch a tour of 26 key cities to promote "Long John Silver."

I have found newspaper archives that recount his stops in Connecticut, Pennsylvania and New York. Rod touts the advantages of filming movies in Australia, laments the lack of work for Aussie film/TV technicians, and downplays his own chances of landing work in Hollywood.

Rod visited Bridgeport and Hartford, Conn., in early February 1955. An item in the Bridgeport, Conn., Telegram notes, "He doesn't quite know just how he came to be selected to make the American tour, but he is extremely happy about it." The column also says that Rod would like the experience of making a Hollywood movie, but sees little chance to have that dream fulfilled at this time.

He was in Pittsburgh, Pa., on March 2, 1955, and the Pennsylvania city's two newspapers had extensive coverage.

A column by Win Fanning in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports on Rod's role in "Long John Silver": "The 25-year-old actor proves his versatility by enacting the role of a cackling blind horror bent upon murdering young Jim Hawkins, boy hero of the adventure yarn. His success in this novel feat has drawn interest by several major Hollywood producers who may persuade the Australian to dally in this country longer than he originally planned."

Fanning's column further notes that Rod has taped dozens of shows to keep his radio serial characterizations going back home. "If I do stay longer than I expected, there are going to be an awful lot of drastic 'accidents' on Australian soap operas as the various characters I play are written out of the script," Rod said.

In the Pittsburgh Press, columnist Kaspar Monahan wrote, "Warner Bros. is showing interest in Rod, who hopes they'll sign him for a couple of pictures. ... He has the thews and sinews of a professional strong man. In high school when only a youngster, he won the shot put with a heave of 41 feet, a record for [New] South Wales."

While in Pittsburgh, Rod also presented a prize to the winner of a hospital charity drive. The young woman who earned the prize had this mixed review about Rod: "I found Mr. Taylor to have a fine personality. He is not exceptionally handsome, but the type of actor capable of playing many different roles."

On March 10, 1955, a syndicated column, "My New York" by Mel Heimer, had a more glowing description, calling him "a ruggedly good-looking soul of 25" and praising him for avoiding the champagne-and-caviar set.

June 22, 2017

How about a little sunbathing to kick off the summer?

Many thanks to Howard Spellman for sending along this photo 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.

June 2, 2017

Tennis anyone? Rod Taylor was a terrific tennis player and showed off his talents in at least three productions that are among the missing. Anyone have a recording of any of these shows stashed away? Please let me know!

1. Bus Stop (1961)
The episodes in this star-studded one-season-wonder were acclaimed either for quality, controversy, talent or sheer terror. Several episodes have surfaced across the internet, but I've yet to find Rod's episode, "Portrait of a Hero." My reasons are quite shallow, as the show features Rod "stripped to the waist, in bed, wearing short shorts and tight muscle-revealing shirts on the tennis courts, or having revealing rub-downs in the massage rooms." Is that so wrong?

2. CBS Sports Spectacular (1964)
In a segment called "Professional Tennis at Dean Martin's," Rod teamed with tennis champ Pancho Segura to play Dean Martin and pro Pancho Gonzalez. There's a clip online of the actresses who played during the episode, but I'm still on the hunt for the men's match.

3. John Newcombe's Australian Stars in the States (1980)
This special features a bit of tennis, billiards and beer-drinking while Aussie tennis pro John Newcombe interviews Rod at his home.

4. US Against the World (1977)
I don't know if it's tennis or another sport, but Rod competed in this
"Battle of the Network Stars"-like show.  There were three teams: one made up of stars from the U.S., one for Britain, and one for "the rest of the world." Aussie Rod was part of the latter group. Someone *must* have a dusty tape of this in the back of their closet, right?

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 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:

Aug. 18-19
6:00 a.m. - 36 Hours
8:00 a.m. - The Liquidator
10:00 a.m. - The Glass Bottom Boat
12:00 p.m. - The Time Machine
2:00 p.m. - Seven Seas to Calais
3:45 p.m. - Hotel
6:00 p.m. - Sunday in New York
8:00 p.m. - The Birds
10:15 p.m. - Dark of the Sun
12:15 a.m. - The Man Who Had Power Over Women
2:00 a.m. - Young Cassidy
4:00 a.m. - The Deadly Trackers

Other TCM Rod Taylor viewing opportunities:

June 1 - 12 a.m. - Separate Tables
June 7 - 10:15 p.m. - Giant
June 25 - 2 a.m. - Zabriskie Point
July 27 - 3 a.m. - The Birds
July 30 - 6 p.m. - Sunday in New York
Aug. 12 - 4 p.m. - The Train Robbers
Aug. 31 - 6 p.m. - The VIPS
Sept. 1 - 12 a.m. - Raintree County

May 27, 2017

As part of its Memorial Day weekend observation, TCM will be airing "36 Hours" on Sunday morning. For the occasion, I added a few items to the page for "36 Hours," a movie that deserves a wider viewing for its strong performances and unusual premise.

Here's what's new:

(1) On Memorial Day weekend in 1964, Rod Taylor fan club president and MGM staffer Liz Ploger visited the set of "36 Hours" on location at Yosemite Park. Here's her report: On Location (PDF).

(2) Another report from the set, this time at MGM studios, from a fan who reports on A Dream Come True (PDF).

(3) A fun interview with Rod from June 1964: Rod Taylor Plays a Villain Now (PDF).

(4) New images in the gallery.

(5) A highly positive review about the Blu-ray release. So there's hope of more people discovering this gem of a movie. View the link to this review and more at the "36 Hours" page.

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.

Here are her appearances with Rod Taylor:

(1) Hong Kong, 1961:

Dina plays Glenn Evans' love interest of the week in the "Lady Godiva" episode, and their chemistry is just about the best of the entire series. A long-ago romance tries to rekindle, but danger, intrigue and lively banter come first. You can read more about the episode on the "Hong Kong" page and view it on YouTube.

(2) Family Flight, 1972:

Rod and Dina have a rockier time of it in their next outing. In this TV movie, Rod plays a self-reliant pilot and Dina plays his longsuffering wife. When disaster strikes, Dina displays an emotional arc from brittle, helpless alcoholic to a woman determined to help her family survive. She and Rod don't share many scenes together, but they are a convincing couple, struggling to find their way. Read more at the "Family Flight" page.

(3) The Point of Betrayal, 1995:

This independent movie features Rod and Dina as newlywed 60-somethings, very much in love and full of life. Rod is a delight -- playful, fierce and loving. The two enjoyed working together again, and they liked working in South Florida. Rod seemed ready to move, and Dina had spent much of her childhood there. See more at the "The Point of Betrayal" page, and be sure to read the On the Set article (PDF) for interviews and a behind-the-scenes feel for the film.

(4) Open Season, 1996:

Rod and Dina don't share any scenes in this independent film, but the movie is worth noting. Although Dina's appearance is brief, Rod's role is full of bluster and great humor. More at the "Open Season" page.

May 17, 2017

TCM is showing the swashbuckling "Seven Seas to Calais" on Thursday afternoon, May 18 (check listings). I used this as a good excuse to update the "Seven Seas" movie page, with an emphasis on the epic off-screen romance that sparked between Anita Ekberg and Rod Taylor. Read on >>

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 1991.

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 1965.




For more photos and information about Rod's mother and father, visit the following pages:

Biography // This Is Your Life
And read The Book: Rod Taylor: An Aussie in Hollywood!

May 10, 2017

The page for "Dateline: San Francisco" has been updated, after I was able to view the show via the Film and Television Archives at UCLA. It was a high-quality TV pilot and would have been a strong successor to "Hong Kong." But the fact that it wasn't picked up as a series meant that Rod had a much bigger Big Screen career.

May 5, 2017

I've added a new page to the website -- "The Golden Age of Television" -- with material courtesy of Ken Lynch, a fan in Australia who has an awesome collection of old TV recordings. Ken sent along a clip of the nostalgia show that featured an episode of "Hong Kong." The host, David Lyle, colors his commentary with both fondness and irony.

For those who may have missed it, Ken previously shared an audio recording of a "Willesee" TV show from 1975. Thanks for the great gems!

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.

The Rod documentary screened on Thursday evening, April 27 at the TCL Chinese 6 Theaters on Hollywood Boulevard. Yes, that's the famous Grauman's Chinese movie palace!

Among the luminaries in attendance for the screening were:

  • Stephan Wellink, producer, whose steadfast appreciation for Rod Taylor had its roots in childhood and culminated in this splendid film.

  • Robert de Young, producer/director. Robert had previously done films on Australian actors Errol Flynn and Peter Finch, making his partnership with Stephan Wellink a perfect fit.

  • Simon Wellink, camera operator, sound engineer and son of Stephan Wellink.

  • Stephen Vagg, the author of "Rod Taylor: An Aussie in Hollywood." He was a consultant on the film and appears on screen, bringing perspective to aspects of Rod's career.

  • Nicholas Eddy, Rod's friend and attorney in Australia, who also appears in the documentary.

  • Liz Ploger, a former MGM worker who was Rod's publicist and fan club president in the 1960s as well as a longtime Taylor family friend.

  • Diane Tomasik, yours truly, the creator and keeper of this website. I received a "special thanks" credit in the film and was thrilled to have been included in the festivities surrounding the screening.   

March 28, 2017

Big news! The documentary about Rod Taylor -- "Pulling No Punches" -- has been selected to screen at the Beverly Hills Film Festival!

The 80-minute film will be part of a block of two documentaries during a session that runs from 5 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. on April 27, 2017. It's likely that "Pulling No Punches" will be the second film, starting at approximately 6:15 p.m.

Ticket info can be found at this link, for Block 2 at Theater 2 of the TCL Chinese 6 Theaters, 6925 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, CA.

The Australian-made documentary celebrates Rod's Hollywood stardom and shows how his rugged on-screen and off-screen persona created a brand of Australian masculinity. "Pulling No Punches" includes clips from Rod's films and showcases his artwork. Rod is interviewed, as are co-stars, producers and directors who reflect on his colorful life and career.

Many thanks to Stephan Wellink, co-producer of the documentary, for bringing this passion project to life and for keeping this site up-to-date about the film's progress!

March 27, 2017

The pilot episode of "Dateline: San Francisco" aired on this date 55 years ago -- March 27, 1962. It was to be a continuation of Rod's "Hong Kong" series, transplanting newspaperman Glenn Evans from Hong Kong to San Francisco.

The pilot was not picked up, and Rod took on big movie roles instead. When asked about it in the Rod Lore fan magazine dated October 1963, Rod said, "If 'Hong Kong' had gone on for five years, things like 'The Birds,' 'A Gathering of Eagles,' 'The VIPs,' 'Sunday in New York,' etc., would never have been possible."

The page for "Dateline: San Francisco" has been updated with a new picture and an article about the show and Rod's adventures with Anita Ekberg. 

I'm hoping to be able to provide more updates in about a month after an opportunity to view the show thanks to the good folks at the UCLA Film and Television Archive!

Stay tuned!

March 11, 2017

In honor of St. Patrick's Day on March 17, let's make it a week o' the Irish for the Rod Taylor Site!

His role as Irish playwright Sean O'Casey in "Young Cassidy" may be one of the highlights of Rod's career, but it isn't his only Irish connection.

TCM is showing "Young Cassidy" on Friday (4:15 U.S. Eastern Time). In the meantime, here are some other Irish highlights, all viewable online:

  • "Murder, She Wrote": In 1995, Rod was cast in two stories set in Ireland. Angela Lansbury recalled Rod's performance in "Young Cassidy," and reached out to cast him in "Another Killing in Cork." On the strength of that performance, Rod and his Irish brogue returned the following season in "Nan's Ghost," a two-parter hailed by fans among the best installments in the long-running series.

  • "Cry of the Innocent": Rod plays an American in this 1980 movie that was made in Ireland for Irish TV.  One of his co-stars is Irish actor Cyril Cusack, and their performance together led to Rod's next role...

  • "Tales of the Unexpected:" Cyril Cusack and Rod reunited for "The Hitch-Hiker," an installment in this anthology series based on the stories of Roald Dahl. Cusack plays a "fingersmith" who hitches a ride with Rod. His supernatural pick-pocketing skills bedevil Rod into one bit of trouble after another.

One last note: In a segment taped for "This is Your Life" in 1975, Irish actor Richard Harris praised Rod's work in "Young Cassidy," saying, "It probably was one of the best performances he's ever given and a brilliant insight into the Irish playwright. ... This Irishman is very appreciative."

March 10, 2017

I made some updates to the page for "Pulling No Punches," the documentary about Rod Taylor that premiered a little over a year ago on Australian TV.

I hope to be able to announce some big news soon. in the meantime. let me just say that upon viewing the documentary, I was charmed, amused, energized and mightily entertained. Throughout my research for this site, I've seen and read a lot about Rod, but I'm impressed by all the fresh information, photos and insights provided by the film.

I also want to thank producer Stephan Wellink for his thanks in the closing credits!

March 4, 2017

Here's a roundup of recent updates to this website regarding Rod Taylor's appearances on awards shows:

Oscars: In 1962, Rod was a presenter, along with Angie Dickinson, handing out the Oscar for best film editing. Check out the Academy Awards page, with updated information, pictures and a link to Rod's segment.

Golden Globes: In 1961, Rod's TV show "Hong Kong" scored a Golden Globe for Television Achievement "for outstanding merit in the adventure field." And in 1963, he was a presenter. For more info, see the Golden Globes page.

Logies: Rod was a special guest during the annual TV Week Logie Awards in 1982. For more info about these Australian awards, see the Logie Awards page.

March 1, 2017

Three of Rod's films recently were featured on the website Trailers from Hell. Click the links below to view each installment, during which film industry professionals offer commentary as the movie trailers roll:

Dark of the Sun // The Time Machine // Hotel

June 24, 2016

Rod Taylor fans who love "Welcome to Woop Woop" are in for a real treat.

Author Michael Winkler has brought us an essential guide to this misunderstood movie in his recently published book, "Fahfangoolah!: The Despised and Indispensable Welcome to Woop Woop."

Little-seen and widely criticized when it was released in 1998, "Welcome To Woop Woop" has been gaining friends and a cult status.  Indeed, Winkler writes that Woop Woop has "everything a cult classic needs: top-notch casting, quotable dialogue, memorable music, crazy costumes, black humour and ... batshit crazy cameos."

Rod Taylor, of course, heads the "top-notch casting" part. The chapter titled "Rod Taylor and Johnathon Schaech" opens with this statement: "The great roaring engine that propels Welcome to Woop Woop is Daddy-O."

Rod also provides quotable dialogue: "As Daddy-O, [Taylor's] accent is not just broad Australian but wonderfully, broad 1950s Australia. The voice is right, the face is fantastic, and he even contributed his own catchphrase -- 'Fahfangoolah!'"

Winkler does a great job of capturing why "Woop Woop" is so misunderstood but yet so essential in depicting a disappearing slice of Australian life. The book also maps out the triumphs and challenges of the production, and the forces that shaped the final product.

In regard to Rod, the book contains praise for his performance and offers details about key scenes -- especially his electrifying tap-dance on the bar.

It also describes some scenes that didn't make the final cut, including:

  • A pivotal scene that would have explained why the residents of Woop Woop wear such a weird assortment of clothing. It was inspired by director Stephan Elliott's recollection of the all the "inappropriate crap" that he saw piled up following a call to aid the residents of a flooded town -- wedding dresses, designer gowns, platform shoes, etc.  The deleted scene has Daddy-O driving up in a big truck and screaming, "The rain's come down in Marble Bar," and then he empties a bunch of castoff clothing from flood relief.

  • A sub-plot that gives Daddy-O further ammunition, so to speak, for shooting Midget as he tries to escape Woop Woop.

The book offers a glimmer of hope that such scenes -- and Elliott's original vision -- may surface one day. Elliott says he'd love to raise the money and put all the footage back together. In the meantime, read all about it! 

Amazon listing

Michael Winkler's website

Book review on Urban Cinefile

Jan. 26, 2016

Save the date! Exciting news! The world premiere of the Rod Taylor documentary, "Pulling No Punches," will be 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 11, on Foxtel Arts in Australia, according to TV Tonight.

Read more about the documentary and see trailers at the "Pulling No Punches" page.

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" documentary.

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. 13, 2015

Here's a little brightness amid the sad news: A documentary about Rod that has been in development for a few years is getting closer to being released. An article from the SBS in Australia states that the documentary will be released this year! For more info, read the "Pulling No Punches" page and the article at SBS.

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 and friends.

I want to thank all the fans who have left such lovely messages in the guestbook, and I encourage everyone to continue posting comments: Sign/read the guestbook.

I also will be posting "highlights" of online 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 goodness.

My favorite tribute so far is Rod Taylor: An Appreciation of the Under-Appreciated by Rhett 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.

Click here for more obits and tributes. I will continue to add images and links to this page.

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 and friends.

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."

Sunday, Jan. 11, would have been Rod's 85th birthday. This site usually encourages birthday greetings in the guestbook. This year, I encourage everyone to share special memories to celebrate the life of this wonderful actor and lovely man.

Sign/read the guestbook

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.

Nov. 23, 2014

I was lucky enough catch a night-long salute to Rod Taylor on TCM on Friday, Nov. 20. It featured The Birds, The Time Machine, Dark of the Sun, Sunday in New York and Hotel all in a row!

Also on the TCM site is a blog item titled Ten Things You Might Not Know about Rod Taylor, by Kimberly Lindbergs, citing things she'd learned by reading Stephen Vagg's biography of Rod. In his commentary between movies on Friday, TCM host Ben Mankiewicz called Rod "rugged and underappreciated." So, it's good to see some appreciation!

Feb. 3, 2014

Rod Taylor participated in a rare autograph signing session on Jan. 31, 2014.

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 signing.

Nov. 6, 2013

A rare treasure has surfaced Down Under: A 13-minute interview with Rod Taylor from 1975, just after his appearance on "This is Your Life."

Click here to read about -- and more importantly -- listen to Rod's interview with Mike Willesee!

This gem came to light recently when Australian fan Ken Lynch found a box of reel-to-reel audio tapes of recordings he had made off TV during the 1970s. He is converting the tapes to mp3 files, and in the process, he discovered this Rod Taylor interview and sent it along for sharing. Thank you, Ken!

Sept. 1, 2013

I was Googling for some news about the Rod Taylor documentary in development, "Pulling No Punches," and found a trailer for it! The video will have you grinning from start to finish:

View trailer at Vimeo video site

March 2013

I happened to be over on Veronica Cartwright's Web page, checking links, and lo and behold -- on the front was a photo of her, Tippi Hedren and Rod Taylor taken this year at Rod's house!

The caption says "Tippi Hedren, Veronica and Rod Tayler do an interview for a documentary on Rod Taylor's life -- 'Pulling No Punches: Rod Taylor' -- scheduled for release next year."

The documentary is being made by Lowland Media Pty Ltd, with Robert De Young, Stephan Wellink producers and Mark Hartley, director. A synopsis says, "Pulling No Punches profiles the career and legacy of rugged Australian actor Rod Taylor."

Is it next year yet?!?

Dec. 8, 2012

The Dec. 14 issue of Entertainment Weekly arrived yesterday, bearing a surprise: A DVD "Cult Classic" review of Dark of the Sun, giving it an "A" and raving about  the "rollicking red-meat adventure." The item has special praise for "terrific Rod Taylor" who "oozes sweaty, 100-proof charisma." What a joy to see this praise in a major, mass-audience publication!

A scan of the review is below for your reading enjoyment:

Oct. 12, 2012

Mark Hartley, the Australian writer/director of "Not Quite Hollywood," was in Los Angeles in September to start work on new documentary. The topic this time... Rod Taylor!

Deadline Hollywood reports that the documentary is tentatively titled "Pulling No Punches," and is being produced by Robert de Young, who wrote and produced films about Peter Finch and Errol Flynn.

In further good news, a book on the making of "The Birds" will be published in 2013 to celebrate the film's 50th anniversary. The author is Tony Lee Moral, who also wrote a book about the making of "Marnie." More info >>

March 28, 2012

Here's a link to a blog post from an Australian radio station in which the author, Jim Schembri, praises his top six Rod Taylor flicks. I highly recommend this snappy, deliciously descriptive commentary.