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Willesee (1975)

Rod Taylor was interviewed by Mike Willesee after filming his appearance on "This is Your Life" in Australia.

Willesee, the host of "This is Your Life," recorded the interview just a few hours before Rod's departure back to the United States. It aired on another Willesee TV show.

Australian Ken Lynch found an audio recording he had made of the TV program and has shared the 13-minute interview with this website: Click here to download the mp3 file.

In the interview, Willesee challenges Rod's tough, brawling image, but Rod downplays these perceptions. He said he was a "tough kid," and that reputation seemed to stick with him. He resents this unlucky typecasting because he feels he is merely a dedicated actor who enjoys his craft.

He cited "Young Cassidy" as a role and movie he particularly liked, calling it "a gentle, lovely, colorful story."

He also said he was enjoying the show he was jetting back to the U.S. to resume filming -- "The Oregon Trail." He called his character a Gary Cooper type of guy and that it was a pleasure to be kind of laid back, portraying a family man.

Speaking of family, Willesee asked Rod about his reunion with his daughter, Felicia, during "This is Your Life." Rod had not seen Felicia for two years. He referred to having gone through a difficult divorce, and Felicia lived in New York. "I have been doing an incredible amount of work and travel" and had missed her vacations from school.

This prompted Rod to explain the "strange loneliness" of being an actor. "Out of professionalism comes a great deal of loneliness. You are constantly with people, but you're constantly alone to the thing you really cherish. You're never alone but always lonely, as it so happens when you're busy."

Willesse referred to Rod as a "star," but Rod had a different perspective: "I'm flattered to be called a star, but I'm just a very busy working actor."

He went on to speak about wanting to elevate the Australian film industry on the international market and wanted to help young Australian actors do the same. He also discussed his desire to film "Last Bus to Banjo Creek" offering to donate his script and star in it for nothing. (Alas, nothing would ever come of that production.)



Rod with Mike Willesee
on This is Your Life


This is Your Life



Listen to the interview (mp3)