What his peers said (part 5)

Alexander, Linda J. Reluctant Witness: Robert Taylor, Hollywood, and Communism. Tease Publishing, LLC, 2008.
Quirk, Lawrence. The Films of Robert Taylor. Lyle Stuart, 1979.
Thiess, Ursula. …but I have promises to keep. XLibris Corporation, 2007.
Tranberg, Charles. Robert Taylor: a Biography. BearManor Media, 2010.
Wayne, Jane Ellen. Robert Taylor: the Man with the Perfect Face. St. Martin’s Press, 1989.

These books are all worth reading and they are the source of many of the quotations below.   Apologies for not citing pages for Tranberg or Alexander. I read them on a Kindle which doesn’t have page numbers.

Elizabeth Taylor, actress. “He is just as wonderful as everyone in Hollywood told me he was. I have to admit I did get nervous when he took me in his arms and made love to me, but the director said I shouldn’t be upset.”(Wayne, p. 142)

The Two Taylors in “Ivanhoe.’

Richard Thorpe, director. “He’s a rarity. A lot of big stars are really heels off screen and the public doesn’t know it at first. It takes them awhile to discover it. But Bob is really a nice guy and it comes through on screen. Also, he’s a rugged, handsome man and they’re pretty few and far between these days. (Wayne, p. 206)

Richard Todd, actor. “Robert Taylor was still as handsome as he had been before the war with Greta Garbo in Camille. (Tranberg)

Richard Todd, Dana Wynter and friend and Robert Taylor in “D-Day the Sixth of June.”

Robert Walker, actor. “I had my first real picture break in Bataan as the young sailor. Robert Taylor was the star, of course, and I was just a punk kid. But he was wonderful to me–always giving me tips, telling me about things that would help me. The night of the preview, he came by in his car and took me to the preview himself. Imagine that! A top star like Robert Taylor! After the preview, on the way home, he said he thought I had a great future. It was typical of his wonderful generosity that he didn’t keep his opinion to himself. His words were heart-warming, an assurance I badly needed.” (1945 interview, quoted in Robert Taylor Movie Star Discussion Forum)

Robert Taylor schools Robert Walker on the mysteries of hand grenades. 1943.

Robert Walker, actor. “Without a doubt he’s the most beloved guy on the lot. Those who know say he’s never changed since the first day he came here. He’s never too busy nor too important to see people, to help them. He doesn’t have a big-shot complex. If success ever really came to me, I’d feel very proud if I could wear it as well as does Robert Taylor.” (Ibid.)

William Wellman, director. “I was crazy about Bob Taylor…..I think Bob Taylor’s probably one of the finest men I’ve known in my whole life. And he was an actor. And he was probably the handsomest one of them all. He did everything I asked him to. He was wonderful.” (William A. Wellman by Frank Thompson.)

George Wells, scriptwriter. “(Taylor) was a smooth, wonderful nice guy.” (Patrick McGilligan, Nicholas Ray: the Glorious Failure of an American Director. It Books, 2011, p. 377.)

Adam West, actor. “Taylor….was a fine if formal gentleman who didn’t socialize much with his fellow actors……learned a lot about acting from Robert Taylor, and about acting for the close-up camera in particular. I also learned more about the silences. He taught me how not saying or showing things gives the viewer’s imagination a chance to fill in the emotional painting.” (Tranberg)

Shelley Winters, actress. “Like Ronald Coleman, he was the sweetest man to work with. By that I mean he was cooperative and understanding in contrast to most leading men today, who try either to elbow you out of camera range or are off in a corner somewhere practicing ‘method acting.’” (New York Times, June 9, 1969)

Dana Wynter, actress. “Robert Taylor and Richard Todd were both dear friends, and the movie (D-Day the Sixth of June) was an old fashioned wartime romance, all the more powerful because although the principal characters did the right thing, it didn’t work out for them in the end. (Independent, UK, May 6, 2011)

Robert Taylor and Loretta Young in “Private Number.”

Loretta Young, actress. “”I found (Robert Taylor) a surprisingly normal person, neither fussy nor conceited. He was simply doing his work and letting matters take their own course. It’s always easy to get along with anyone like that.” (Quirk, p. 15)

Robert Young, actor. “Taylor, who was perfectly capable as an actor, but he was so damn handsome that he, like Tyrone Power, looked almost feminine. He was what you might call a beautiful man. He was a wonderful, wonderful person. And a good actor, too.” (1986 interview with Leonard Maltin)

Two Roberts–Taylor and Young–during the filming of “Three Comrades.” 1938

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About giraffe44

I became a Robert Taylor fan at the age of 15 when his TV show, "The Detectives" premiered. My mother wanted to watch it because she remembered Mr. Taylor from the thirties. I took one look and that was it. I spent the rest of my high school career watching Robert Taylor movies on late night TV, buying photos of him, making scrapbooks and being a typical teenager. College, marriage and career intervened. I remember being sad when Mr. Taylor died. I mailed two huge scrapbooks to Ursula Thiess. I hope she got them. Time passed, retirement, moving to Florida. Then in 2012 my husband Fred pointed that there were two Robert Taylor movies that evening on Turner Classic Movies--"Ivanhoe" and "Quentin Durward." I watched both and it happened all over again. I started this blog both for fans and for people who didn't know about Robert Taylor. As the blog passes 200,000 views I'm delighted that so many people have come by and hope it will help preserve the legacy of this fine actor and equally good man.
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