At 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, June 8, 1969 Robert Taylor passed away in the arms of his wife, Ursula Thiess Taylor. A lifelong smoker, he had incurable lung cancer. After nine months of intense suffering after an operation on his right lung in October 1968, he was at peace. Future President Ronald Reagan gave the eulogy at his funeral.
Mr. Taylor had faced his illness with the same composure and strength that characterized his entire life. As Ursula Taylor put it, “my husband is giving a performance–the greatest of his lifetime.” (The Pittsburgh Press, Dec. 8, 1968).
Lawrence Quirk, a writer, offered this epitaph: “An American to the core, he loved his land, kept the faith, and looked for the best, and though the ravages of lung cancer brought untold agonies to his final year of life, he faced the end with grace and courage.” (Lawrence J. Quirk, “The Films of Robert Taylor,” page 12)
You are not forgotten, Mr.Taylor.