Happy Birthday, Robert Taylor

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Robert Taylor would have been 102 years old on August 5, 2013.  Unfortunately, his inability to stop smoking cost him his life at the young age of 57.  He left behind a widow, two young children and a stepdaughter.  All this time later, he is still missed by fans all over the world, some of whom I have met through this blog.

Robert Taylor was one of the most popular men in Hollywood.  Both men and women liked him for his professionalism, his integrity and his discretion.  Today we hear about so-called celebrities who, when the are to appear somewhere, demand special food, bottled water etc. They throw a tantrum if they aren’t satisfied.  Mr. Taylor brought his own coffee to work in a thermos for decades and he shared it his leading ladies.  He ate in the chow line with everybody else.

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Ava Gardner, Robert Taylor

Here are a few appreciations of Robert Taylor:

Bob Taylor was different. Perhaps the most handsome of all leading men in the 1930s and 1940s, he seemed ill at ease in his role as a movie star. He never acquired that veneer of sophistication of other small-town boys who achieved stardom. Rome (GA) News Tribune.

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Fanny Bryce, Robert Taylor, Sophie Tucker

To the end Robert Taylor maintained his dignity, his privacy and the affection of his friends.  In a community filled with egomaniacs and pretenders, Robert Taylor was a man and a gentleman. You would have liked him very much. Beaver County (PA) Times.

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Herbert Marshall, Robert Taylor, Joan Crawford, Louis B. Mayer

“Bob Taylor is one of the finest boys in the business, and you or no other ham can say anything about him to me.”  Clark Gable

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Norma Shearer, Mickey Rooney, Robert Montgomery, Clark Gable, Louis B. Mayer, William Powell, Robert Taylor, Rosalind Russell, Lionel Barrymore

“Robert Taylor was my favorite actor. He was a gentleman. That’s rare in Hollywood.”George Cukor

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Vivien Leigh, Mervyn LeRoy, Robert Taylor

“Bob [was] a “warm, generous, intelligent human being.” Ava Gardner

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Includes Myrna Loy, Robert Taylor, Lew Ayres, W.S. van Dyke, Greer Garson, William Powell

“Those character traits (normalcy and decency) which are so inbred communicate themselves to the audience. Audiences sense the fine qualities and like them. In addition, he’s a fine artist, a no-nonsense guy who studies is script more thoroughly than any actor I know. Edwin Knopf

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Unknown, Robert Taylor

“(Taylor was) the nicest guy in the picture business….he stays out of trouble, does his job and does it well, and the crew loves him.” Joe Pasternak

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Katharine Hepburn, Vincente Minelli, Robert Taylor

“(Taylor) was a true gentleman and a finer artist than he would admit to himself or to others. He was well educated, socially tactful, kind and highly intelligent….An American to the core, he loved his land, kept the faith and looked for the best.” Lawrence J. Quirk

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Barbara Stanwyck, Robert Taylor

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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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8 Responses to Happy Birthday, Robert Taylor

  1. June says:

    Great take on his birthday anniverary. My the last two years have flown.

  2. SusanaG. says:

    Hi Judith, how sweet of you to devote a post to RT’s birthday including quotes from those who had the pleasure of meeting him and working with him. It is so great that we fans around the world still remember and somehow celebrate his day as if he was an old friend who’s always among us. I was away and traveling back home last Monday, but even so I didn’t forget such a special birthday… which tells me that 102 years later, dear Bob still is there.

  3. giraffe44 says:

    June and Susana, thank you for your comments. I wish I could have been in Beatrice for his hundredth. But as you say, Susana, he is still there and will be as long as people can watch movies. In fact, I think his popularity is growing.

  4. Ron Aragon says:

    You have a picture with the cutline saying, “Eleanor Powell, Robert Taylor, Sophie Tucker.” It’s Fanny Bryce (L), not Eleanor Powell.

  5. Ron Aragon says:

    In the photo with Mickey Rooney, Norma Shearer, Clark Gable, Robert Taylor, Rosalind Russell, Lionel Barrymore…, etc., you forgot to list Robert Montgomery between Mickey Rooney and Clark Gable.

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