Robert Taylor: a Profile in Courage

letter-newRobert Taylor (letterhead)

November 12, 1968

Dear Joyce and Ken—–

Thank you so much for your recent concern—and the warm thoughtfulness expressed in your message to me while I was at St. John’s hospital.

Unfortunately, I seem to have overmatched myself a little; too many messages to answer properly—and insufficient energy, as yet, to get the job done. It was a rough operation and I have a hunch it will take a lot longer to get over than I had at first imagined.

In any case, just remember I wanted to say “thanx”—-and next time I’ll try to do better.

Sincerely,

Robert Taylor (signature)

This letter was written  a month after Mr. Taylor had surgery to remove part of his right lung.  He was very dubious about being “cut up” but Mrs. Taylor convinced him that it was the right thing to do.  The incision ran from his chest around to his back and Mr. Taylor used it to scare his son Terry away from smoking (successfully).

st.johns.hospital.1967

St. John’s Hospital, Santa Monica, CA, 1967

What impresses me so much about the letter is the complete lack of self-pity.  Robert Taylor was eight months from death and his concern was for others.  He actually apologizes to Joyce and Ken for not answering them sooner.  His excellent manners lasted until the end.

The legion of whiners in Hollywood, in Washington and all points between could really learn a lesson in courage from Mr. Taylor.  His generation is often called of the “Greatest Generation.”  Robert Taylor was a good representative of that generation.

Robert Taylor in the 1960s:

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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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