Robert Taylor Enjoying a Most Enviable Position

Robert Taylor Enjoying Most Enviable Position
The Evening Independent August 23, 1947
by Bob Thomas

Hollywood-AP-Having reached he third and most important area of film-stardom–the RT454plateau–Robert Taylor is a thoroughly happy man.

Bob, an honest and likeable guy, was relaxing between takes of High Wall and ruminating on the current state of his career.

“I never was happier making pictures,” he said, “I don’t have to worry about fans chasing me all over town. I don’t have to fret about publicity and fan mail–although I don’t mean that’s not important. If I turn a picture down, that’s that–the world doesn’t come to an end.

“Al I have to do is make a picture now and then. The rest of the time I can spend hunting and flying and doing other things I want to do.”

Bob has earned the leisure. He started in pictures in 1934 when he was 23 and within two years was a top box-office star. He has been in the screen prominence ever since, except for his wartime hitch in the navy. He described the three phases of an actor’s professional life.

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Signing autographs with wife Barbara Stanwyck.

“First you shoot upward fast,” he said. The studio puts you in 16 pictures a year and you might as well do what the bosses say. It doesn’t matter how good the pictures are because they’ll sell anyway. But then the hysteria wears off.”

“Then,” said Bob, comes the danger period. The actor’s popularity, as judged by the theater receipts, takes a sharp decline.

“You suddenly find out you can’t play juvenile roles all your life,” he said. “You’ve got to find good roles or your your career will continue to drop.”

Bob found himself in such straits after a series of successful but undistinguished roles such as A Yank at Oxford. He figures he started coming out of the decline about the time of Waterloo Bridge. He is now comfortably situated on that profitable plateau of popularity with such companions as Gable, Grant, Tracy, Bogart, Cooper, Power and MacMurray.

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Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, Robert Taylor, William Powell on the MGM lot, mid-thirties.

That, then is the Shangri-La for all male movie stars. Each must find it eventually, or perish. For example, a guy like Van Johnson, although his popularity may now be at its peak, will some day have to seek that prized level.

swirlBehind the scenes photos from High Wall:

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Left to right: with Audrey Totter; at his dressing room, with Bobby Hyatt, who played Mr. Taylor’s son in High Wall.

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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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