There is one man in the world who has lived, vicariously, through every phase of world history. He survived the persecution of the Christians in Rome. He was a valiant knight riding a charger when knighthood was in flower. He was a figure in early America; he was the ill-starred lover of a delicate Camille; a blue-eyed Indian and Billy the Kid. He has also worn many different military uniforms. He has sloshed through jungles, fought desert heat and hobnobbed with society. He also dropped the atomic bomb.
The star of whom we’re speaking is Robert Taylor.
Robert Taylor has the unique distinction of being a top-flight star for twenty-four years—and all of that time under contract to M-G-M. His latest film, M-G-M’s Party Girl
takes him out of the two-gun Western territory (a territory he has occupied of late), and back into the white-tie-and-tails roles of the past. He has even returned to wearing a debonair mustache.
As a romantic, Robert Taylor’s record is one of the most star-spangled in the film city. His leading ladies have included such glamour queens as Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford, Vivien Leigh, Janet Gaynor, Rosalind Russell, Lana Turner, Irene Dunne, Margaret Sullavan, Hedy Lamarr, Elizabeth Taylor and Deborah Kerr.
Party Girl finds him making love to Cyd Charisse, and Robert Taylor has lost none of the appeal that, back in 1937, caused two teenagers to hide under the bed of his stateroom when he sailed to Europe to make A Yank at Oxford. “It is and has been a wonderful life,” Robert Taylor says with a smile. “There is nothing I would change. I’ve always made it a policy to do anything the studio told me to do. It’s their job to know what is best for an actor, and I’ve always assumed that they know more about it than I do.”
Robert Taylor feels sorry for the young hopefuls of today who are embarking on screen careers. “There are too many ‘methods’ and ‘schools’ involved,” he said. “They’re confused before they start. They look upon acting with such awe that they scare themselves to death before they start.
“Dozens of them have come to me for advice. There’s only one thing I can tell them. Work at it. Don’t be afraid and get bogged down with techniques. Be sincere. Listen to the director and the studio and take their word that it’s right…and for Heaven’s sake stop sneering at roles just because you may not get featured billing.”
Quiet dignity, friendly conviction and a firm attitude that “all’s right with the world” marks the Robert Taylor of today.
These are more of the photos that originally went with the article (or as close as I could get):