Robert Taylor Poster

Trivia (47)

Directed 17 United States Navy training films during World War II.

Is Interred at Forest Lawn, Glendale, CA, in the Garden of Honor, Columbarium of the Evening Star (not accessible to the general public).

Inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in 1970.

Had two children with Ursula Thiess: Terence (b. June 18, 1955) and Tessa (b. August 16,1959).

He holds the Hollywood record for longest contract with one studio (MGM)--24 years from early 1934 to late 1958--and lowest contract salary (initially $35 a week, in 1934).

Right-handed Taylor spent weeks perfecting his ability to draw a gun with his left hand in preparation for his role in Billy the Kid (1941).

After doctors predicted that Taylor's mother would die before the age of 30, his father became a doctor for the express purpose of curing her of childhood invalidism and was ultimately successful.

He was called "The New King" after Clark Gable's departure from MGM in 1953.

Is portrayed by Terrence E. McNally in The Silent Lovers (1980).

The favorite of all his films was Waterloo Bridge (1940).

His funeral was attended by many Hollywood celebrities, and Ronald Reagan, the Governor of California, gave the eulogy.

He was romantically involved with Virginia Bruce, Irene Hervey, Lia Di Leo, Virginia Grey and Eleanor Parker.

After the war he joined the ultra-right-wing Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals founded in February of 1944 by Sam Wood and Walt Disney.

Actively supported Ronald Reagan's campaign to become the Republican Governor of California in 1966.

Following the success of Knights of the Round Table (1953) Taylor's movie career declined. He managed to remain at MGM until 1958, when he signed for his own television series, The Detectives (1959).

Four episodes of "The Robert Taylor Show" (also known as 330 Independence Avenue, SW (1963) ) had been produced and a fifth was in line at the time of the sudden cancellation of the unaired series in the summer of 1963. Scripts had been written by Bruce Geller, Leonard Freeman, Tom Seller and Lawrence Edward Watkin. The series was to be based on official files from the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare. When NBC realized that the producers had not gotten permission to use the department's files, the network canceled the series.

Supported Thomas E. Dewey in the 1944 and 1948 presidential elections and Dwight D. Eisenhower in the 1952 and 1956 elections.

His second favorite movie was Camille (1936) and his favorite co-star was Greta Garbo.

He and Clark Gable were very good friends, and Taylor was one of the active pallbearers at Gable's funeral in November 1960.

He was the first American actor to star in a film made in England, A Yank at Oxford (1938).

Was ranked fourth in box-office appeal in 1936, third in 1937 and sixth in 1938.

He left his signature, footprints and handprints, together with those of Barbara Stanwyck, in the cement in the forecourt of Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood on June 11, 1941.

He inspired the fictional character called Danger: Diabolik (1968), an antihero featured in Italian comics. Diabolik was created by sisters Angela and Luciana Giussani in 1962, and his features were graphically inspired by Taylor: dark hair with a distinctive widow's peak and striking blue eyes and eyebrows.

His flying interest emerged after Flight Command (1940), when he bought a single-engine plane and took lessons for a pilot's license. After World War II, when he served in the U.S. Navy from 1943-45 as a flight instructor and narrator of 17 training films, MGM bought him a twin-engine Beechcraft, which he flew regularly until the early 1960s.

The 12-mile section of U.S. Hwy. 136 between the Nebraska towns Beatrice and Filley was officially designated the Robert Taylor Memorial Highway in 1994 (source: Gage County Historical Society, Beatrice, NE).

He was diagnosed with lung cancer in the spring of 1968 after feeling increasingly breathless and tired for some time. He immediately underwent cobalt treatment; however, he did not give up smoking until shortly before undergoing major surgery to remove his entire right lung on 8 October 1968.

In a feature in the May 21, 1961, "Family Weekly" magazine, Taylor stated he became a hunter during his more mature years after he met Gary Cooper at Sun Valley, ID, in 1939. Occasional hunting companions of note were novelist Ernest Hemingway and Wallace Beery, Clark Gable, Robert Stack and John Wayne.

He was a music major at Doane College from 1929-31 and played the cello in the trio "The Harmony Boys", in the Doane String Quartet, and in the Doane Symphony Orchestra in Nebraska. When he was in Hollywood he regularly attended the annual concerts given each year at the Hollywood Bowl.

After their divorce, his ex-wife Barbara Stanwyck auctioned off their $100,000 home at 423 N. Faring Rd., in the Bel-Air section of Los Angeles, and all its furnishings, and collected 15% of his earnings until he died in 1969.

He starred in one of the first post-World War II pro-Indian movies of the American cinema, Devil's Doorway (1950) (his first western, although Delmer Daves Broken Arrow (1950) was released one month before). "Devil's Doorway" was completed first but held back from release because of the nervousness of MGM's studio brass over the subject matter.

Started smoking in his early teens and often smoked three to five packs of cigarettes a day as an adult.

Joined the historical theatrical club The Lambs in 1939.

His only musical was "Broadway Melody of 1936 (1936). He sang for the only time in his career, a song called "I've Got a Feeling You're Fooling.".

After he appeared before the House Un-American Activities Committee, his films were banned in Soviet-occupied Hungary and Czechoslovakia, and Communists called for a boycott of his films in France.

Was given his first screen test by Samuel Goldwyn with a 14-day option in 1933, but nothing came of it.

Magnificent Obsession (1935) was the film that made Taylor a major star. It did the same for Rock Hudson when Universal remade it in 1954 (Magnificent Obsession (1954)).

Appears in three Oscar Best Picture nominees: Broadway Melody of 1936 (1935), Quo Vadis (1951) and Ivanhoe (1952).

Mentioned in The Three Stooges short Three Missing Links (1938).

Jane Ellen Wayne in her biography of Taylor states that his last movie was Devil Make Care (Feature Film Corp. of America, 1968). However, what became of this movie is something of a mystery.

After World War II he worked on a series of relatively insignificant films until "Quo Vadis" reestablished him as a major star.

Despite the popularity of "Ivanhoe" and "Knights of the Round Table", Taylor felt miscast in both films. He referred to them as his "iron jockstrap roles".

During the final months of his life, he was hospitalized seven times due to infections and complications related to his lung cancer.

His youthful good looks were widely felt to have turned rather set and grim in middle age, although he remained a star in films during the 1950s.

He narrated the award winning documentary The Fighting Lady about a warship.

He spent 2 years as a flying instructor during the war.

Robert studied music at college where he was spotted by an MGM talent scout playing the lead in Journeys End and was given a contract paying $35 a week and changed his name.

Studied music at college where he was spotted by an MGM talent scout playing the lead in Journeys End and was signed to a contract at $35 a week and changed his name.