Happy 101st birthday to Mr. Robert Taylor---one of my top 10 favorite actors of all-time. (August 5, 1911-June 8, 1969).
In some ways, Robert Taylor could be my grandfather. After all, he was born exactly 3 days before my beloved paternal grandfather...both men observed their centenary in August of last year. I first discovered the incredibly handsome, beautiful-voiced Mr. Taylor in the early 2000's, when my kids and I were doing an in-depth study of the early Christian church, especially focusing on the persecution of the believers. Of course, that study led to our discovery of the film Quo Vadis, which is how Robert Taylor came into my life. (At the time, however, I had no idea that he had a long and distinguished movie career or that he would become one of my all-time favorite actors.)
Born with the name Spangler Arlington Brugh, Mr. Taylor had a career which spanned over three decades, including both film and television. Given the nickname "The Man with the Perfect Profile," this incredibly good-looking man worked with a variety of leading ladies---some of them being Irene Dunne, Greta Garbo, Vivien Leigh, Lana Turner, Eleanor Parker, and---the woman to whom he would be married for twelve years---Miss Barbara Stanwyck. Their marriage ended in divorce, and a couple years after that, he married Ursula Theiss---a union which produced two children and which lasted until his 1969 death.
My absolute favorite of Mr. Taylor's films is Waterloo Bridge (reviewed HERE). That beautiful tearjerker, which also stars Vivien Leigh, is one of my ten favorite movies of all-time.
Rounding out my list of five favorite Robert Taylor films are:
2. Quo Vadis (with Deborah Kerr) I think Mr. Taylor is drop-dead gorgeous in this photo. He improved with age---his pretty-boy looks of the 30's and very early 40's were replaced by an incredibly rugged, masculine handsomeness. (Plus, I'm not a mustache person and far prefer him with his beautiful face clean-shaven.) And isn't Deborah Kerr completely stunning in this photo?
3. Magnificent Obsession (with Irene Dunne)
4. Bataan (with Thomas Mitchell, Lloyd Nolan, and a host of others---reviewed HERE)
5. Escape (with Norma Shearer)
Sadly, just a couple months shy of his 58th birthday, Mr. Taylor succumbed to lung cancer and departed this world at a relatively young age. His final resting place is in Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.
So, here's to you, Robert Taylor, on your 101st birthday. You will always be one of my all-time favorite actors, and I am thankful for all the wonderful, beloved-to-me films you made. And by the way, you had one of the best voices I have ever heard!