Robert Taylor would have been 102 years old on August 5, 2013. Unfortunately, his inability to stop smoking cost him his life at the young age of 57. He left behind a widow, two young children and a stepdaughter. All this time later, he is still missed by fans all over the world, some of whom I have met through this blog.
Robert Taylor was one of the most popular men in Hollywood. Both men and women liked him for his professionalism, his integrity and his discretion. Today we hear about so-called celebrities who, when the are to appear somewhere, demand special food, bottled water etc. They throw a tantrum if they aren’t satisfied. Mr. Taylor brought his own coffee to work in a thermos for decades and he shared it his leading ladies. He ate in the chow line with everybody else.
Here are a few appreciations of Robert Taylor:
Bob Taylor was different. Perhaps the most handsome of all leading men in the 1930s and 1940s, he seemed ill at ease in his role as a movie star. He never acquired that veneer of sophistication of other small-town boys who achieved stardom. Rome (GA) News Tribune.
To the end Robert Taylor maintained his dignity, his privacy and the affection of his friends. In a community filled with egomaniacs and pretenders, Robert Taylor was a man and a gentleman. You would have liked him very much. Beaver County (PA) Times.
“Bob Taylor is one of the finest boys in the business, and you or no other ham can say anything about him to me.” Clark Gable
“Robert Taylor was my favorite actor. He was a gentleman. That’s rare in Hollywood.”George Cukor
“Bob [was] a “warm, generous, intelligent human being.” Ava Gardner
“Those character traits (normalcy and decency) which are so inbred communicate themselves to the audience. Audiences sense the fine qualities and like them. In addition, he’s a fine artist, a no-nonsense guy who studies is script more thoroughly than any actor I know. Edwin Knopf
“(Taylor was) the nicest guy in the picture business….he stays out of trouble, does his job and does it well, and the crew loves him.” Joe Pasternak
“(Taylor) was a true gentleman and a finer artist than he would admit to himself or to others. He was well educated, socially tactful, kind and highly intelligent….An American to the core, he loved his land, kept the faith and looked for the best.” Lawrence J. Quirk