It’s Spring and in the northern hemisphere life returns. We wait anxiously for the first snowdrop, the first crocus, daffodil, tulip. It is a time for life, love and beauty. So, in the spirit of love and beauty, I present a totally frivolous blog post – In Praise of a Handsome Man (Part 1).
Robert Taylor was not interested in his looks. Lloyd Nolan, with whom he worked in The Last Hunt, said that Mr. Taylor couldn’t accept that his looks were a professional asset. Mr. Taylor wasn’t a model, he was an actor who got better and better over time. He regretted an early publicity campaign that temporarily stereotyped him as a “pretty boy.” As I have established elsewhere in this blog Mr. Taylor was a fine actor, a good father, a good friend and an American patriot. But let’s be honest–he was also a gorgeous man. MGM Knew this and exploited it by placing him frequently in situations designed to make the female viewer’s heart beat faster.
To make the most of his physique, MGM had Robert Taylor take a great many onscreen baths and showers. In reviewing Personal Property (1937), Sheilah Graham called him “deeply hygienic.” He also sometimes stripped to the waist in the heat. Mr. Taylor also went swimming in several films. Robert Taylor was a very modest man and this kind of exposure must have been uncomfortable but there is no doubt that these scenes added spice to the films.
Personal Property, 1937