Happy Birthday, Robert Taylor
On August 5, 1911 a movie star was born. His name was Spangler Arlington Brugh. MGM changed it to Robert Taylor. For 3 decades Robert Taylor brought quality entertainment to the public. He changed from gorgeous leading man to an incredibly versatile actor who could believably portray almost anything. Here are some examples of his extraordinary versatility.
Armand Duval in “Camille,” 1936. This film brought Mr. Taylor to superstardom (1936 was “the year of Robert Taylor” according to a British Newspaper.)
“The Crowd Roars,” 1938. This was the first of several films made to toughen up Mr. Taylor’s image. He was a most convincing “pug.”
“Johnny Eager,” 1941. Mr. Taylor plays a ruthless gangster who plays fast and loose with Lana Turner.
“Bataan,” 1943. Bill Dane is a doomed soldier who fights to the death. Not long after this, Mr. Taylor entered the Navy and served for the duration of World War II.
“High Wall,” 1947. Mr. Taylor plays an injured veteran who is accused of killing his wife and confined to a mental hospital. It is a role that is totally against type and done beautifully.
“Quo Vadis,” 1950. Robert Taylor is the hero of the “most colossal movie ever made.” He holds his own against a gaggle of celebrated English actors.
“Ivanhoe,” 1952. This is the first of three films in which Mr. Taylor portrayed the “parfait gentle knight.” The other two are “Knights of the Round Table” and “Quentin Durward.”
“Rogue Cop,” 1954. Mr. Taylor is a crooked cop who turns on his gangland masters when they kill his brother. Toughness never looked so good.
“The Law and Jake Wade,” 1958. Mr. Taylor loved Westerns and did a number of them. From 1959-1962 he concentrated on his TV show “The Detectives.”
“Cattle King,” 1963. This was Robert Taylor’s last picture for MGM, his long time studio. The behind-the-scenes people made his name gigantic in the credits.