A Letter from Robert Taylor To His Fans

Motion Picture Magazine, 1949

To The Fans from Robert Taylor, Star of the Bribe

Dear Fellows:

Robert Taylor and Barbara Stanwyck, 1936

Take a  tip from me.  If you want to be sure of a happy home life, get a wife who works.  I did, and I like it fine.  It’s wonderful.

Consider the advantages.  Whenever your wife is working, she’ll be too tired to go out in the evening and you can stay home after your own long day’s work and get your guns polished.  Furthermore, you and she will have plenty to talk about because she’ll bring home interesting stories from work–much more interesting than the prattle about bridge clubs and Mrs. Blow’s hat that you might be subjected to if your wife were a homebody.

Another thing: if she’s a little bushed from a long day’s work she won’t give you much opposition.  I can wash a window or paint a chair without the Queen standing behind me making rude comments about my technique.  I can push the dogs off the sofa, make them stop chewing my shoes and generally show them who’s boss; but when my dear wife is home for any length of time, I can’t even speak loudly to them.  We have one dog that is still isn’t housebroken.  If I can just get Barbara into a good long epic and work my own picture schedule out right, I’ll domesticate that hound or get rid of it.

Robert Taylor and Ava Gardner in “The Bribe,” 1949.

Of course, it’s nice to have he wife at home now and then.  There are lots of  odd jobs around the house that I can get her to do.  I’m even thinking of getting a wife-sized lawn mower so we’ll be able to keep our front yard looking neater.  But as a general rule, things run much more smoothly when the light of my life is off the studio and I have the say of myself.  Whenever I happen to have some time between pictures, I can do a lot of heavy resting at home, and if I feel energetic, I can move from one chair to another.  I can put a cigarette stub in an ashtray without having it snatched out from under my hand (Barbara has a maniacal zeal for emptying ashtrays).  I can work on my fishing rods and listen to the radio programs I like, and turn the dial when Miss Stanwyck’s favorite newscaster begins to sound too  much like the voice of doom.  (Don’t you wish the peace news were as good as the war news used to be?)

Still another thing: I find that having the doll away from home is a heathy influence on our relationship.  She looks on me in a different light than she does when she’s too long between pictures.

Poster for “The Bribe” 1949.

When she comes home at night, tired from a hard day’s work, I symbolize comfort and security to her.  I’m part of the atmosphere she likes, just like the dogs and the furniture.  She never gets tired of me because she never sees too much of me.

Don’t let anybody tell you that you’re cruel to keep your wife working.  I have my wife’s best interests at heart in insisting that she continue with her job.  Working is good for her.  She might get lazy if I let her loll around the house.  Or she might  get restless and keep thinking up things for me to do when I get home from work–like moving the furniture or cleaning  the cellar.

Work helps my spouse keep her figure.  Moreover I happen to like her appearance in slacks and sweater; and she always wears slacks and sweater on days she goes to the studio.  When she’s home, she’s likely to wear the new long skirts, and I think they’re an awful let-down.  As some philosopher has written, “Man wants little here below, not wants that little long.”

Yours for happy marriages,



Ironically, this was published the year before Robert Taylor asked Barbara Stanwyck for a divorce.

About giraffe44

I became a Robert Taylor fan at the age of 15 when his TV show, "The Detectives" premiered. My mother wanted to watch it because she remembered Mr. Taylor from the thirties. I took one look and that was it. I spent the rest of my high school career watching Robert Taylor movies on late night TV, buying photos of him, making scrapbooks and being a typical teenager. College, marriage and career intervened. I remember being sad when Mr. Taylor died. I mailed two huge scrapbooks to Ursula Thiess. I hope she got them. Time passed, retirement, moving to Florida. Then in 2012 my husband Fred pointed that there were two Robert Taylor movies that evening on Turner Classic Movies--"Ivanhoe" and "Quentin Durward." I watched both and it happened all over again. I started this blog both for fans and for people who didn't know about Robert Taylor. As the blog passes 200,000 views I'm delighted that so many people have come by and hope it will help preserve the legacy of this fine actor and equally good man.
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6 Responses to A Letter from Robert Taylor To His Fans

  1. That is so cute. Thanks so for giving it to us.


  2. June Alexander says:

    Great. Thank you again Judith.
    Hope you are having a lovely Birthday and all your news is good news.


  3. Angie says:

    Hi, I have never commented before but,
    I am a little confused by this article since he was obviously not happy, hence the divorce a year later. Does it not seem out of character for him?

    p.s. Your site is wonderful.


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