Rod Taylor fans around the world continue to mourn Hollywood’s loss today.
Taylor suffered a heart attack on Wednesday after a dinner party and is survived by his wife, Carol, and his daughter, Felicia, who is a former CNN anchor.
Felicia said of her father’s life in Hollywood, “My dad loved his work. Being an actor was his passion – calling it an honorable art and something he couldn’t live without.”
She added, “He once said, ‘I am a poor student sitting at the feet of giants, yearning for their wisdom and begging for lessons that might one day make me a complete artist, so that if all goes well, I may one day sit beside them.’”
Rod Taylor was born in Australia, but came to Hollywood to realize a dream. He worked his way up the Hollywood ladder and starred in over 50 films during his career, many of them classics like The Birds, The Time Machine, and The V.I.P.s.
“To a large degree, those early lean days were self-imposed,” he told Screenland magazine in 1961.
“I would only do the good things. I wouldn’t do anything I didn’t consider prestige. I’d much rather turn down a starring role in a bad picture and do a small role in a very good picture.”
Rod Taylor’s The Birds co-star, Tippi Hedren said of him, “There are so many incredible feelings I have for him. Rod was a great pal to me and a real strength, we were very, very good friends.”
She added, “He was one of the most fun people I have ever met, thoughtful and classy, there was everything good in that man.”
Rod Taylor was privileged enough to be part of a great age in Hollywood history. His absence will surely be felt by his colleagues, present and former.