Another Childhood Hero Leaves

Film

The_Mercenaries-1

When I was a kid I wanted to be Rod Taylor. He had a square jaw, a chin-dimple, twinkling eyes, wide shoulders, an Australian accent and a sense of fun about him, and he was therefore far more interesting than Hollywood heroes, most of whom I had no way of relating to. I score a 3 or possibly a 2 in the 6 Degrees of Separation game with Mr Taylor, having worked with Melanie Griffiths (utterly lovely) and having her mum Tippi Hedren star in a film version of one of my stories. Tenuous, I know, but when you admire someone you’ll seize on such a link with pride.

He was in ‘The VIPs’ and ‘The Birds’ and ‘The Time Machine’ and ooh, ooh, please Miss I know – ‘The Mercenaries’ with Kenneth More and Yvette Mimeux and Jim Brown, which I love for its Jacques Loussier score (the poster is from the wonderful Frank McGrath – see columns passim) , and he was hilarious in the underrated ‘Welcome To Woop-Woop’, and he was in ‘Zabriskie Point’ and loads of other movies, and always played characters with names like Travis McGee and Scobie Malone, who were two-fisted but intelligent, and he was one of the coolest dudes on earth.

He had a nice long life and loved his family and movies. And now he’s gone. Bugger.

4 comments on “Another Childhood Hero Leaves”

  1. Jo W says:

    I had a very sad start to my day yesterday when I read of the death of Rod Taylor. Heartthrob of my youth. How could he possibly have been eighty four? Yes,Admin, bugger and double bugger. 😔😔

  2. snowy says:

    When I read the headline I foolishly thought it was going to be about, John Lancelot Blades Percival. Who I think it could be argued had a greater impact on British [mostly TV] audiences, appeared on TW3, own series and several sitcoms. Got a few film roles, but with a face like a bag of spanners, he was never going to have them swooning in the aisles.

    [Oh Blast! I’m now going to have to chase down a copy of ‘A Child’s Guide to Screenwriting’ just based on the title. I may be gone some time.]

  3. Helen Martin says:

    A Child’s Guide to Screenwriting would have been a great addition to the school library. It might have stimulated a different form of creative writing than the usual short story.

  4. Helen Martin says:

    Never comment when you don’t know what you’re talking about! It was a 1964 film with Frank Muir and Denis Norden and classified as comedy (surprise, surprise!). You’re supposed to be able to view it on line but it’s not as easy as it seems. I remember Muir and Norden from radio, including that marvelous item “Just a Minute”. My son said it was impossible to follow the rules they had unless you were a genius. He challenged me to talk for just a minute on…trees. That was a real doddle – no pause, no repetition and a continuous flow. Hah! Thanks for the memory.

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