Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Friday, 9 January 2015

RIP continued ....

The new year kicks off with:

Rod Taylor (1930-2015), aged 84. Rod was a Person We Like, as per my post on him last year - see label. I always liked seeing Rod, an amiable, charming guy - like James Garner who departed last year. For me Rod centres Hitch's THE BIRDS making that flirting banter with Melanie Daniels believable - nice to hear he and Tippi Hedren remained good friends. He was certainly lucky to go from a forgotten swashbuckler (SEVEN SEAS TO CALAIS where he wore the doublets with ease) to being summoned to Bodega Bay for a film that is always on show somewhere (and a perennial favourite here at The Projector). I was trying to get a copy of his 1960 peplum COLOSSUS AND THE AMAZON QUEEN recently, but the supplier couldn't provide it ....  (PS: It is now on You Tube).
Its a fascinating career for an Australian: in Hollywood in the mid-50s, with small parts in GIANT and RAINTREE COUNTY, Debbie's beau in THE WEDDING BREAKFAST and the young husband in SEPARATE TABLES, then the perennial TIME MACHINE and stealing THE VIPs from the bigger names, along with Maggie Smith. YOUNG CASSIDY is a particular favourite, with Maggie Smith again, plus Julie Christie and Edith Evans. FATE IS THE HUNTER and 36 HOURS are fascinating thrillers; and also his romcoms like ASK ANY GIRL in 1959, SUNDAY IN NEW YORK in 1963 and those two lesser Doris Day films. He also did some rather good actioners like THE MERCENARIES and NOBODY

I puzzled a movie buff friend recently (the kind of buff who only sees 'important' films) by asking: Which actor has worked for John Ford, Hitchcock, Antonioni and Tarantino - he was stunned to hear it was that "lightweight" Rod Taylor. 
Rod was also in Antonioni's ZABRISKIE POINT and popped up as Churchill in INGLORIOUS BASTERDS. We also saw him a few times on shows like MURDER SHE WROTE. 84 years is a good run and I am sure he enjoyed it all. RIP indeed. 

As my friend Daryl says: Certainly, a solid career, with a number of memorable films, and an actor who could go from George Pal to Hitchcock to John Ford to Antonioni to Tarantino. And i must say that, with THE V.I.P.S and YOUNG CASSIDY, he was one of the best partners that Maggie Smith ever had!  Right; YOUNG CASSIDY.

Gerry Fisher (1926-2014), aged 88. Ace cinematographer and director of photography on quite a lot of movies I like. He worked several times with Joseph Losey, on ACCIDENT, DON GIOVANNI, SECRET CEREMONY, THE GO-BETWEEN, A DOLL'S HOUSE and Losey's French films MR KLEIN and ROUTES TO THE SOUTH, plus THE ROMANTIC ENGLISHWOMAN'; Lumet's THE SEA GULL, Richardson's HAMLET, BUTLEY, thrillers JUGGERNAUT and BRANNIGAN, Wilder's FEDORA, and HIGHLANDER among many others.

Lance Percival (1933-2015, aged 81. Lance with that funny face, seems rather a forgotten figure lately but like the recently gone Jeremy Lloyd (RIP below), was also an essential 1960s face, and part of the David Frost set on those satire shows and he also popped up in so many films, including a moment on THE VIPs, TV shows like SHOESTRING, some CARRY-ONs, and Beatles documentaries. 


  1. The hits keep on coming. I suppose it shouldn't be surprising as those stars of the 60's & 70's are mostly in their 80's now but it still gives you a jolt when one of them passes. And since it seems to be happening with sad regularity of late it becomes even more worrisome. Just since the beginning of the year, Edward Hermann-a real shocker, true he died on the last day of 2014 but the news hit New Years Day, Donna Douglas-a much bigger name in the states due to The Beverly Hillibillies but that she was 82 was startling, and now Rod.

    Loved him in The Birds of course but I think The V.I.P.S. with Maggie remains my fave. Young Cassidy was good but with that cast I thought I'd love it more.

  2. Indeed, so many of my 60s favourites are now in their 80s ... but that is the age when most people check out, so we celebrate their careers and achievements. Some may say that Rod was not a great actor or great star but it takes a certain talent to cover so many genres and appear natural on screen and Rod, like Garner or Cliff Robertson, was a natural.

  3. It's sad that both Rod and Anita died so close together considering that they both dated back in the early 1960s