Rod Taylor

From The "The Time Machine" Pressbook
George punching the nasty morlocks


    Rod Taylor is a young man who wastes no time. Achieving Hollywood stardom in just four years, the actor now spans a period of some 800,000 years in a motion picture that lasts just one-hundred minutes.

    The unique film is Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's "The Time Machine," produced and directed by master movie magician George Pal from H. G. Wells' famed novel. Taylor portrays the story's Time Traveler, who makes a fourth dimensional journey from 1899 to the year 802,701 A.D.

    "The role in this science-adventure film offered me an unusual opportunity," he says. "It was in complete contrast to the comedy part I played with David Niven and Shirley MacLaine in 'Ask Any Girl.' "

    Taylor's career in Hollywood has been exceptional in that he won important roles ever since first arriving in the film capital from his native Australia in 1955. He appeared in "The Virgin Queen" with Bette Davis, "Giant" with Elizabeth Taylor, "The Catered Affair" with Debbie Reynolds, "Raintree County" (again with Miss Taylor) and in the all-star "Separate Tables," among other pictures. With four Playhouse 90 starring roles to his credit*, he is also no stranger to TV.


"The Time Machine," however, gives him his first full-fledged starring role.

    When he first came to Hollywood, he worked hard to lose his British accent. Ironically, in his first movie there, "The Virgin Queen," he portrayed an Englishman. Since then he has been seen as a Southerner, a sophisticated New York playboy, a less sophisticated man from the Bronx and, in "The Time Machine," once again as an Englishman.

    "By now I've become completely Americanized," he says, "and for this new picture I practically had to acquire an English accent all over again. Actually, an English and an Australian accent are not the same. But they're close enough so that most people can't tell the difference."



    The 5'11", 175-pounder is both handsome and rugged. In Sydney, he spent three years as a life guard, and at Australian beaches, that's quite a job. The waters are infested with killer sharks. His swimming prowess came in handy for "The Time Machine" since one of his scenes called for him to rescue his leading lady, Yvette Mimieux, from a raging river.

    For a guy who has fought sharks and now skips through 8,000 centuries in a little more than an hour and a half, such movie derring-do is a cinch.


*Web Note: One of these TV performances is as Nick Carraway in a TV production of "The Great Gatsby." Taylor's performance is, in a word, terrific. You can see this program at when you visit New York's Museum of Television and Radio, 25 West 52nd Street, NY, NY 10019.

Web Note two: Wouldn't it be great to have a lawyer who could travel back in time to help you prove your case in court?


Don Brockway, Juny 6, 2000 (updated October 12, 2004)

Rod Taylor died January 8, 2015

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