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Don Taylor
Born December 13, 1920(1920-12-13)
Freeport, Pennsylvania, USA
Died December 29, 1998 (aged 78)
Los Angeles, California, USA
Occupation Actor, director
Years active 19571988
Spouse(s) Hazel Court (1964-1998) (his death) 2 children
Phyllis Avery (1944-1955) (divorced) 2 daughters

Don Taylor (December 13, 1920 – December 29, 1998) was an American movie actor and director best known for his performances in 1950s classics like Stalag 17 and Father of the Bride and the 1948 film noir The Naked City.

Life and work

Born in Freeport, Pennsylvania, Taylor studied speech and drama at Penn State University and hitchhiked to Hollywood in 1942. He was signed as a contract player at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and appeared in small roles. Drafted into the United States Army Air Forces (AAF) during World War II, he appeared in the Air Forces's Winged Victory Broadway play and movie (1944), credited as "Cpl. Don Taylor."

After discharge from the AAF, Taylor was cast in a lead role as the young detective in The Naked City, which was notable for being filmed entirely on the streets of New York. After Naked City he appeared as the husband of Elizabeth Taylor in the comedies Father of the Bride (1950) and Father's Little Dividend (1951), starring Spencer Tracy. He also played Vern "Cowboy" Blithe in Flying Leathernecks in 1951. In 1953, Taylor had a key role as the escaping prisoner Lt. Dunbar in Billy Wilder's Stalag 17. His last major film role came in I'll Cry Tomorrow (1955).

From the late 1950s through the '80s, Taylor turned to directing movies and, mainly, TV shows. One of his memorable efforts was the musical film, Tom Sawyer which boasted a Sherman Brothers song score. Other films include Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971), The Island of Dr. Moreau (1977) starring Burt Lancaster, Damien: Omen II (1978) with William Holden and The Final Countdown (1980) with Kirk Douglas.

Taylor occasionally performed both acting and directing roles simultaneously, as he did for episodes of the TV detective series Burke's Law.

Taylor was married twice:

  • Phyllis Avery (1944 - 1955) (divorced) - Anne and Avery
  • Hazel Court (1964 - his death) - son, Jonathan, and daughter, Courtney

He died in Los Angeles, California of heart failure.

Selected filmography

External links

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