Born with the rather unusual name of Spangler Arlington Brugh, Robert Taylor was born on 5 th August 1911 in Nebraska to a Nebraskan doctor. He was a very enthusiastic child, and even at high school got involved in activities such as the track team and the school band. He loved playing the cello, which was his specialty in the school band. It was also at school that Taylor developed an interest in acting as well, and since he was a good looking lad he had no trouble getting leading roles in school productions.
At 23 he was spotted by an MGM talent scout, and was soon signed up to an MGM contract. His first role was actually a Fox production for which Taylor was loaned out by MGM. The movie was the 1934 ‘Handy Andy’. He also starred in an MGM short ‘Crime does not Pay’. He was then loaned out again, this time to Universal, for a starring role in the 1935 movie ‘Magnificent Obsession’, and this movie made him an idol with millions of fans.
Taylor was given a hard time by movie critics, who viewed him as a ‘pretty boy’ but he nevertheless proved that he was a good and a popular actor. His movies included: ‘Camille’, ‘Johnny Eager’, and ‘Bataan’. He was always known by co-workers and movie bosses as an actor that would happily give every role as much dedication and time as required; a keen, pleasant and popular entertainer.
From 1959 Taylor spent three years starring the ‘Robert Taylor’s Detectives’, a weekly and well-received police series. He also went on to host ‘Death Valley Days’ after his friend and original host decided to take up a political career on a full-time basis in 1965. The friend in question was an actor by the name of Ronald Reagan. Robert Taylor also married twice, once to actress Barbara Stanwyck, and then to Ursula Theiss. He passed away from lung cancer on 8 th June 1969 in California.
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