Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Every Disney Hero has a Voice, One Hundred and One Dalmatians Pongo and Perdita

Every Disney Hero Has a Voice
One Hundred and One Dalmatians
Rod Taylor
January 11th, 1930
Cate Bauer
August 27th, 1922

Rodney Sturt “Rod” Taylor

Rodney Sturt "Rod" Taylor (born 11 January 1930) is an Australian actor of film and television. He has appeared in over 50 films, and is well known for his roles in the science fiction film The Time Machine (1960), and in the Alfred Hitchock horror movie The Birds (1963).

Early life

Taylor was Born on 11 January 1930 in Lidcombe, a suburb of Sydney, the only child of William Sturt Taylor, a steel construction contractor and commercial artist, and the former Mona Thompson, a writer of more than a hundred short stories and children's books. His middle name comes from his great-great grand uncle, Captain Charles Sturt, a British explorer of the Australian Outback in the 19th century.
Taylor attended Parramatta High School and later studied at the East Sydney Technical and Fine Arts College. For a time he worked as a commercial artist, but decided to become an actor after seeing Laurence Olivier in an Old Vic touring production in Australia.



Taylor acquired extensive radio and stage experience in Australia where his radio work included a period on Blue Hills and a role as Tarzan. Earlier in his career he had to support himself by working at Sydney's Mark Foys department store designing and painting window and other displays during the day. In 1951 he took part in a re-enactment of Charles Sturt's voyage down the Murrumbidgee and Murray Rivers, playing Sturt's offsider, George Macleay. A short documentary, Inland with Sturt (1951), was based on it. Taylor also appeared in a number of theatre productions for Australia's Mercury Theatre.
Taylor made his feature film debut in the Australian Lee Robinson film King of the Coral Sea (1954), playing an American. He later played Israel Hands in a Hollywood-financed movie shot in Sydney, Long John Silver (1954), an unofficial sequel to Treasure Island. Following these two films, Taylor was awarded the 1954 Rola Show Australian Radio Actor of the Year Award, which included a ticket to London via Los Angeles; but Taylor never made it to London.


Taylor soon landed roles in television shows such as Studio 57 and the films Hellon Frisco Bay (1955) and Giant (1956). In 1955, he guest-starred in the third episode ("The Argonauts") of the first hour-long western television series, Cheyenne, an ABC program starring Clint Walker. Taylor and Edward Andrews played gold seekers Clancy and Duncan, respectively, who are best friends until they strike it rich, only to see Native Americans release their gold dust to the wind. The episode was a remake of the film Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948). Taylor was considered for one of the leads in Warner Bros. Television’s Maverick.
Towards the end of 1955, Taylor unsuccessfully screen tested to play boxer Rocky Graziano in MGM’s Somebody Up There Likes Me but his use of a Brooklyn accent and physical prowess in the test impressed the studio enough to gain him a long-term contract. At MGM he played a series of support roles in The Catered Affair, Raintree County (1957) and Ask Any Girl (1959). He had a significant role in Separate Tables (1958), which won Oscars for two of its stars, David Niven and Wendy Hiller. He also made a strong impression guest starring in "And When the Sky Was Opened" (1959), an episode of The Twilight Zone.


Taylor's first leading role in a feature film was George Pal's adaptation of H. G. Wells science-fiction classic The Time Machine (1960)
In the 1960–61 television season, Taylor starred as foreign correspondent Glenn Evans in the ABC dramatic series Hong Kong. His principal co-star was Lloyd Bochner. The program faced stiff competition on Wednesday evenings from NBC’s Wagon and only lasted one season. He voiced Pongo the Dalmatian in Disney's animated One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961), and also guest-starred on Marilyn Maxwell's short-lived ABC series Bus Stop (also 1961). In 1962, he starred in an episode of The DuPont Show of the Week (NBC) ("The Ordeal of Dr. Shannon"), an adaptation of A. J. Cronin's novel, Shannon’s Way. Taylor starred in Alfred Hitchcock's horror/thriller The Birds (1963) with Tippi Hedren, Jessica Tandy and Suzanne Pleshette.
During the mid-60s, Taylor worked mostly for MGM, where his credits included Sunday in New York (1963), Fate Is the Hunter (1964), 36 Hours (1965), Young Cassidy (1965), The Liquidator (1965) and The Glass Bottom Boat (1966). He began to change his image towards the end of the decade to more tough guy roles such as Chuka (which he also produced, 1967), Dark of the Sun (aka The Mercenaries, 1968), Nobody Runs Forever (1968) and Darker than Amber (1970).
He was also reportedly up for the role of Caucasian martial artist Roper in the Bruce Lee vehicle Enter the Dragon (1973). The film was directed by Robert Clouse, who had also directed Taylor in the 1970 film, Darker than Amber. However, Taylor was supposedly deemed too tall for the part, and the role instead went to John Saxon.

Later career

In the 1970s, Taylor turned again to television. He starred in Bearcats! (1971) on CBS and in The Oregon Trail (1976) on NBC. He had a regular role in the short-lived spy drama series Masquerade (1983), and played one of the leads in the equally short-lived series Outlaws (1986). From 1988 to 1990, Taylor appeared in the CBS drama series Falcon Crest as Frank Agretti, playing opposite Jane Wyman. In the mid 1990s, he appeared in several episodes of Murder, She Wrote and Walker, Texas Ranger.
In 1993, he hosted the documentary Time Machine: The Journey Back. At the end of the special came a mini-sequel, written by David Duncan, the original writer of the George Pal film. Taylor recreated his role as George, reuniting him with Filby (Alan Young).
Taylor returned to Australia several times over the years to make films, playing a 1920s travelling showman in The Picture Show Man (1977), and a paid killer in On the Run (1983). In 1997, he played the foul-mouthed redneck "Daddy-O" in the black comedy Welcome to Woop Woop.
Taylor came out of retirement for the small but important role of Winston Churchill in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds (2009). In preparation for the role, Taylor watched dozens of DVDs with footage of Churchill in order to get the Prime Minister's posture, body language, and voice, including a lisp, correct.

Personal life

Married to third wife Carol Kikumura since 1980, Taylor is the father of CNN financial reporter Felicia Taylor (born 1964), from his acrimonious second marriage to model Mary Hilem (1963–69). His first wife was model Peggy Williams (1951–54).
He now lives in New York City.


  • King of the Coral Sea (1954) (film debut)
  • Long John Silver (1954)
  • The Virgin Queen (1955)
  • Hell on Frisco Bay (1955)
  • Top Gun (1955)
  • World Without End (1956)
  • The Catered Affair (1956)
  • Giant (1956)
  • Raintree County (1957)
  • Separate Tables (1958)
  • Step Down to Terror (1958)
  • And When the Sky Was Opened (1959)
  • Ask Any Girl (1959)
  • The Time Machine (1960)
  • Colossus and the Amazon Queen (1960)
  • One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961) (voice)
  • Seven Seas to Calais (1962)
  • The Birds (1963)
  • A Gathering of Eagles (1963)
  • The V.I.P.s (1963)
  • Sunday in New York (1963)
  • Fate Is the Hunter (1964)
  • 36 Hours (1965)
  • Young Cassidy (1965)
  • The Liquidator (1965)
  • Do Not Disturb (1965)
  • The Glass Bottom Boat (1966)
  • Hotel (1967)
  • Chuka (1967)
  • Dark of the Sun (1968)
  • Nobody Runs Forever (1968) (aka The High Commissioner)
  • The Hell with Heroes (1968)
  • Zabriskie Point (1970)
  • Darker than Amber (1970)
  • The Man Who Had Power Over Women (1970)
  • Powderkeg (1971) (TV)
  • Family Fight (1972) (TV)
  • The Train Robbers (1973)
  • Gli eroi (1973) (aka The Heroes)
  • Trader Horn (1973)
  • The Deadly Trackers (1973)
  • Hell River (1974) (aka Partizani)
  • Blondie (1975)
  • A Matter of Wife... And Death (1976) (TV)
  • The Oregon Trail (1976) (TV)
  • The Picture Show Man (1977)
  • The Treasure Seekers (1979)
  • Cry of the Innocent (1980) (TV)
  • A Time to Die(1983)
  • On the Run (1983)
  • Terror in the Aisles (1984)
  • Mask of Murder (1985)
  • Half Nelson (1985) (TV)
  • Marbella, un golpe de cinco estrellas (1985)
  • Danielle Steele’s ‘Palomino’ (1991) (TV)
  • Grass Roots (1992) (TV)
  • Point of Betrayal (1995)
  • Open Season (2006)
  • Welcome to Woop Woop (1998)
  • Warlord: Battle for the Galaxy (1998) (TV)
  • KAW (2007) (TV)
  • Inglourious Basterds (2009)

TV series

As regular

Taylor has had several lead roles in television, from the early 1960s to the early first decade of the 21st century. Among his TV shows as a regular are:
  • Hong Kong with co-star Lloyd Bochner (1960, ABC)
  • Bearcats! (1971, CBS)
  • The Oregon Trail as Evan Thorpe, a widower taking his three children from their Illinois farm to the Pacific Northwest by way of the Oregon Trail (1977, NBC)
  • Masquerade (1983)
  • Outlaws (1986)

Guest appearances

  • Studio 57 (1955) – "The Last Day on Earth", "The Black Sheep's Daughter"
  • Lux Video Theatre (1955) – "Dark Tribute", "The Browning Version"
  • Cheyenne (1955) – "The Argonauts"
  • Suspicion (1957) – "The Story of Marjorie Reardon"
  • Schlitz Playhouse of Stars (1958) – "A Thing to Fight For"
  • Studio One (1958) – "Image of Fear"
  • Lux Playhouse (1958) – "The Best House in the Valley"
  • Playhouse 90 (1958–59) – "Verdict of Three", "The Great Gatsby", "The Long March", "The Raider", "Misalliance"
  • The Twilight Zone (1959) – "And When the Sky Was Opened"
  • Zane Grey Theater (1960) – "Picture of Sal"
  • Goodyear Theatre (1960) – "Capital Gains"
  • General Electric Theater (1960) – "Early to Die", "The Young Years"
  • Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse (1960) – "Thunder in the Night"
  • Bus Stop (1961) – "Portrait of a Hero"
  • The DuPont Show of the Week (1962) – "The Ordeal of Dr. Shannon"
  • Walker, Texas Ranger
  • Murder, She Wrote
  • Falcon Crest


  • Inland with Sturt (1951)
  • The Fantasy Film Worlds of George Pal (1985)
  • Time Machine: The Journey Back (1993)
  • All About the Birds (2000)
  • Not Quite Hollywood (2008)

Cate Bauer
Cate Bauer (born 27 August 1922 in London, England) is a British actress who voiced the character Perdita in the 1961 film One Hundred and One Dalmatians. She also played Miss Hidwick in the series The Third Man in the episode How To Buy A Country


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