Don Taylor


Actor
Don Taylor

About

Also Known As
Donald R Taylor, Donald Dexter Taylor, Cpl. Don Taylor
Birth Place
Freeport, Pennsylvania, USA
Born
December 13, 1920
Died
December 29, 1998
Cause of Death
Heart Failure

Biography

Don Taylor may forever be the answer to the trivia question: "Who played the role of the groom in the original 'Father of the Bride' (1950)?," but his more durable career came as a director of features and TV movies from the early 1960s well into the 80s.The Pennsylvania-born Taylor broke into movies with a bit part in "Girl Crazy" (1943) then, as part of his military service during Worl...

Photos & Videos

Battleground - Action Publicity Stills
Battleground - Behind-the-Scenes Stills
For the Love of Mary - Scene Stills

Family & Companions

Phyllis Avery
Wife
Actor. Divorced in 1955.
Hazel Court
Wife
Actor. Married from 1964 until his death.

Notes

Not to be confused with the British production designer of the same name.

Biography

Don Taylor may forever be the answer to the trivia question: "Who played the role of the groom in the original 'Father of the Bride' (1950)?," but his more durable career came as a director of features and TV movies from the early 1960s well into the 80s.

The Pennsylvania-born Taylor broke into movies with a bit part in "Girl Crazy" (1943) then, as part of his military service during World War II, appeared in a stage production of "Winged Victory" and soon found himself co-starring in the 1944 feature based on the show. The career of the handsome, though somewhat bland, Taylor picked up steam in mostly supporting roles. He was among the troops in William Wellman's unglamorous look at men at war in "Battleground" (1949) before being chosen as the fiance of Elizabeth Taylor (no relation) in "Father of the Bride" and her husband in its sequel, "Father's Little Dividend" (1951). Often cast as military men, Taylor won critical kudos for his turns as Robert Ryan's brother-in-law in "The Flying Leathernecks" (1951) and had a rare lead as a soldier married to a "Japanese War Bride" (1952). He played Lt. Dunbar, the American POW William Holden ultimately rescues, in "Stalag 17" (1953), and remained working as an actor in features into the late 50s.

Moving behind the camera, Taylor began his directing career with the silly "Everything's Ducky" (1961), which teamed Buddy Hackett and Mickey Rooney with a talking duck. He directed George Hamilton as a suave burglar in "Jack of Diamonds" (1967), and the sequel "Escape From the Planet of the Apes" (1971). The quality of Taylor's vehicles improved somewhat in the late 70s with "The Great Scout and Cathouse Thursday" (1976), a broad Western comedy that allowed Oliver Reed to shine. Fantasy-horror films offered Taylor some of his best opportunities. He helmed the well-executed remake "The Island of Dr. Moreau" (1977), featuring Burt Lancaster as the title character. "Damien: Omen II" (1978), while not as effective as the original, nevertheless had its moments and reteamed the director with former co-star William Holden. "The Final Countdown" (1980), his last feature, was a modest variation on a somewhat familiar tale: a nuclear-powered battleship that is transported back in time to just before the attack on Pearl Harbor. It is perhaps more recalled as the first producing effort of its star Kirk Douglas.

Taylor had already established a foothold as a TV director, helming episodes of such popular series as "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," "The Rifleman" and "The Wild, Wild West." His longform debut was "Something for a Lonely Man" (NBC, 1968), starring Dan Blocker as an outcast blacksmith. Taylor worked with Dick Van Dyke on "Drop-Out Father" (CBS, 1982), which cast Van Dyke as an ad agency executive who leaves his white collar world. The pair reteamed for "Ghost of a Chance" (CBS, 1987), in which Van Dyke was partnered with Redd Foxx. Taylor took on Hollywood with the biopic "My Wicked, Wicked Ways...The Legend of Errol Flynn" (CBS, 1985) and his last assignment, to date, was the caper yarn "The Diamond Trap" (CBS, 1988).

Filmography

 

Director (Feature Film)

The Diamond Trap (1988)
Director
Ghost of a Chance (1987)
Director
Classified Love (1986)
Director
Going for the Gold: The Bill Johnson Story (1985)
Director
My Wicked, Wicked Ways... The Legend of Errol Flynn (1985)
Director
Secret Weapons (1985)
Director
He's Not Your Son (1984)
Director
September Gun (1983)
Director
Listen to Your Heart (1983)
Director
Drop-out Father (1982)
Director
Broken Promise (1981)
Director
Red Flag: The Ultimate Game (1981)
Director
The Final Countdown (1980)
Director
The Promise of Love (1980)
Director
The Gift (1979)
Director
Damien - Omen II (1978)
Director
A Circle of Children (1977)
Director
The Island Of Dr. Moreau (1977)
Director
The Great Scout And Cathouse Thursday (1976)
Director
The Manhunter (1976)
Director
Echoes Of A Summer (1976)
Director
Honky Tonk (1974)
Director
Night Games (1974)
Director
Tom Sawyer (1973)
Director
Heat of Anger (1972)
Director
Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971)
Director
The Five Man Army (1970)
Director
Wild Women (1970)
Director
Jack of Diamonds (1967)
Director
Ride the Wild Surf (1964)
Director
Everything's Ducky (1961)
Director

Cast (Feature Film)

The Manhunt (1984)
The Savage Guns (1962)
Mike Summers
Ride the High Iron (1957)
Hugo Danielchik, also known as Hugh Brian-Daniels
Love Slaves of the Amazons (1957)
Dr. Pete L. Masters
The Bold and the Brave (1956)
Sgt. Ewald "Preacher" Wollaston
The Men of Sherwood Forest (1956)
Robin Hood
I'll Cry Tomorrow (1955)
Wallie
Johnny Dark (1954)
Duke Benson
Destination Gobi (1953)
Jenkins
Stalag 17 (1953)
Lt. James Dunbar
The Girls of Pleasure Island (1953)
Lt. Jimmy Gilmartin
Japanese War Bride (1952)
Jim Sterling
Submarine Command (1951)
Lt. Commander Peter Morris
The Blue Veil (1951)
Dr. Robbie Palfrey
Target Unknown (1951)
Lt. Webster
Flying Leathernecks (1951)
Cowboy
Father's Little Dividend (1951)
Buckley Dunstan
Ambush (1950)
Lt. Linus Delaney
Father of the Bride (1950)
Buckley Dunstan
Battleground (1949)
Standiferd
For the Love of Mary (1948)
David Paxton
The Naked City (1948)
Jimmy Halloran
Song of the Thin Man (1947)
Buddy Hollis
Thousands Cheer (1944)
Soldier at station
Winged Victory (1944)
Danny "Pinky" Scariano
Salute to the Marines (1943)
Brooks
Swing Shift Maisie (1943)
Flyer
Girl Crazy (1943)
Boy
The Human Comedy (1943)
Soldier

Writer (Feature Film)

My Wicked, Wicked Ways... The Legend of Errol Flynn (1985)
Screenplay

Producer (Feature Film)

Classified Love (1986)
Producer
Signal 7 (1984)
Producer
Listen to Your Heart (1983)
Producer
Broken Promise (1981)
Producer

Film Production - Main (Feature Film)

Mandalay (1934)
Tech Director
Black Moon (1934)
Technical Advisor

Director (Special)

Amanda Fallon (1972)
Director
Full Speed Anywhere (1960)
Director
I Remember Caviar (1959)
Director
Dear Mom, Dear Dad (1959)
Director

Cast (Short)

Who's Superstitious? (1943)

Life Events

1943

Film debut with bit part in "Girl Crazy"

1944

Had first substantial role in "Winged Victory"

1950

Co-starred as the groom in "Father of the Bride"

1961

Feature directorial debut, "Everything's Ducky"

1968

Began directing TV-movies with "Something for a Lonely Man" (NBC)

1973

Directed and appeared in "Tom Sawyer"

1977

Directed remake of "The Island of Dr. Moreau"

1980

Last feature to date, "The Final Countdown"

1985

Helmed the TV biopic "My Wicked, Wicked Ways...The Legend of Errol Flynn" (CBS)

1987

Last directing credit to date, the CBS TV-movie "Diamond Trap"

Photo Collections

Battleground - Action Publicity Stills
Here are several action-oriented publicity stills taken for MGM's Battleground (1949). Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
Battleground - Behind-the-Scenes Stills
Here are a number of photos taken behind-the-scenes during production of MGM's Battleground (1949), directed by William Wellman and starring Van Johnson, Ricardo Montalban, James Whitmore, George Murphy, and many others.
For the Love of Mary - Scene Stills
Here are several scene stills from Universal Pictures' For the Love of Mary (1948), starring Deanna Durbin,
For the Love of Mary - Publicity Stills
Here are a few publicity stills from Universal's For the Love of Mary (1948), starring Deanna Durbin, Edmund O'Brien, and Don Taylor. Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.

Videos

Movie Clip

I'll Cry Tomorrow (1955) - We Did What? Newly happy and confident now that she's using alcohol to cope with grief over the death of her first husband, singer Lillian Roth (Susan Hayward) on a wild date with soldier Wallie (Don Taylor), whom she scarcely knows, in I'll Cry Tomorrow, 1955.
Song Of The Thin Man (1947) - Right Down To Their Fingerprints At a charity event on a gambling boat anchored off New York, we join Nick and Nora Charles (William Powell, Myrna Loy) observing bandleader Philip Reed, soloist Don Taylor, sideman Keenan Wynn, Gloria Grahame the sexy singer, and Bruce Cowling who owns the joint, exposition early in Song Of The Thin Man, 1947.
Ride The Wild Surf (1964) - The Clambake Always Starts Narrated exposition and hunks galore, as Fabian, Tab Hunter and future soap-opera star Peter Brown arrive in Hawaii in the somewhat less fluffy than average surfer feature Ride The Wild Surf, 1964, with Shelly Fabares, Barbara Eden, Susan Hart and one Brian Wilson song.
Ride The Wild Surf (1964) - Title Song Not appearing until the ending credit roll, and a minute shorter than the version that was the opening and title cut from the Jan & Dean album released the same year, the song by Brian Wilson, Jan Berry and Roger Christian, from the surfer-drama Ride The Wild Surf, 1964.
Naked City, The (1948) - Who Moved The Body? Cranky Lieutenant Muldoon (Barry Fitzgerald) works the crime scene with help from Halloran (Don Taylor) and Schaefer (Arthur O'Connell) in an early scene from The Naked City, 1948.
Naked City, The (1948) - The Kid Has Nerve Darn near unvarnished police procedure, as Donahue (Frank Conroy) and Halloran (Don Taylor) canvass for a suspect, director Jules Dassin working New York locations, until producer Mark Hellinger's narration resumes the policeman's lament in The Naked City, 1948.
Stalag 17 (1953) - There Should Be A Ham Hock Sefton (Academy Award-winner William Holden), beaten up by fellow POW’s who think he’s the informer, tries to bribe guard Schultz (Sig Rumann), before the others get back to the barracks, Hoffy (Richard Erdman) making an offer before “The Geneva Man” (Erwin Kalser) appears, in Billy Wilder’s Stalag 17, 1953.
Father of the Bride (1950) - I Don't Like Him Stanley (Spencer Tracy) and Ellie (Joan Bennett) meet Buckley (Don Taylor) who's come to collect Kay (Elizabeth Taylor) in an early scene from Vincente Minnelli's Father of the Bride, 1950.
Tom Sawyer (1973) - Gratifaction The tune is called "Gratifaction" and the scene is Mark Twain's recollection of Missouri, the bit about white-washing a fence, Johnny Whitaker as the title character in the Sherman Brothers' musical production of Tom Sawyer 1973.
Father of the Bride (1950) - Financial Talk Stanley (Spencer Tracy) stages a one-sided "financial talk" with suitor Buckley (Don Taylor) as daughter Kay (Elizabeth Taylor) and spouse Ellie (Joan Bennett) provide support in Father of the Bride, 1950.
Ambush (1950) - Your Loving Husband? Introduction of Lt. Delaney (Don Taylor) and laundress Martha (Jean Hagen), wife of a trooper, scheming Capt. Lorrison (John Hodiak) intruding, in 1878 Arizona, in director Sam Wood's last film, MGM's Ambush, 1950.
Ambush (1950) - He'll Kill Hard Scout Kinsman (Robert Taylor) summoned to an Arizona army fort where Major Breverly (Leon Ames) pitches an idea, Capt. Lorrison (John Hodiak) and Ann (Arlene Dahl) interested, in MGM's Ambush, 1950, from a screenplay by Marguerite Roberts.

Trailer

Stalag 17 -- (Re-issue Trailer) He's a cynic but is he a traitor? William Holden won a Best Actor award as the hard-boiled POW running scams in Billy Wilder's Stalag 17 (1953).
Father's Little Dividend - (Original Trailer) In the sequel to Father of the Bride (1950), Spencer Tracy discovers the joys and pains of grandfatherhood.
Ambush - (Original Trailer) A Westerner (Robert Taylor) searches for a white woman held by the Apaches. The last movie from director Sam Wood (Good-bye Mr. Chips).
Battleground - (Original Trailer) American soldiers in France fight to survive a Nazi siege just before the Battle of the Bulge in Battleground (1949), directed by William Wellman and starring Van Johnson, John Hodiak and Ricardo Montalban.
Father of the Bride (1950) - (Original Trailer) A doting father (Spencer Tracy) faces mountains of bills and endless trials when his daughter (Elizabeth Taylor) marries in Father of the Bride (1950), directed by Vincente Minnelli.
Song Of The Thin Man -- (Original Trailer) Society sleuths Nick and Nora Charles investigate a murder in a jazz club in the last of the "Thin Man" series, Song Of The Thin Man (1947).
Savage Guns, The - (Original Trailer) Mexican bandits threaten the local ranchers in The Savage Guns (1962).
Jack Of Diamonds - (Original Trailer) Gentlemen crook Joseph Cotten trains George Hamilton to become master thief Jack of Diamonds (1967).
Flying Leathernecks - (Re-issue Trailer) A World War II Marine officer (John Wayne) drives his men mercilessly during the battle for Guadalcanal in Flying Leathernecks (1951).
Human Comedy, The - (Original Trailer) A smalltown telegraph boy deals with the strains of growing up during World War II in The Human Comedy (1943), directed by Clarence Brown and starring Mickey Rooney and Frank Morgan.
Five Man Army, The - (Original Trailer) Stealing gold isn't such a "mission impossible" when Peter Graves is leading The Five Man Army (1970).
I'll Cry Tomorrow - (Original Trailer) Susan Hayward stars in the true story of singer and actress Lillian Roth and her battle with alcoholism in I'll Cry Tomorrow (1955).

Family

Janet Tuttle
Sister
Survived him.
Avery Taylor Moore
Daughter
Mother, Phyllis Avery; survived him.
Anne Taylor Fleming
Daughter
Mother, Phyllis Avery; survived him.
Jonathan David Taylor
Son
Mother, Hazel Court; survived him.
Sally Walsh
Step-Daughter
Survived him.

Companions

Phyllis Avery
Wife
Actor. Divorced in 1955.
Hazel Court
Wife
Actor. Married from 1964 until his death.

Bibliography

Notes

Not to be confused with the British production designer of the same name.