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Nom de naissance Spangler Arlington BrughNationalité Etats-UnisNaissance 5 aout 1911Mort 8 juin 1969
(à 57 ans) à Santa Monica (Etats-Unis
Robert Taylor, de son vrai nom Spangler Arlington Brugh, est un acteur américain né le 5 août 1911 à Filley (Nebraska) et décédé le 8 juin 1969 à Santa Monica (Californie). Il est surtout connu pour ses rôles dans Quo Vadis et dans Traquenard de Nicholas Ray.
Marriages and children
After three years of dating, Taylor married Barbara Stanwyck on May 14, 1939 in San Diego, California. Zeppo Marx's wife, Marion, was Stanwyck's matron of honor and her godfather, actor Buck Mack, was Taylor's best man. Stanwyck divorced Taylor (reportedly at his request) in February 1951. The couple had no children.
Taylor met German actress Ursula Thiess in 1952. They married in Jackson Hole, Wyoming on May 23, 1954. They had two children together, son Terrance (born 1955) and daughter Tessa (born 1959). Taylor was also stepfather to Thiess' two children from her previous marriage, Manuela and Michael Thiess. On May 26, 1969, shortly before Taylor's death from lung cancer, Ursula Thiess found her son Michael's body in a West Los Angeles motel room. He died from what was later determined to be a drug overdose. One month before his death, Michael had been released from a mental hospital. In 1964, he spent a year in a reformatory for attempting to poison his natural father with insecticide.
In February 1944, Taylor helped found the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals. In October 1947, Taylor was called to testify before the House Committee on Un-American Activities regarding Communism in Hollywood. He did this reluctantly, regarding the hearings as a "circus" and refusing to appear unless subpoenaed. In his testimony concerning the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), delivered on October 22, 1947, Taylor stated: "It seems to me that at meetings, especially meetings of the general membership of the Guild, there was always a certain group of actors and actresses whose every action would indicate to me that, if they are not Communists, they are working awfully hard to be Communists." Two people already under investigation by the FBI, Karen Morley and Howard Da Silva were mentioned as troublemakers at SAG meetings. Taylor alleged that at meetings of the SAG, Da Silva "always had something to say at the wrong time." Da Silva was blacklisted on Broadway and New York radio, while Morley never worked again after her name surfaced at the hearings. Taylor went on to declare that he would refuse to work with anyone who was even suspected of being a Communist: "I'm afraid it would have to be him or me, because life is too short to be around people who annoy me as much as these fellow-travelers and Communists do". Taylor also labeled screenwriter Lester Cole "reputedly a Communist", while adding, "I would not know personally". In consequence, Cole was sent to prison and was never able to write again under his own name. After the hearings, Taylor's films were banned in Communist Hungary and in Czechoslovakia and Communists called for a boycott his films in France.
In 1952, Taylor starred in the film Above and Beyond, a biopic of Enola Gay pilot Paul Tibbets. The two men met and found that they had much in common. Both had considered studying medicine, and were avid skeet-shooters and fliers. Taylor learned to fly in the mid-1930s, and served as a United States Navy flying instructor during World War II. His private aircraft was a Twin Beech called "Missy" (his then-wife Stanwyck's nickname) which he used on hunting and fishing trips and to fly to locations for filming.
Taylor owned a 34-room home situated on 112 acres (0.45 km) located in Mandeville Canyon, in the Brentwood section of Los Angeles. Dubbed the Robert Taylor Ranch, the property was sold to KROQ-FM founder Ken Roberts in the 1970s. Roberts remodeled the home and put it back on the market in 1990 for $45 million. He later reduced the price $35 million, but the ranch failed to attract a buyer. In 2010, the ranch was seized by New Stream Capital, a hedge fund, after Roberts failed to pay back a high interest loan he took from New Stream Capital.
In November 2012, The Robert Taylor ranch was put up for auction by the trust that owned it. The Ranch was purchased for $12 million by a Chicago buyer in December 2012.
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