Don Taylor

Actor, Director
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 ... Read more »
Born: 12/12/1920 in Freeport, Pennsylvania, USA

Filmography

Director (52)

Ghost of a Chance 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Director

The Final Countdown 1980 (Movie)

(Director)

The Gift 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)

Director

Damien - Omen II 1978 (Movie)

(Director)

The Island of Dr. Moreau 1977 (Movie)

(Director)

Alcoa/Goodyear Theater 1958 - 1973, 1975 - 1976 (Tv Show)

Director

Alfred Hitchcock Presents 1955 - 1973, 1975 - 1976 (Tv Show)

Director

Dennis the Menace 1958 - 1973, 1975 - 1976 (Tv Show)

Director

Johnny Ringo 1959 - 1966, 1975 - 1976 (Tv Show)

Director

M Squad 1957 - 1973, 1975 - 1976 (Tv Show)

Director

Mannix 1955 - 1976 (Tv Show)

Director

Mobile One 1961 - 1966, 1975 - 1976 (Tv Show)

Director

Night Gallery 1958 - 1973, 1975 - 1976 (Tv Show)

Director

The Big Valley 1958 - 1973, 1975 - 1976 (Tv Show)

Director

The Dick Powell Show 1955 - 1976 (Tv Show)

Director

The Farmer's Daughter 1961 - 1966, 1975 - 1976 (Tv Show)

Director

The Mod Squad 1958 - 1973, 1975 - 1976 (Tv Show)

Director

The Name of the Game 1957 - 1973, 1975 - 1976 (Tv Show)

Director

The Rifleman 1955 - 1973, 1975 - 1976 (Tv Show)

Director

The Wild Wild West 1958 - 1973, 1975 - 1976 (Tv Show)

Director

Echoes of a Summer 1975 (Movie)

(Director)

The Great Scout & Cathouse Thursday 1975 (Movie)

(Director)

Honky Tonk 1973 - 1974 (TV Show)

Director

Night Games 1973 - 1974 (TV Show)

Director

Amanda Fallon 1971 - 1972 (TV Show)

Director

Tom Sawyer 1972 (Movie)

(Director)

Escape From the Planet of the Apes 1971 (Movie)

(Director)

The Five Man Army 1970 (Movie)

(Director)

Alcoa Premiere 1961 - 1966 (Tv Show)

Director

Amos Burke, Secret Agent 1961 - 1966 (Tv Show)

Director

Jack of Diamonds 1966 (Movie)

(Director)

Burke's Law 1961 - 1965 (Tv Show)

Director

Ride the Wild Surf 1963 (Movie)

(Director)

A Circle of Children (TV Show)

Director

A Ghost of a Chance (Movie)

(Director)

Broken Promise (TV Show)

Director

Classified Love (TV Show)

Director

Drop-Out Father (TV Show)

Director

He's Not Your Son (TV Show)

Director

Heat of Anger (TV Show)

Director

Honky Tonk (Movie)

(Director)

Listen to Your Heart (TV Show)

Director

Red Flag: The Ultimate Game (TV Show)

Director

Secret Weapons (TV Show)

Director

September Gun (TV Show)

Director

Something For a Lonely Man (TV Show)

Director

The Diamond Trap (TV Show)

Director

The Manhunter (TV Show)

Director

The Promise of Love (TV Show)

Director

Wild Women (TV Show)

Director
Actor (19)

The Manhunt 1983 (Movie)

(Actor)

Love Slaves of the Amazon 1956 (Movie)

Dr Peter Masters (Actor)

The Bold and the Brave 1956 (Movie)

Preacher (Actor)

I'll Cry Tomorrow 1955 (Movie)

Wallie (Actor)

Johnny Dark 1954 (Movie)

Duke Benson (Actor)

Destination Gobi 1953 (Movie)

Jenkins (Actor)

Stalag 17 1953 (Movie)

Lieutenant Dunbar (Actor)

Flying Leathernecks 1951 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Blue Veil 1951 (Movie)

(Actor)

Father of the Bride (Movie)

Buckley Dunstan (Actor)

Father's Little Dividend (Movie)

Buckley Dunstan (Actor)

Girl Crazy (Movie)

Boy (Actor)

Japanese War Bride (Movie)

Jim Sterling (Actor)

Song of the Thin Man (Movie)

Buddy Hollis (Actor)

Swing Shift Maisie (Movie)

Young Pilot (Actor)

The Human Comedy (Movie)

Soldier (Actor)

The Savage Guns (Movie)

Mike Summers (Actor)

Thousands Cheer (Movie)

Soldier (Actor)

Winged Victory (Movie)

Danny (Pinky) Scariano (Actor)
Producer (1)

Signal 7 1986 (Movie)

(Producer)

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).

Relationships

Phyllis Avery

Wife
divorced in 1955

Hazel Court Actor

Companion
Married from 1964 until Taylor's death

Anne Fleming

Daughter
mother, Phyllis Avery survived him

Avery Moore

Daughter
mother, Phyllis Avery survived him

Jonathan Taylor

Son
mother, Hazel Court survived him

Janet Tuttle

Sister
survived him

Sally Walsh

Step-Daughter
survived him

Milestones

1987

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

1985

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

1980

Last feature to date, "The Final Countdown"

1977

Directed remake of "The Island of Dr. Moreau"

1973

Directed and appeared in "Tom Sawyer"

1968

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

1961

Feature directorial debut, "Everything's Ducky"

1950

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

1943

Had first substantial role in "Winged Victory"

1942

Film debut with bit part in "Girl Crazy"

Bonus Trivia

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

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