He was born in Hampstead, London and joined the film business at nineteen. He first worked for Gainsborough Pictures at Lime Grove in Shepherds Bush. Taylor's first film was as a clapper boy on The Young Mr Pitt (1942). That year he went into the services and on his return went back to work with film. He became an operator and went on to become a director of photography, winning an Oscar for Gandhi (1982). Ronnie Taylor retired to Spain. He is featured in the book Conversations with Cinematographers by David A Ellis, published by Scarecrow Press.