Walter Clarence Taylor Jr.
February 26, 1907
Richmond, Virginia, U.S.
|Died||October 3, 1994 (aged 87)|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Florence Gertrude Heffernan (1930-1987) (her death)|
Walter Clarence Taylor, Jr. (February 26, 1907 – October 3, 1994), known professionally as Dub Taylor, was an American character actor who from the 1940s into the 1990s worked extensively in films and on television, often in Westerns, but also in comedies.
Taylor was born February 26, 1907, in Richmond, Virginia, the middle child of five children of Minnie and Walter C. Taylor, Sr. According to the federal census of 1920, he had two older sisters, Minnie Marg[aret] and Maud, a younger brother named George, and a little sister, Edna Fay. The family moved to Augusta, Georgia around 1912, when Walter was five years old, and lived there until he was 13. Taylor's mother was a Pennsylvania native; and his father, who worked in Augusta at that time as a "cotton broker", was from North Carolina. While in Georgia as a boy, Walter, Jr. got his lifelong nickname when his friends began calling him "W", then shortened it further to "Dub".
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A vaudeville performer, Taylor made his film debut in 1938 as the cheerful ex-football captain Ed Carmichael in Frank Capra's You Can't Take It with You. He secured the part because the role required an actor who could play the xylophone. During the 1950s and early 1960s, he used his xylophone skills on several television shows, including the syndicated series Ranch Party.
In 1939 he appeared in the film Taming of the West, where he originated the character of Cannonball, a role he played for the next 10 years in over 50 films. Cannonball was a comedic sidekick to Wild Bill Elliott in 13 features. He played the character in other westerns starring Charles Starrett, Russell Hayden, Tex Ritter and Jimmy Wakely. Taylor later dropped the Cannonball name because he felt it held him back from roles in films with larger budgets.
The 1954 film Dragnet had Taylor in an uncredited role, that of gangster Miller Starkie, who is killed in the opening scene. He had a small role in the 1958 Walt Disney film Tonka as a rustler of stray horses for sale. The same year, he performed in No Time for Sergeants as the representative of the draft board who summoned Will Stockdale (Andy Griffith) from his rural home in Georgia to the United States Air Force.
He later joined Sam Peckinpah's stock company in 1965's Major Dundee, playing a professional horse thief. He also appeared in The Wild Bunch (1969) as a minister who gets his flock shot in the film's opening scene; in Junior Bonner (1972), The Getaway (1972), and Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (1973) as an aging, eccentric outlaw friend of Billy's; and in Michael Cimino's crime film Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974), He also played Ivan Moss, father of Michael J. Pollard's character C. W. Moss, in Bonnie and Clyde (1967).
He appeared in Back to the Future Part III (1990) with veteran Western actors Pat Buttram and Harry Carey Jr.. Taylor's last film role was in Maverick (1994), and although he had only a fleeting appearance as an unnamed "Room Clerk", his name appears in the film's opening credits.
In the 1950s, he guest-starred three times on the syndicated series The Range Rider, starring Jock Mahoney and Dick Jones. He appeared in the 1955 episode "The Outlander" of Cheyenne, and on the syndicated series Death Valley Days playing the Colorado silver miner "Chicken Bill" Lovell.
In 1957, Taylor was cast alongside Alan Hale, Jr., in the syndicated Casey Jones TV series. He played in the 1961 Perry Mason episode "The Case of the Grumbling Grandfather". Taylor was on The Lloyd Bridges Show (1962–1963), in the episodes "My Child Is Yet a Stranger" and "The Tyrees of Capital Hill". He was in The Andy Griffith Show, first as the preacher who marries Charlene Darling to Dud Wash, then as postmaster Talbert, and next as the brother-in-law of town handyman Emmett Clark.
Taylor performed on other sitcoms, including Hazel with Shirley Booth. His character, Mitch Brady, was owner of a local cab company and a frequent boyfriend of Hazel's. He was cast in an episode of I Love Lucy, and on The Brian Keith Show, and in a fourth-season episode of The Cosby Show. He was on NBC's series Laredo and The High Chaparral.
Taylor played Houston Lamb in four episodes of Little House On The Prairie in seasons six and seven (1979 to 1981). He appeared on Hee Haw for six seasons, from 1985 to 1991, where he was mostly seen as a regular in the Lulu's Truck Stop skit featuring Lulu Roman and Gailard Sartain. Taylor was in several episodes of Designing Women as a rustic enamored with the women from Sugarbaker's during a camping expedition.
Starting in the late 1970s, Taylor appeared in a series of Western-style commercials for Hubba Bubba bubble gum. In the radio versions of the commercials, his character was named "The Geezer".
In 1994, he appeared in a commercial for Pace Foods, performing as one of four participants in a fair's "Dip-Off" contest, where two other competitors and he use their "secret ingredient" of Pace Picante Sauce in their dips. When the fourth participant holds up a jar of "Mexican sauce" as a "secret ingredient", Taylor's character proclaims that it was "made in New York City!"
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Taylor died of a heart attack on October 3, 1994 in Los Angeles, just one day before the four-month anniversary of his grandson Adam's death in an accident. He was cremated, and his ashes were scattered near Westlake Village, California. He was survived by his son Buck Taylor and daughter Faydean Taylor Tharp.
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In early 2006, filmmaker Mark Stokes began directing a feature-length documentary on the life of Dub Taylor, That Guy: The Legacy of Dub Taylor, which has received support from the Taylor family and many of Dub's previous co-workers, including Bill Cosby, Peter Fonda, Dixie Carter, John Mellencamp, Don Collier, and Cheryl Rogers-Barnett. The project is from executive producers Stokes and James Kicklighter from JamesWorks Entertainment and Professor Pauper Productions.
- You Can't Take It with You (1938) as Ed Carmichael
- Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) as Reporter (uncredited)
- The Taming of the West (1939)
- Prairie Schooners (1940) as Cannonball
- The Wildcat of Tucson (1940) as Cannonball
- The Return of Daniel Boone (1941) as Cannonball
- Hands Across the Rockies (1941) as Cannonball Taylor
- The Son of Davy Crockett (1941) as Cannonball
- Tanks a Million (1941) as Malloy (uncredited)
- The Lone Prairie (1942) as Cannonball
- Saddles and Sagebrush (1943) as Cannonball
- What's Buzzin', Cousin? (1943) as Jed (uncredited)
- Minesweeper (1943) as Seaman Stubby Gordon (uncredited)
- Cowboy in the Clouds (1943) as Cannonball
- Saddle Leather Law (1944) as Cannonball
- Cowboy Canteen (1944) as Cannonball
- The Last Horseman (1944) as Cannonball
- Cyclone Prairie Rangers (1944) as Cannonball
- Both Barrels Blazing (1945) as Cannonball
- Rustlers of the Badlands (1945) as Cannonball
- Courtin' Trouble (1948) as Cannonball
- Cowboy Cavalier (1948) as Cannonball
- Song of the Drifter (1948) as Cannonball
- Silver Trails (1948) as Cannonball
- Across the Rio Grande (1949) as Cannonball Taylor
- Brand of Fear (1949) as Cannonball
- Riding High (1950) as Joe
- Lure of the Wilderness (1952) as Sheriff Jepson (uncredited)
- The Story of Will Rogers (1952) as Actor (scenes deleted)
- Woman of the North Country (1952) as Bob (uncredited)
- The Charge at Feather River (1953) as Danowicz
- Those Redheads from Seattle (1953) as Townsman (uncredited)
- Crime Wave (1953) as Gus Snider
- Riding Shotgun (1954) as Eddie (uncredited)
- Them! (1954) as Railroad Yard Watchman (uncredited)
- Dragnet (1954) as Miller Starkie (uncredited)
- The Bounty Hunter (1954) as Eli Danvers
- A Star Is Born (1954) as Norman's Driver (voice, uncredited)
- Tall Man Riding (1955) as Townsman (uncredited)
- The McConnell Story (1955) as Angry Technical Sergeant (uncredited)
- I Died a Thousand Times (1955) as Ed (uncredited)
- The Fastest Gun Alive (1956) as Nolan Brown (uncredited)
- Tension at Table Rock (1956) as Ruffian (uncredited)
- You Can't Run Away from It (1956) as Joe
- No Time for Sergeants (1958) as McKinney
- Hot Rod Gang (1958) as Al Berrywhiff
- Street of Darkness (1958) as Duffy Tyler
- Auntie Mame (1958) as County Veterinarian (uncredited)
- A Hole in the Head (1959) as Fred
- Home from the Hill (1960) as Bob Skaggs (uncredited)
- Parrish (1961) as Teet Howie
- Sweet Bird of Youth (1962) as Dan Hatcher
- Black Gold (1962) as Doc
- Spencer's Mountain (1963) as Percy Cook
- Major Dundee (1965) as Priam
- The Hallelujah Trail (1965) as Clayton Howell
- The Cincinnati Kid (1965) as First Dealer
- The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin (1967) as Timekeeper
- Don't Make Waves (1967) as Electrician
- Bonnie and Clyde (1967) as Ivan Moss
- Johnny Banco (1967)
- The Money Jungle (1967) as Pete Jensen
- Bandolero! (1968) as Attendant
- The Shakiest Gun in the West (1968) as Pop McGovern
- Death of a Gunfighter (1969) as Doc Adams
- The Wild Bunch (1969) as Wainscoat
- The Learning Tree (1969) as Spikey
- The Undefeated (1969) as McCartney
- The Reivers (1969) as Dr. B.F. Peabody
- ...tick...tick...tick... (1970) as Junior
- The Liberation of L.B. Jones (1970) as Mayor
- A Man Called Horse (1970) as Joe
- The Wild Country (1970) as Phil
- Support Your Local Gunfighter (1971) as Doc Schultz
- Man and Boy (1971) as Atkins
- Evel Knievel (1971) as Turquoise Smith
- Wild in the Sky (1972) as Officer Roddenberry
- Junior Bonner (1972) as Del
- The Getaway (1972) as Laughlin
Country Blue as Jumpy Belk
- Tom Sawyer (1973) as Clayton
- Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (1973) as Josh
- Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974) as Station Attendant
- The Fortune (1975) as Rattlesnake Tom
- Poor Pretty Eddie (1975) as Justice of the Peace Floyd
- Hearts of the West (1975) as Nevada Ticket Agent
- Creature from Black Lake (1976) as Grandpaw Bridges
- Burnt Offerings (1976) as Walker
- Treasure of Matecumbe (1976) as Sheriff Forbes
- Pony Express Rider (1976) as Boomer Riley
- Gator (1976) as Mayor Caffey
- The Winds of Autumn (1976) as Rattler S. Gravley
- The Great Smokey Roadblock (1977) as Harley Davidson
- Moonshine County Express (1977) as Uncle Bill
- The Rescuers (1977) as Digger (voice)
- Beartooth (1978)
- They Went That-A-Way & That-A-Way (1978) as Gunner
- 1941 (1979) as Mr. Malcomb
- Used Cars (1980) as Tucker
- Cannonball Run II (1984) as Sheriff
- The Best of Times (1986) as Mac
- Once Upon a Texas Train (1988, TV Movie) as Charlie Lee
- Back to the Future Part III (1990) as Levi, Saloon Old-Timer #1
- Conagher (1991, TV Movie) as Station Agent
- My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys (1991) as Gimme Cap
- Falling from Grace (1992) as Grandpa Parks
- Maverick (1994) as Room Clerk
- I Love Lucy (1955), season 5, episode 8, titled "Lucy Goes to the Rodeo", as Rattlesnake Jones
- Casey Jones (1957-1958) as Wallie Sims, 32 episodes
- Twilight Zone (1962) season 3, episode 23 titled "The Last Rites of Jeff Myrtlebank" as Mr. Peters
- Dennis the Menace (1960), season 1, episode 22, titled "Dennis and the TV Set as Opie",
- My Favorite Martian (1964), season 1, episode 15, titled "Poor Litter Rich Cat",
- The Wild Wild West (1965), season 1, episode 5, "The Night of the Casual Killer", as Guard
- The Monroes (1966-1967) as Cyrus, 2 episodes
- Bonanza (1967-1971), 6 episodes as Barlow / Simon / Otto / Luke Calhoun
- Gunsmoke (1970) as Rev. Finney Cox
- Partridge Family (1971) season 2, episode 6, “Whatever Happened To Moby Dick” as Flicker
- Emergency! (1973) season 2, episode 16, "Syndrome" as an old man
- Little House on the Prairie (1980), 4 episodes
- Darkroom (1981), season 1, episode 2, titled "Uncle George"
- The Cosby Show (1988), season 4, episode 16
- Dub Taylor, 87, Actor in Westerns, The New York Times, October 5, 1994, Section B, Page 12
- "The Fourteenth Census of the United States: 1920", enumeration date January 15, 1920, Augusta City, Richmond County, Georgia. Digital copy of original census page, FamilySearch. Retrieved August 4, 2017.
- "Dub Taylor: Movie and TV Star". The Augusta Chronicle. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-02-06.
- Dub Taylor; Character Actor,The Los Angeles Times, October 5, 1994
- A video of "Cannonball Taylor" playing the xylophone on Ranch Party, ca. 1957; uploaded by GatorRock788, YouTube, a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., Mountain View, California. Retrieved August 6, 2017.
- Triplett, Gene, Hollywood's Old Codger, January 24, 1982 Oklahoman, Oklahoma, OK
- No Time For Sergeants, cast and crew, American Film Institute (AFI), Los Angeles, California. Retrieved August 5, 2017.
- Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, cast and crew, Turner Classic Movies (TCM), Turner Broadcasting System, subsidiary of Time Warner, New York, N.Y. Retrieved October 30, 2017.
- "Dub Taylor: Complete Filmography", including identifications of Taylor's characters in his films, Turner Classic Movies (TCM), Turner Broadcasting System, a division of Time Warner, Inc., New York, New York. Retrieved August 6, 2017.
- ""Chicken Bill" on Death Valley Days". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved June 7, 2015.
- Summers, Neil and Crowley, Roger M., The Official TV Western Round-Up Book, Page 36, The Old West Shop Publishing, 2002
- Terrace, Vincent, Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 Through 2007: F - L, Page 654, McFarland & Company, 2009
- Brooks, Tim and Marsh, Earle, The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946 - Present, Page 437, Ballentine, 1999
- on YouTube
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