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Dub Taylor as Ivan Moss in the 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde
Walter Clarence Taylor Jr.
February 26, 1907
Richmond, Virginia, U.S.
|Died||October 3, 1994 (aged 87)|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Walter Clarence Taylor Jr. (February 26, 1907 – October 3, 1994), known 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. He was the father of actor Buck Taylor, who played the character Newly O'Brien on Gunsmoke.
Walter C. Taylor Jr. was born in 1907 in Richmond, Virginia, the middle child of five children of Minnie and Walter C. Taylor, Sr. According to the federal census of 1920, young Walter 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 the Taylors lived in that city until he was thirteen. The census of 1920 also documents that Dub's mother was a native of Pennsylvania and his father was a native of North Carolina, who worked in Augusta at that time as a "Cotton Broker". While living in Georgia as a boy, Walter, Jr., got his lifelong nickname when his friends began calling him "W" (double-u) and then shortened his nickname even farther, to just "Dub". It was in Georgia, too, where Taylor befriended Ty Cobb, Jr., the son of the legendary professional baseball player.
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A vaudeville performer, Dub Taylor was a member of the 1937 Alabama Crimson Tide football team that played in the 1938 Rose Bowl. He stayed behind to establish a career in films, making his film debut in 1938 as the cheerful ex-football captain Ed Carmichael in Frank Capra's You Can't Take It With You. Taylor secured the part because the role required an actor who could also play the xylophone. Later, during the 1950s and early 1960s, he demonstrated his considerable talent for playing the xylophone on several television shows, including an episode on the syndicated series Ranch Party hosted by Tex Ritter.
In 1939, he appeared in the film Taming of the West, in which he originated the character of "Cannonball, a role he continued to play for the next ten years, in over fifty films. "Cannonball" was a comic sidekick to "Wild Bill" Saunders (played by Bill Elliott), a pairing that continued through thirteen features, during which Elliott’s character became Wild Bill Hickok.
During this period, a productive relationship with Tex Ritter as Elliott's co-hero began with King of Dodge City. That partnership lasted through ten films, but Taylor, as "Cannonball", left after the first one, carrying his "Cannonball" character over to a new series with Russell "Lucky" Hayden. "Wild Bill" then brought in Frank Mitchell to play a very different character, also named "Cannonball", for the remainder of his shows with Ritter.
Taylor moved again to a series of films starring Charles Starrett, who eventually became "The Durango Kid", once again playing his sidekick Cannonball. These films had been produced at Columbia Pictures, Capra's home studio, and had a certain quality of production that seemed to be lacking at the Monogram lot, where Taylor brought his "Cannonball" character in 1947. There he joined up with Jimmy Wakely for a two-year run of sixteen additional films. Those final episodes may have been unpleasant experiences for Taylor, for he never wanted to talk about them thereafter. After 1949, Taylor turned away from Cannonball and embarked on a more varied acting career.
His roles, even during his Cannonball period, were not confined to the aforementioned films. He had bit parts as well in a number of classic motion pictures, including Mr. Smith Goes to Washington with James Stewart, A Star Is Born, and Them!, along with dozens of television roles. Taylor was cast regularly between 1957 and 1958 alongside Alan Hale, Jr. (later the Skipper on Gilligan's Island) in the syndicated Casey Jones TV series, in the role of Jones' fireman, Wallie Sims.
Observant fans who saw the 1954 feature film Dragnet watched him in an uncredited role at the start of the movie; his character, gangster Miller Starkie, 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. That same year Taylor also performed in a brief role in No Time for Sergeants as the representative of the draft board that had previously summoned Will Stockdale (Andy Griffith) from his rural home in Georgia to the United States Air Force. Dub later joined Sam Peckinpah's stock company in 1965's Major Dundee, playing a professional horse thief; and he appeared subsequently in that director's The Wild Bunch (as a prohibitionist minister who gets his flock shot up by the title outlaws in the film's infamous opening scene), Junior Bonner, The Getaway, and Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, as an aging, eccentric outlaw friend of Billy's. He also appeared in Michael Cimino's crime film Thunderbolt and Lightfoot. Taylor played the father of Michael J. Pollard's character, C. W. Moss, in the 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde
Despite his extensive career as a character actor in a wide range of roles, Dub Taylor continued to find his niche in Westerns, a genre in which he performed in literally dozens of more films and in episodes of many television series. Taylor often appeared in the guise of talkative hotel or postal clerks, court bailiffs, cooks, or dissolute doctors. He portrayed, for example, an ill-tempered chuckwagon cook in the 1969 film The Undefeated, starring John Wayne and Rock Hudson. He appeared as well in the 1971 movie Support Your Local Gunfighter as the drunken Doc Shultz. Earlier, in the 1950s, he guest-starred three times on the syndicated series The Range Rider, starring Jock Mahoney and Dick Jones, and in the episode "The Last Rebellion" on 26 Men, true stories of the Arizona Rangers starring Tris Coffin. He appeared in the 1955 episode "The Outlander", the fifth episode of Cheyenne, starring Clint Walker, the first hour-long Western on the networks. He then appeared in the 1960s on other Westerns, such on the short-lived ABC military series Custer, starring Wayne Maunder in the title role, and in the episode "Chicken Bill" on the syndicated series Death Valley Days in which he played the Colorado silver miner "Chicken Bill" Lovell He also performed on NBC's series Laredo and guest-starred on NBC's The High Chaparral.
In other genres on television, Taylor performed in two episodes of CBS's anthology series The Lloyd Bridges Show (1962–1963), appearing in the episodes "My Child Is Yet a Stranger" and "The Tyrees of Capital Hill". Taylor also appeared on several occasions on CBS's sitcom 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, who convinces Emmett to give up his shop and sell insurance for a living. Taylor performed too on other sitcoms, including NBC's Hazel with Shirley Booth. His character Mitch Brady, owner of a local cab company and a frequent boyfriend of Hazel's. He was cast with Lucille Ball in an episode of CBS's I Love Lucy and also guest-starred on The Brian Keith Show and in a fourth-season episode of The Cosby Show, both on NBC. He played in the 1961 Perry Mason episode 'The Case of the Grumbling Grandfather'.
Taylor played a recurring character, Houston Lamb, over the course of four episodes of Little House On The Prairie in seasons six and seven (1979 to 1981). His later years on television were consumed by his weekly appearances on the long-running country music/comedy show Hee Haw. Taylor's participation lasted six seasons, 1985–91, where he was mostly seen as a regular in the Lulu's Truck Stop skit featuring Lulu Roman and Gailard Sartain. Taylor appeared in several episodes of Designing Women as a rustic who becomes enamored of the women from Sugarbaker's during a camping expedition. Taylor made at least two film cameos in the early 1990s. In Back to the Future Part III, he appeared alongside veteran Western actors Pat Buttram and Harry Carey Jr.. His last appearance was in the film Maverick, as a hotel room clerk.
In 1994, he appeared in a commercial for Pace Foods, performing as one of four participants in a fair's "Dip-Off" contest, where he and two other competitors 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 ... That stuff's made in New York City!", causing his competitors to shout "NEW YORK CITY?!" and all three give the "Mexican Sauce" user the rough treatment.
Dub Taylor died of a heart attack on October 3, 1994, in Los Angeles. He was cremated, and his ashes were scattered near Westlake Village, California. In addition to being father to Buck Taylor, Dub had a daughter, Faydean Taylor Tharp.
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Before he joined the Gunsmoke cast, Buck Taylor between 1966 and 1967 appeared in ten episodes of the largely forgotten ABC Western The Monroes. Dub Taylor appeared in two episodes of that series, and he also guest-starred numerous times on Gunsmoke. Buck and his father appeared together in the 1991 Turner Network Television film Conagher starring Buck's friend Sam Elliott and Elliott's wife Katharine Ross, along with Gunsmoke veteran Ken Curtis, whose performance in that made-for-television movie proved to be his last screen appearance.
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
- Taming of the West (1939) as Cannonball
- Mr. Smith Goes To Washington (1939) as Reporter (uncredited)
- Pioneers of the Frontier (1940) as Cannonball Simms
- The Man from Tumbleweeds (1940) as Cannonball
- The Return of Wild Bill (1940) as Cannonball
- One Man's Law (1940) as Nevady
- Prairie Schooners (1940) as Cannonball
- Beyond the Sacramento (1940) as Cannonball
- The Wildcat of Tucson (1940) as Cannonball
- Across the Sierras (1940) as Cannonball
- North from the Lone Star (1941) 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
- King of Dodge City (1941) as Cannonball Taylor
- Tanks a Million (1941) as Malloy (uncredited)
- The Lone Prairie (1942) as Cannonball
- A Tornado in the Saddle (1942) as Cannonball
- Riders of the Northwest Mounted (1943) as Cannonball
- Saddles and Sagebrush (1943) as Cannonball
- What's Buzzin', Cousin? (1943) as Jed (uncredited)
- Silver City Raiders (1943) as Cannonball
- Minesweeper (1943) as Seaman Stubby Gordon (uncredited)
- Cowboy in the Clouds (1943) as Cannonball
- The Vigilantes Ride (1943) as Cannonball Taylor
- Cowboy Canteen (1944) as Cannonball
- Sundown Valley (1944) as Cannonball Boggs
- Wyoming Hurricane (1944) as Doc 'Canonball' Jones
- The Last Horseman (1944) as Cannonball
- Cowboy from Lonesome River (1944) as Cannonball
- Cyclone Prairie Rangers (1944) as Cannonball
- Saddle Leather Law (1944) as Cannonball
- Sagebrush Heroes (1945) as Cannonball
- Rough Ridin' Justice (1945) as Cannonball
- Both Barrels Blazing (1945) as Cannonball
- Rustlers of the Badlands (1945) as Cannonball
- Outlaws of the Rockies (1945) as Cannonball
- Blazing the Western Trail (1945) as Cannonball
- Lawless Empire (1945) as Cannonball
- Texas Panhandle (1945) as Cannonball
- Frontier Gunlaw (1946) as Cannonball
- Ridin' Down the Trail (1947) as Cannonball
- Song of the Drifter (1948) as Cannonball
- Oklahoma Blues (1948) as Cannonball
- The Rangers Ride (1948) as Cannonball
- Partners of the Sunset (1948) as Cannonball
- Range Renegades (1948) as Cannonball
- Cowboy Cavalier (1948) as Cannonball
- Silver Trails (1948) as Cannonball
- Outlaw Brand (1948) as Cannonball
- Courtin' Trouble (1948) as Cannonball
- Gun Runner (1949) as Cannonball
- Gun Law Justice (1949) as Cannonball
- Across the Rio Grande (1949) as Cannonball Taylor
- Brand of Fear (1949) as Cannonball
- Roaring Westward (1949) as Cannonball
- Lawless Code (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
- Three Guns for Texas (1968) as Marshal Denny Moran
- 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 (1973) as Jumpy Belk
- Tom Sawyer (1973) as Clayton
- Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (1973) as Josh
- This Is a Hijack (1973) as Sheriff Gordon
- 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
- Flash and the Firecat (1976) as Sheriff C.W. Thurtson
- Burnt Offerings (1976) as Walker
- The Winds of Autumn (1976) as Rattler S. Gravely
- Treasure of Matecumbe (1976) as Sheriff Forbes
- Gator (1976) as Mayor Caffey
- Pony Express Rider (1976) as Boomer Riley
- Doc Hooker (1976) as Dr. Isaiah Beaurgard Hooker
- 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
- Soggy Bottom U.S.A (1981) as Cottonmouth Gorch
- Cannonball Run II (1984) as Sheriff
- The Best of Times (1986) as Mac
- Back to the Future Part III (1990) as Levi, Saloon Old-Timer #1
- Conagher (TV Movie) (1991) 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
- Casey Jones (1957-1958) as Wallie Sims [32 episodes]
- My Favorite Martian (1964) Season 1 Episode 15 title 'Poor Litter Rich Cat' as Charles
- 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 (1968) six episodes
- Gunsmoke (1970) Rev. Finney Cox
- Emergency! (1973) as an old man [one episode]
- "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.
- 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.
- "Casey Jones", 1957-1958. Internet Movie Database (IMDb), a subsidiary of Amazon.com, Seattle, Washington. Retrieved August 4, 2017.
- 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.
- Hubba Bubba#cite note-3
- on YouTube
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