Kent Taylor

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This article is about Kent Taylor. For the producer, see Louis Weiss (producer).
Kent Taylor
Kent Taylor in Washington Melodrama trailer.jpg
Born Louis William Weiss
(1907-05-11)May 11, 1907
Nashua, Iowa, U.S.
Died April 11, 1987(1987-04-11) (aged 79)
Woodland Hills, Los Angeles
California, U.S.
Resting place Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles
Years active 1931–1974
Spouse(s) Augusta Kulek Taylor (1930-1987) (his death) (3 children)

Kent Taylor (May 11, 1907 – April 11, 1987) was an American actor of film and television.[1]

Born Louis William Weiss in Nashua in northeastern Iowa, Taylor appeared in more than 110 films, the bulk of them B-movies in the 1930s and 1940s, although he also had roles in more prestigious studio releases, including I'm No Angel (1933), Cradle Song (1933), Death Takes a Holiday (1934), Payment on Demand (1951), and Track the Man Down (1955). He had the lead role in Half Past Midnight in 1948, among a few others.[1]

With no prior professional acting experience under his belt, Kent began working as a film extra in 1931 on the advice of a friend who said he had the right looks for "a good screen type." Prior to background work, he was co-operator of an awning service shop with his father. After a few very minor extra roles in films such as Kick In, he was called in "to try out a new camera idea;" a silent sequence was shot using Taylor and Claire Dodd, who was by then an established player at Paramount. The test led to Taylor being offered a contract with Paramount, which he signed on July 11, 1931.[2]

In the 1950s, with his movie career on the decline and television production on the upswing, he played the title role in 58 episodes of the detective series Boston Blackie and the lead, as Captain Jim Flagg, in ABC's The Rough Riders, an adventure series about three soldiers, two Union and one Confederate, traveling together through the American West after the Civil War. The Rough Riders aired thirty-nine episodes from 1958 to 1959.[1]

Other small screen credits include My Little Margie, Tales of Wells Fargo, Zorro, Riverboat, The Rifleman, Tombstone Territory, Sugarfoot, Bat Masterson, Laramie, Mr. Lucky, Tightrope, Peter Gunn, Hawaiian Eye, The Brothers Brannagan, The Ann Sothern Show, and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.[1]

He starred in the 1962 film The Broken Land with Jack Nicholson and Diana Darrin. The last years of his career were spent in low budget biker and horror films such as Brides of Blood (1968), Satan's Sadists (1969), The Mighty Gorga (1969), Hell's Bloody Devils (1970), Brain of Blood (1971), Blood of Ghastly Horror (1972), Angels' Wild Women (1972), and Girls for Rent (1974).

Along with Clark Gable, Kent Taylor served as the inspiration behind the name of Superman's alter-ego Clark Kent.[3]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Kent Taylor". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved March 5, 2013. 
  2. ^ Kent Taylor, Extra, Boy, Wins Paramount Contract for Favor. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 11 July 1931. Web. 29 November 2014
  3. ^ Gross, John (December 15, 1987). "Books of the Times". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-01-29. 

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