Forrest Taylor

(1883)
Birth Name: Forrest Taylor
Date of Birth: 29/12/1883

Minor American character actor Forrest Taylor was a veteran of the stage by the time he started appearing as a silent lead in both short and feature-length films. He went on to appear in hundreds of secondary "B" movies, although his name does not appear in a large percentage of them. Taylor was born Edwin Forrest Taylor in Bloomington, Illinois, in 1883. Little is known about his early days on stage but he essayed prime roles in such films as In the Sunset Country (1915/I), April (1916), True Nobility (1916) and The Abandonment (1916) before World War I service intervened. With his leading man career fatally interrupted, he would not return to films until a decade later in 1926. Playing a few strong supports, he regressed quickly to atmospheric bits primarily in westerns and cliffhangers. Complete with a no-nonsense attitude and imposingly thick mustache, his attorneys, judges, scientists, executives, and professors were for the most part scarcely acknowledged, so when he did receive a bit more screen time than usual, he pounced on the opportunity such as in John Wayne's programmer Riders of Destiny (1933) where he played a sagebrush villain; the serial Shadow of Chinatown (1936/I) as a Chief of Police; and The Oregon Trail (1939) as a nemesis to hero Johnny Mack Brown. Taylor also managed some deliciously hammy roles in a few popular serials including The Green Archer (1940), The Spider Returns (1941), and The Iron Claw (1941). On-camera for nearly five decades, he extended himself into TV programming in the 1950s, taking part in various TV westerns including episodes of "Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok" (1951), _Annie Oakley_, "The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp" (1955), "Maverick" (1957), and "My Friend Flicka" (1956) not to mention both Gene Autry's and Roy Rogers' weekly shows. He was an occasional player on the series "The Cisco Kid" (1950) from 1950 on, and from 1952 through 1954 had one of his more visible roles as Grandpa Fisher on the religious TV series "This Is the Life" (1952). Broaching the age of 80, Taylor finally retired in 1962 after filming an episode of "Bonanza" (1959) and died three years later of natural causes in Garden Grove, California.

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