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Don Taylor

Don Taylor

Don Taylor and Michael Ripper
Don Taylor and Michael Ripper at Bray in 1998
American actor, writer and director Don Taylor died on 28 December 1998 aged 78. Taylor appeared as the outlaw Robin Hood in Hammer's first colour film, The Men of Sherwood ForestCurse of Frankenstein (1954). In 1964 he married star Hazel Court, with whom he attended the 1998 convention at Bray Studios.

Taylor is best-remembered for his performances in such classic films as The Naked City (1948), Father of the Bride (1950) and Stalag 17 (1953); his career was on the slide when he came to England for The Men of Sherwood Forest, a film he later described as "drecky". Taylor directed his first film, Everything's Ducky, in 1961; his last major screen role was in Michael Carreras' western The Savage Guns a year later.

After quitting the acting profession, Taylor developed a new career as a director. He went on to handle such diverse pictures as Escape From the Planet of the Apes (1971), Tom Sawyer (1973), The Island of Doctor Moreau (1977), Damien - Omen II (1978) and The Final Countdown (1980). In 1992, he recalled shooting The Men of Sherwood Forest for Tom Johnson and Deborah Del Vecchio, authors of Hammer - An Exhaustive Filmography: "Hammer was a very small company - [they] shot their films out of an old house on the Thames. We ate in the same building we filmed in! We were a real family for a few weeks, and when you get that camaraderie on film, you've really got something... A very enjoyable time."

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