Rod Taylor passed away on Wednesday ahead of his 85th birthday.
Veteran actor Rod Taylor has passed away aged 84, with reports suggesting he collapsed following a heart attack at his Los Angeles home on Wednesday (January 7th 2015). The news comes ahead of his 85th birthday on Sunday.
Rod Taylor and Tippi Hedren in 'The Birds'
The star was surrounded by family and friends at the time of his death according to People, with other reports suggesting he had just left a dinner party. There is no notion that he had been previously suffering from ill health in the months before his death.
Taylor is probably best known for starring in the 1963 Alfred Hitchcock horror 'The Birds' alongside Tippi Hedren, but he has also portrayed H.G. Wells in 1960 adaptation 'The Time Machine', voiced Pongo in '101 Dalmations' and appeared in Burt Kennedy's 'The Train Robbers' as well as 'Zabriskie Point'. Throughout his career he has starred alongside some of the biggest names in Hollywood; including 'Do Not Disturb' with Doris Day, 'Sunday in New York' with Jane Fonda and 'Young Cassidy' with Maggie Smith.
The actor had semi-retired in the 90s, but occasionally appeared in cameo roles. Among his last major role were 1995 comedy 'Open Season', 'The Point of Betrayal' and 'Welcome to Woop Woop'. His last ever known appearance was as Winston Churchill in Quentin Tarantino's Oscar winning war drama 'Inglourious Basterds', released in 2009.
'There are so many incredible feelings I have for him', his old friend Tippi revealed in a statement to People. 'Rod was a great pal to me and a real strength, we were very, very good friends. He was one of the most fun people I have ever met, thoughtful and classy, there was everything good in that man.' His daughter Felicia also had some positive things to say of her movie star father: 'My dad loved his work. Being an actor was his passion - calling it an honorable art and something he couldn't live without.'
Taylor leaves behind not only his daughter, but also his wife of 35 years Carol Kikumura.
Rod Taylor dies aged 84