Don Taylor

Active - 1943 - 2016  |   Born - Dec 13, 1920   |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Western, Romance, War

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Biography by Bruce Eder

A Pennsylvania-born actor/director, Don Taylor appeared in such movies as Father of the Bride and Stalag 17 before switching to directing in 1961 with the juvenile comedy Everything's Ducky. His second film, Ride the Wild Surf (1964), was an above average teen exploitation movie that was very successful. But Taylor hit his stride as a serious filmmaker in 1968 with a jewel of a television feature called Something for a Lonely Man, a drama starring Dan Blocker and Susan Clark that became a favorite among critics. His next movie, Five Man Army (1970), was a popular spaghetti western, and his Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971) secured good reviews and assured the series' survival beyond its third installment. Island of Dr. Moreau (1977) was a solid, handsomely produced version of the H.G. Wells story, and a hit, as was Taylor's Damien: Omen II (1979). Final Countdown (1980) proved a success as well, perhaps the last non-slasher/non-fantasy related science-fiction adventure to reach audiences with low-tech special effects. Taylor's subsequent work was confined to TV movies, where he was busy throughout the '80s.

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