Belfast Telegraph

The Birds actor Rod Taylor dies

Rod Taylor, who starred in Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds and who voiced Pongo in Disney classic One Hundred And One Dalmatians, has died at the age of 84.

The Australian actor's daughter Felicia Taylor confirmed to CNN that he died at home in the early hours of January 7, after suffering from a heart attack.

"My dad loved his work. Being an actor was his passion - calling it an honourable art and something he couldn't live without," the former CNN News correspondent said.

"He once said, 'I am a poor student sitting at the feet of giants, yearning for their wisdom and begging for lessons that might one day make me a complete artist, so that if all goes well, I may one day sit beside them."

Sydney-born Taylor, who most recently played Winston Churchill in Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds, would have celebrated his 85th birthday on Sunday (January 11).

Taylor, who moved to the US in 1954, had his first major big-screen role in 1960's The Time Machine, before starring in TV series Hong Kong. He found fame in the sixties and seventies in films including The V.I.P.s with Elizabeth Taylor, romantic comedy Sunday In New York alongside Jane Fonda, The Glass Bottom Boat with Doris Day and The Train Robbers opposite John Wayne.

Married three times, he is survived by spouse Carol Kikumura and his TV presenter daughter Felicia.

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