Actor Rod Taylor, best known for his roles in The Time Machine and The Birds, died on Wednesday. He was 84.
The Australian-born actor’s rep revealed to People magazine that he died of natural causes at his home, surrounded by his family and friends.
Taylor was a popular actor who starred in more than 50 Hollywood films, most notably Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 classic The Birds, Disney’s film 101 Dalmatians, in which he voiced the character Pongo, and The Time Machine.
Taylor’s former The Birds costar Tippi Hedren released a heartfelt statement about his death on Friday, which according to People magazine reads, “There are so many incredible feelings I have for him. 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.”
Some of his other film credits include The Catered Affair, Dark of the Sun, Sunday in New York and The Train Robbers. His final role came in 2009 when he portrayed Winston Churchill in Quentin Tarantino’s film Inglourious Basterds.
Taylor is survived by his beloved wife of 35 years, Carol, and his daughter Felicia. Felicia released an emotional statement about her father to CNN, saying, “My dad loved his work. Being an actor was his passion — calling it an honorable art and something he couldn’t live without.”
Our thoughts are with Taylor’s family and friends during this sad time.