21 October, 2007

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JACK TAYLOR!

Jack Taylor, in what is perhaps his signature role, as Baron Von Rathony in Jess Franco's LA COMTESSE NOIRE (1973).

Born October 21, 1936 as George Brown, this American actor has played roles in over 100 films in a career spanning four decades; including eleven major parts in Jess Franco films, from NECRONOMICON/SUCCUBUS (1967), as the suave club owner who betrays Lorna Green (Janine Reyaud), to the Soviet spy Jack Haus in VOODOO PASSION (1977).

After working in Mexico in the late 1950's, including a role in the Mexi-horror classic THE CURSE OF NOSTRADAMUS (as Grek Martin), he then emigrated to Spain, appearing in numerous genre titles, including the Amando de Ossorio Spanish western, LA TUMBA DEL PISTOLERO, where he changed his name to Jack Taylor. He would later appear in the director's 1970's horror classics, THE NIGHT OF THE SORCERERS and GHOST GALLEON (1973) and work with Spanish horror icon Paul Naschy in such films as DR. JEKYLL AND THE WOLFMAN and THE MUMMY'S REVENGE (1973). More roles would follow in Spanish horror films, making him one of the most familiar faces of the 1970's Spanish horror boom.

I particularly appreciate him in NECRONOMICON, where he creates a mood of nuanced menace, and LA COMTESSE NOIRE, my favorite of his performances, as the melancholy Austrian writer, stranded on the island of Maderia, fated to fall in love with the deadly Countess Irina Von Karlstein.

He has also appeared in more mainstream productions, such as Roman Polanski's THE NINTH GATE and worked as Art Director on several films, including Franco's THE BLOODY JUDGE.

I look forward to seeing him in the upcoming Jose Sanchez documentary, THE LIFE AND TIMES OF JESS FRANCO, which is now reportedly in the post production phase.



5 comments:

Cinebeats said...

He was really terrific in Necronomicon (aka Succubus), which is one of my very favorite Franco movies. I love the interview with him that's included on the Blue Underground DVD of the film. He seems like a really fascinating guy and he worked with a lot of interesting directors. Happy birthday Jack!

Robert Monell said...

Yes, that was a very welcome visit with him. The director, Uwe Huber, is a regular reader of this blog. Good work, Uwe. Thanks for your comment, Cinebeats.

ecom said...

I like him in DE SADE 70, too.

Robert Monell said...

Yes, he's very sinister and very charming in that one.

JohnBraun said...

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