A List of Names in Red (1951)
A Place Where You Whisper (1951): Rod played an Australian sheep shearer.
Abe Lincoln in Illinois
Rod played Abraham Lincoln and drew praise from Adelaide
Advertiser critic James Cramond, who raved in the Aug. 15,
1953, edition about Abe's "soul stirring" long speeches.
"They sufficiently moved actor Rodney Taylor to such
emotional heights that he keyed the rest of his character
study of Lincoln to them and earned himself the award for
this week's best performance."
Adventures of Ellery Queen, The (1954): Rod appeared
in several installments of this half-hour program by Grace Gibson Radio
Productions. It was directed by John Saul, and Charles Tingwell starred as
Ellery Queen. Thanks to a
great Ellery Queen website, here are Rod's roles:
"The Needle Hole Mystery" aka "The Poisoned Slipper"
(10-15-54): Rod played Eaton and Man 3.
"The K.I. Case" (10-29-54). Rod played Santos and
"The Specialist in Cops" (12-10-54). Rod played Nutsy
Yapp, who specializes in killing cops for hire and has kidnapped Ellery.
"Bubsy" (12-24-54). Rod played Bubsy Chum, a big,
stupid killer who's a one-man crime wave.
"Peddler of Death" (12-31-54). Rod plays Etna and
Air Hostess (1953): Rod starred in this serial with
Barbara Brunton and Len Bullen.
All My Sons (April 1953): Rod
played the son of the jailed partner of Willie Loman. The [Adelaide]
Advertiser called it "modern American drama at its peak."
And in Those Days (Dec. 24, 1950):
A story about the Nativity by Eric John, it tells
the story of shepherds who saw the Christmas vision.
Animal Kingdom, The (May 1954):
A reviewer in the Brisbane Telegraph gushed about this
production and said, "The acting of Rodney Taylor was
flawless." Rod plays a man who raises the question whether a
man's mistress may sometimes be a truer wife to him than the
woman to whom he is legally married. The play, by American
Philip Barry, has a witty exterior with a deeper probing of
Assignment Paris (July 28, 1954):
The story tells of
the detention of an American citizen in Communist Hungary.
The task of finding him is given to young reporter Jimmy
Race, played by Rod, in
The General Motors Hour Play.
Be Your Age (1954): A
General Motors Hour broadcast.
Because of the Lockwoods (Jan. 14,
1953): Constance Cox dramatized Dorothy Whipple's
best-selling novel for the General Motors Hour Play. Coralie Neville and Rod Taylor had the starring roles in the
play, which was produced by Harry Dearth.
Black Lightning (1952):
This thriller serial was set amid the Sydney underworld and the Lightning Ridge
Blue Lamp, The (June 1952): In
this presentation by Caltex Theatre, Rod played Andy Mitchell, a new
recruit to the London police force. Andy and his partner are on the search for a
missing young woman (Barbara Brunton). They spot her in the street with a young
crook, Tom Riley (lead actor Bruce Stewart), but cannot persuade her to return
home. A holdup, a shooting and further exciting events ensue.
Boy David, The (Oct. 13, 1952): Sir James Barrie's
last play. Rod played Eliab and First Slinger.
Burning Grass, The (1954)
Call Me Cold (Oct. 7, 1951): Barbara Woodward's play
was broadcast as part of the "Actor's Choice" radio series. Sheila Sewell, Allan
Trevor and Rodney Taylor had chief roles in the play, which is set in a remote
Cape Forlorn (Feb. 7, 1954):
This radio play, broadcast on Caltex Theatre, is
a drama by Australian actor-producer Frank Harvey. The action takes place in a
lighthouse on the South Island of New Zealand. Tom Farley starred as Captain
Kell, the lighthouse keeper. Also in the cast with Rod were Margaret Christensen
and Alan Trevor.
Captain Singleton (1950): The children's serial was among Rod's earliest
Children's Crusade (March 23, 1951): A special
feature on Good Friday, it tells the story of a tragic pilgrimage predicated on
the belief that only innocent blood could regain the Holy Land. In the year
1212, 30,000 children France and 20,000 from Germany were lured on a crusade to
Jerusalem to seize the city from the Turks. The French children were led by a
peasant lad named Stephen, and the Germans by a young peasant named Nicholas.
The story is told through the eyes of Raymond, a friend of Stephen, who returns
to his village in France after eight years of slavery and disillusionment.
Chips: A Story of the Outback (1954):
An adventure story during
which Rod worked with Lee Robinson, who later directed and
wrote "King of the Coral
Sea" and cast Rod in his first feature film role.
The serial starred Chips Rafferty and premiered May 24,
Compelled People, The (Monday Night
Theater, August 1954):
This was reviewed as a confusing play about two
Berliners -- Hugo von Gerhardt and his actress sister,
Friedl. Friedl has a chance to escape to America with Joe
Mancini (played by Rod) if Joe can get a divorce. Hugo could
go to England with Beatrice, a starchy aristocratic lady.
But they both love Berlin so much and angst over leaving.
Concert, The (1951): A
radio play set in Montreal, involving a budding romance between a doctor and a
young blind woman.
Conscious Effort (1951):
A radio play in the "Actor's Choice" spot. The story, by Russel J. Oakes, is set
Contraband (1953): Crime/mystery series.
Counterfeit (1953): The tale of an expert who
has forged his way through life.
Crime and Punishment (1954): Dramatization of
Dostoevsky's classic novel.
Crime That Changed History, The (Oct. 1951): Two
episodes of "I Spy" dramatize the sensational story of the robbery of the atomic
bomb secrets. Dr. Klaus Fuchs (played by William Eldridge) and Harry Gold
(Rodney Taylor) are portrayed as human beings.
Crispin's Day (Sept. 19, 1954): This war drama was performed in front of a live studio audience
on Caltex Theatre.
The drama critic of
The Listener In said the audience gave Rod "the
most spontaneous ovation I have heard given to an individual actor," and that
the production "was a personal triumph for the young Sydney actor." Rod played
an air force pilot and The Listener In
said, "His emotional breakdown following his successful landing of the plane was
a masterpiece of naturalistic acting." The drama is based on an RAF
operation film unit's precarious flight during WWII. The operation on which the
story centers is conceived in a moment of bravado by a young flying officer. Rod
had the starring role of Candy.
Dance Dress, The (April 3, 1953): Rod played an orphan from the slums determined to buy a
dress for the girl he loves.
Danger in Paradise (1952):
was a cast member in this radio adaptation of Octavus
Roy Cohen's popular mystery novel. It's a story of romance and murder set
against the backdrop of glamorous girls and fast-talking men in New York's
biggest ad agency. There were 52 episodes in 15-minute segments.
Deirdre of the Sorrows (Nov. 2, 1953): This
play-idyll, in lilting prose rhythms, tells the ancient story of Deirdre and
Naisi and King Conchubor of Ulster. Stars are Lyndall Barbour, Lloyd Berrell and
Doomsday Men, The (1954):
This dramatization of a novel by J.B. Priestley was a Sunday night serial
starting Aug. 22, 1954. It's the story of three men who band together to fight
an enemy threatening the human race.
Drama of Medicine: This
was series of factual stories based on famous medical people.
In April 1953, Rod starred as the
desert doctor, Sidney Garfield. (Garfield later would pioneer HMOs in
partnership with Rod's future friend, sponsor and father figure, Henry Kaiser).
In May 1953, Rod was among the
cast in the story of the inspiration for Louis Pasteur's discovery of a vaccine
to combat rabies.
Famous Fortunes (1953):
Episode featuring Thomas Edison.
Famous Frauds (1951)
Famous Trials: Lisbon Affair (1953)
and The Real McCoy (1954)
Foolish Gentlewoman, The (1952): The General
Motors Hour presented this comedy about a woman who tries to correct a wrong by
giving away all her worldly goods.
For Art's Sake (April 4, 1954): Comedy about a
London "spiv" who decides to make a "racket" out of the Arts. Rod plays "Butch."
For the Defence (July 1953): Rod was in the
cast of "The Witness," an installment of this series that features the stories
surrounding true court cases. In this case, two men are accused of murder. A
young witness, who knows who really killed her father, stands in defense of the
Forbidden Cargo (1954): Rod had a leading role.
Frenchman's Creek (1950):
Serial adaptation of a Daphne DuMaurier novel.
Full Cry (April 4, 1954): Rod starred in this thriller that was part of
Gigi (Feb. 6, 1954): Rod played Gaston to
Audrey Teesdale's Gigi in the romantic comedy set in the Paris of the 1890s.
Golden Boy (1954): Rod played the title role of a young man torn between becoming a boxer or
Golden Bridegroom, The (Sept. 21, 1952): Rod played Themison in this radio
play based on a story of Lucius Apuleuis, author of The Golden Ass.
Golden Fool, The (1954):
Rod was one
of the cast members in this adaptation of a novel by David Divine. Ads for
the serial billed it as "an exciting new action-adventure.
The torrid romance of a lust for gold and the love of a
woman." It was the dramatic story of a family conflict in
the High Veldt region of the Transvaal in South Africa.
Grey Face (1950):
Australian playwright Max Afford reintroduced his mystery/thriller series
featuring amateur detective Jeffrey Blackburn. Starting Sept. 24, 1950, the
serial aired 12 half-hour installments.
Gulliver's Cousin (1954): This
was a Radio Repertory Play starring Rodney Taylor that was
billed as "Ruth Park's new radio play of William Dampier,
Hands of Mary Clifford, The (Feb. 7, 1952): Rod starred as Harry Clifford
in this installment of the Actors' Choice series.
Happy Time, The (1954): This was a reprise of a play Rod did on stage.
He played a supporting role as Desmonde in this charming story of a
French-Canadian family, adapted for radio by Maurice Travers.
Hungry God, The (September 1954):
The London embassy of an unnamed totalitarian
nation is the setting for this offering of the General Motors Hour.
I Hate Crime (1951): This half-hour program debuted
in 1950 and featured the exploits of Larry Kent, played by Ken Wayne. Kent was a
New York newspaperman who emigrated to Australia and set himself up as a private
eye. Upon its conclusion, it was replaced by Man Trap,
also featuring Rod.
I Spy (1952): A serial that offered a
quarter-hour of international intrigue.
I'm a Dutchman (Sept. 10, 1951): Part of the Radio Repertory series, this
play by Alexander Turner was a prize-winner in an ABC play competition. Story
centers on Hans Maartens (played by Robert Cubbage), a Dutch painter who comes
to Australia in search of a young woman (Lyndall Barbour) he first met in a
Sydney suburb. Rod plays Plulih.
Informer, The (1952):
It was while listening to this show that writer-producer
Martin Rackin heard a young man playing the part of a Brooklyn hoodlum.
The accent was so perfect that Rackin thought he'd found an American actor
working Down Under. Instead, he had found Rod Taylor, who he soon cast in
"Long John Silver" and sent on his
way to Hollywood.
Innocent Sprite, The (1951): This was an
Actor's Choice radio play. At a seance, a son becomes so bored with his father's
attempts to call up the spirit of Abraham Lincoln that he calls for the spirit
of a gorgeous blonde.
It Never Rains (March 11, 1953): The General Motors Hour play of the week
was a domestic comedy about the misfortunes of a Yorkshire family.
Remains To Be Seen (June 30, 1954): Rod co-starred with musical comedy star
Evie Hayes, who was playing her first drama role in radio. Hayes played Jody
Revere, a singer who through her association with the naive Waldo Walton,
becomes involved in a murder. The play was written by Howard Lindsay and Russell
Crouse, and it contains the same type of amusing situations as their earlier
success, "Arsenic and Old Lace."
Joe the Magnificent (1952): An Actor's Choice
drama of a legendary Polish figure reincarnated in a U.S. steelworks town.
Johnny Raven (1953): An adventure serial.
Kiss of Hate (1952): Part of the Play Parade,
which presented two 30-minute plays. This was period drama set in Seville,
Spain. The spiteful wife of a kindly blacksmith is responsible for the death of
their young child. When the blacksmith is kissed by a vengeful woman dying of
the plague, the smithy in turn kisses his wife.
Lady Asks for Help, The (1951): In this radio
play, a man accidentally kills another one in defense of his wifes good name,
and their best friend is charged with murder.
Laughing Woman, The (Dec. 7, 1953): Rodney Taylor and Georgie Sterling
starred in this drama by Gordon Daviot.
Like the Duke (1952): A Rola Theatre
presentation. The story of the boxing world starring Harp McGuire.
Madame Bovary (Aug. 12, 1951):
Radio play adaptation of
Flaubert's novel about the love affairs of a country
doctor's wife in 19th century France.
Man Trap (1952): This half-hour series of
self-contained dramas replaced I Hate Crime. The novelty was that the
central character was an American "girl detective." Tracey Taylor, played by
Patsy Shay, is sent to Australia on a government case and decides to stay. She
joins a detective agency run by Hartley Forrister (Rod). Each episode dealt with
a case tackled by the two detectives. Episodes include
The Diamond Studded Noose.
Man Who Came to Dinner, The (Nov. 9, 1953): Comedy about a brilliant
egotist. Rod plays Bert Jefferson.
Martin's Corner (1953): Martin's Corner was one of the longest-running
serials in Australian radio when it ended an 12-year run in December 1952. But
it returned in April 1953, with Rod Taylor joining the cast as Harry Martin.
Mary Jane (1954): Rod played Jamie and Wendy Playfair was Belle in this Sunday-night serial about life on the Murray River in
the 1880s. The cast also included John Tate, June Salter and Queenie Ashton.
Master of the House, The (Jan. 6, 1952):
Mine Own Executioner (Feb. 4, 1952): Rod was among the supporting cast in
this Radio Repertory installment. It's the story of Feliz Milne (Alexander
Archdale), a brilliant psychiatrist who, while solving other people's problems,
is unable to mend his own.
Misfire (Dec. 4, 1951): Actor's Choice play
with John Ewart in the lead.
Miss Bomb for 1951 (May 1951): An Actor's
Choice comedy by John Appleton.
Morning Departure (Aug. 12, 1950):
Kenneth Woolard wrote this tragic story of nine men trapped on the sea bottom
when their submarine hits a mine during exercises off the south coast of
England. Extremely realistic, it has been a success as a stage play, newspaper
serial and film. Bill Stewart starred as the skipper of the sub, supported by
Rod Taylor, John Cazabon, John Barnard, Alan White, Rupert Chance and George
Mr. Denning Drives North (June 28, 1953): Rod played
"Gypsy" in this mystery.
Musician, The (1954): Rod starred
in this installment of "The Rola Show," which featured plays
by Australian writers. This one was by Jean James of Bondi.
Nancy's Boy ( Nov. 30, 1950):
A drama starring Marshall
Crosby, Madi Hedd, Rodney Taylor and Guy Doleman. When one
member of a family has a very real and honest dislike of war
and killing, can he stand back and be called a coward when
the threat of war looms?
Night Beat (1950):
"Night Beat" was one of
the signature shows produced by Australian radio legend Grace
Gibson and is considered the epitome of the "radio noir"
genre that she pioneered. The show was broadcast nationally in Australia
for nine years and featured the human interest stories that newspaper columnist
Randy Stone uncovered on the night beat. Gibson nurtured
the career of many young actors, including Peter Finch and
Rod Taylor. According to Gibson's biography, "Yes, Miss
Gibson": "When Taylor first appeared in shows like
'Night Beat' in 1950, he was a dedicated, dashingly handsome
art student with a devastating effect on women." Gibson said
that Rod "took his acting seriously," but he was always
oddly nervous in the studio. Her producer, John Saul, became
Taylor's guru. Episodes may include:
Flowers on the Water, I Know
Your Secret, Love Is the Sweetest Thing (parts 1 and 2), My
Brother's Keeper, East Is East, The Devil's Plan.
No Logic Before Breakfast (Dec. 5, 1950): A comedy by John Appleton,
starring Rod Taylor.
No Lullaby for Lise (1954): A
gripping serial of a mother's search for her child in
troubled post-war Europe. From King's Cross to Cracow --
through Germany and across to America -- this exciting
serial tells of two people's experiences of life behind the
Octopus, The (1954): A radio
columnist in January 1954 noted, "That upright character Anderson Roberts from
'Blue Hills' turns into the Frenchman from 'The Octopus.' The voice belongs to
Rodney Taylor, heard on radio quite a lot."
Off Finisterre (1950):
Starring Rod Taylor, Lola Brookes and Guy Doleman. A strange tale about a ship
that is believed to be bewitched and to which some mishap always occurs when
On the Way to Niagara (Nov. 15, 1953): A
light-hearted American farce starring Rodney Taylor and Georgie Sterling.
One Green Bottle (Oct. 16, 1954):
Radio play by Elleston Trevor.
Opal of Destiny (1952): Rod has a supporting role in
this serial written by Anthony Scott-Veitch and set in Sydney and the Lightning
Ridge opal fields. It's about a former U.S. naval pilot (played by Harp McGuire)
who comes to Australia to start a new life.
Operation North Star (April 1954):
This story of European espionage was presented as part of
the General Motors Hour and starred visiting American film star Glenn Langan,
Rod Taylor and Dinah Shearing.
O'Sullivan's Bay (Sept. 1954): Rod played a dual role of a father
and son in this drama, which was presented on "The Rola Show." His performance
earned him the Rola Award as actor of the year -- the honor that sent him on his
way to Hollywood.
Out of This World (Dec. 15, 1952): Fantasy drama
about people on other planets who send observation forces to report on Earth's
activities. Frank Bennett starred, with Rod among the supporting cast.
Paula Lehman, New Australian (1951):
Serial featuring a foreign housemaid. By the
third episode she is flung into the arms of the son of the house.
Petrified Forest, The (March 29, 1953): Drama about a
group of people held captive at a wayside lunchroom by a fugitive gangster and
his cohorts. Rod plays "Jackie."
Point of Departure (May 29, 1951):
Contemporary French author Jean Anouilh based this story on the ancient Greek
legend of Orpheus and Eurydice.
Police File (March 1954): Rod was in the cast of
this episode that depicted the true story of the unmasking of a gang of
Remains to be Seen (June 30, 1954):
Rod was in the supporting
cast of this comedy-mystery on the General
Motors Hour. The play, by Howard
Lindsay and Russell Crouse, contained the same type of
amusing situations and odd characters as their earlier
successes, "Arsenic and Old Lace" and "Life with Father."
Richard II (July 1952):
Starred Alistair Duncan, with Rod among the cast.
Right to Happiness, The (1954):
This was billed as "a new serial for women" upon its
debut on June 21, 1954. The story tells of a woman who
marries the man she loves and strives for the right to
happiness. Stars included Margo Lee and Rodney Taylor.
Ridge and the River, The (June 14,
1953): The radio play retains
the essential strength, vitality and humanness of the story
of an Australian commando patrol in New Guineau during the
war. Rod plays Cpl. Shearwood.
to the Wind (1954): Drama by contemporary French
playwright Andre Obey that depicts the story of Agamemnon sacrificing Iphigenia,
set in Aulis, where the Greek warriors prepare to set sail for Troy to avenge
the loss of Helen.
Search for the Golden Boomerang, The (1951):
Second Threshold, The (1952):
A Sydney production of a General Motors Hour play
with John Tate in the main role.
Silent Inn, The (1952):
General Motors Hour play in which an impending
avalanche threatens the destruction of a Swiss village. Eight people at the inn
realize they are the only ones left in the village and tension ensues.
Something for Nothing (1954)
Space Patrol (1954): This serial was set 4,000 years
in the future, when the universe has passed through the Second Dark Age. Rod
starred, along with Richard Davies.
21, 1952): Radio play about a group of scientists
launching a rocket ship.
Star Chamber (1952)
Starlit Valley, The (Oct. 3, 1953): Rod played Robert Claire
in this installment of the ABC's Saturday Playbill. It's an
historical drama by Catherine Shepherd on the theme of a
man's readiness to pursue images of his own making. Stars
also included Alan White, Audrey Teesdale, Queenie Ashton.
Strange Last Words (1955): Rod
played a leading role in this dramatic series.
Strange Story of Deacon Brodie, The (1950-51):
Taylor played a character named Patterson in this 52-episode
radio serial. The 15-minute episodes aired Monday to Thursday at 10:15 a.m.
on Australian radio station 2UW. It's the true story of the man who inspired
Robert Louis Stevenson to write "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." Actor
Bruce Stewart played Deacon Brodie, a pillar of the establishment who turned
arch criminal and terrified Edinburgh in the late 18th century.
Available on CD from Grace Gibson Productions.
Such Men Are Dangerous (1954): Rod played Czar Paul
I of Russia in this striking historical play by Alfred Dukes.
Taylor and Sheila Sewell had the leads as Paddy and Ida Carmody in
this adaptation of a novel by Australian Jon Cleary. The
serial tells the story of the Carmody family, who roam the New South Wales back
country in an ancient wagonette. This
story of the outback is highly praised in the
Radio Round-up column
in the Nov. 14, 1953, edition of the Adelaide newspaper.
Tailormade (March 1, 1953): Comedy about an
Australian tourist on the Adriatic coast and an unsuccessful attempt by a local
racketeer to outwit the visitor. Rod played "vendor."
Tether a Dragon (Nov. 17, 1952):
Rod played Bailey in this drama about Alfred Deakin (Kevin Brennan)
and the federation of Australian colonies.
They Were Champions (1954):
Rod played Bob
Fitzsimmons, a New Zealand boxer who held three world
This Happy Breed (Jan. 4, 1954): Satire by Noel
Thistledown (1951): A
Radio Repertory presentation of a Swedish play.
Three Roads to Destiny (1954):
Rod played Tam in
this colorful saga of a family in the 19th century and
concerns the hardships overcome by Australian pioneers. The
story featured three brothers (played by Howard Craven, John
Ewart and Rod Taylor) who meet in Australia after making
their separate paths across the world. The story ranges from
England, through America, across the Pacific to the Far East
and ultimately Australia. There were 208 episodes of this
15-minute serial that launched in February 1954.
Three Secrets (Nov. 29, 1953): Rod played Del Prince
in this adaptation of a film drama.
Thunder on the Hill (March 8, 1953):
This installment of Caltex Theatre is also known
as "Bonaventure." It's a mystery
thriller about a nun (Sister Mary Bonaventure) at a convent hospital who saves a
young woman from the gallows and unmasks the real murderer. Rod plays a
character named Willie.
Time Was My Enemy (1952): Rod played an Australian POW.
To Live in Peace (Dec. 7, 1952): Story of a kindly old priest (Douglas
Herald) in an Italian mountain village who suddenly discovers that his nephew is
the Emperor Napoleon. Rod has a supporting role as Maso.
Tragical History of Dr. Faustus, The (Nov. 3, 1953):
Radio adaptation of Christopher Marlowe's play.
Trudy and the Quiet Life (Sept. 1953): This comedy presented on the Rola
Show starred Rodney Taylor and Myrna Dodd.
Wages of Fear, The (1954):
A review by Joyce
Stirling in the Brisbane Sunday Mail on Sept. 19, 1954,
called this "one of the tensest radio plays I've listened
to." Stirling said the radio play "was all about two men who (for
a suitably high fee) undertook to drive a load of
nitroglycerine over a dangerous and rough road for 300 miles
in a truck whose shock absorbers were not above suspicion.
... Rodney Taylor gave one of those nervous, high-tension
performances of his as driver Gerard, and Ray Barrat just
about matched this fine effort as the fear-ridden driver,
Johnnie. The play had a fine ironic twist to its tail and
kept you biting your nails with suspense to the final five
Walk East on Beacon (1954): A story of
espionage presented on the General Motors Hour.
We Were Children (Jan. 20, 1954): Radio
adaptation of a play written for U.S. television by Australian writer Sumner
Locke-Elliot. It's a realistic human interest drama presented on the General
Western Trail (1954): Rod played
ranger Dick Mason who is beset by a gang of rustlers and wild Apache tribes. Charles "Bud" Tingwell
played the leader of the pack of rustlers, Wolf Castella.
When a Girl Marries (1953):
One of Australia's most popular serials.
Wings Off the Sea (1954):
Rod had the lead role of Lt.-Commander Sherwood
in this serial based on a Korean War novel by Australian
writer J.E. MacDonnell. The show was praised for its
brilliant background effects that gave it a realistic
Winterset (1951): Winterset is a play by
Maxwell Anderson. Written largely in poetic form, the tragedy deals indirectly
with the famous Sacco-Vanzetti case, in which two Italian immigrants with
radical political beliefs were executed.
With Cain Go Wander (July 18, 1953): Rod stars as Mark Lacey in this
Within Rights (June 15, 1953): Police drama.
You An' Me, both (Feb. 9, 1953): The comedy of a girl who accidentally
makes a date with three different men for the same evening. Rod plays "the