Vaughn Taylor (actor)

Vaughn Everett Taylor (February 22, 1910 – April 26, 1983) was an American actor. He became known for his roles in many anthology series, including Kraft Television Theatre (1947–1957) and Robert Montgomery Presents (1950–1954). He also appeared in films such as Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) and Psycho (1960).

Vaughn Taylor
Taylor in the film Psycho (1960)
Vaughn Everett Taylor

(1910-02-22)February 22, 1910
DiedApril 26, 1983(1983-04-26) (aged 73)
EducationNortheastern University
Leland Powers School
Years active1933–1976
Ruth Moss
(m. 1945; died 1983)

Early years

Taylor was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He was a graduate of Northeastern University and the Leland Powers School of Elocution, Boston.[1] Instead of pursuing a career in accounting, he tried summer stock theatre in Maine.[2] After army service in WWII, he broke into TV. His wife Ruth Moss was a radio personality and Broadway actress.

Military service

After joining the Army as a private, Taylor became an officer via officer candidate school. Later he joined military intelligence and produced instructional plays about aspects of military intelligence to educate students from the Army.[2]


After his experience in summer stock, he joined a dramatic company and for several years participated in one-night productions in small towns in the Midwest.[2] On Broadway, Taylor appeared in Hope's the Thing (1948).[3]


Taylor began his career in film in Up Front (1951).[4] His film appearances include Jailhouse Rock (1957), Decision at Sundown (1957), Cowboy (1958), Screaming Mimi (1958), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), Warlock (1959), The Gallant Hours (1960), The Plunderers (1960), Diamond Head (1963), The Wheeler Dealers (1963), The Carpetbaggers (1964), The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964), The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming (1966), The Professionals (1966), In Cold Blood (1967), The Shakiest Gun in the West (1968), The Power (1968), The Ballad of Cable Hogue (1970).

In 1960 he appeared in Alfred Hitchcock's original Psycho as Mr. Lowery, Marion Crane's employer in a small real estate office. The same year he starred in the movie about Admiral William F. Halsey, The Gallant Hours, as Commander Mike Pulaski, USN. Taylor's final film appearance was in another comedy, The Gumball Rally, released in 1976.


Taylor portrayed Horatio Frisby on the comedy series Johnny Jupiter.[5] He was also a regular performer on Montgomery's Summer Stock, which was a summer replacement for Robert Montgomery Presents from 1953 through 1956.[5]:713

In his many television appearances, Taylor was cast as Julian Tyler in the 1957 episode "The Chess Player" of the CBS crime drama, Richard Diamond, Private Detective, starring David Janssen. He appeared too in several episodes of CBS's Twilight Zone, including the role of the salesman in the episode" I Sing the Body Electric". He also appeared in "Time Enough at Last", "Still Valley", "The Incredible World of Horace Ford" and "The Self-Improvement of Salvadore Ross".

In 1958, Taylor appeared in The Martin Poster, the first episode of Steve McQueen's CBS western series, Wanted: Dead or Alive as a doctor shot to death in the back by the brother of an outlaw whom he had treated. In a later episode, he appeared as a doctor whose son is a thief whom Josh has brought in, only to lose the bounty because the doctor paid someone else to take the blame. He also played Olie Ridgers in the Gunsmoke episode "Claustrophobia" (Season 3, Episode 20).

That same year, Taylor was cast on the ABC/Warner Brothers western series, Cheyenne as Doc Johnson, an unusual outlaw known as "The Ghost of the Cimarron", the title of the episode. In the story line, Cheyenne Bodie must ally temporarily with Johnson to clear his own name with the law, as officers think Cheyenne is part of the gang.[6]

Taylor guest starred as Jeremy Tolliver in the title role in the 1959 episode "The Trouble with Tolliver" of the ABC western drama The Man from Blackhawk as a roving insurance investigator.[7]

He was cast in 1960 again as a physician, Bryan Craig, in the episode "Strange Encounter" of the ABC/Warner Brothers western series, Colt .45.[8] He also guest starred in the ABC/WB detective series, Bourbon Street Beat and in the 1960 NBC summer western series, Tate, starring David McLean.

Taylor appeared three times in the 1960–1961 season in the syndicated series Coronado 9. He guest starred on ABC's The Real McCoys and in 1961, he played a veterinarian in another ABC sitcom, The Hathaways. He guest starred as financier Asbury Harpending in the 1965 episode "Raid on the San Francisco Mint" on Death Valley Days.

Taylor also appeared in 1961 in the CBS drama series, The Investigators.

Taylor was cast as bank president Houghton in the 1961 episode "The Proxy" on another ABC western series, The Rebel, starring Nick Adams, with whom Taylor had worked three years earlier in Wanted Dead or Alive."

In 1962 he appeared in one episode as the head college librarian opposite Gertrude Berg in her short-lived sitcom Mrs. G. Goes to College.

He was also a frequent guest on CBS's Perry Mason legal drama, having appeared eight times, including murderer Louis Boles in the premiere episode, "The Case of the Restless Redhead" in 1957. In 1959, he played the title role, murder victim Bishop Arthur Mallory, in "The Case of the Stuttering Bishop." In 1961, he played defendant Ralph Duncan in "The Case of the Fickle Fortune." In 1963, he again played the murder victim and title character; this time as Martin Weston in "The Case of the Witless Witness."

Taylor was cast in two episodes of the ABC science fiction series The Outer Limits; in "Expanding Human" as Dean Flint, and "The Guests" as Mr. Latimer. In addition, he appeared in the pilot episode of The Invaders entitled "Beachhead".

Usually involved in dramatic roles, Taylor continued to accept work in comedic productions. In 1965, Vaughn Taylor played Professor Clemmens in a 1965 episode called "Uncle Martin and the Identified Flying Object" of My Favorite Martian. He also played in the Get Smart episode "The Diary," in 1966.Taylor portrays Herb Gaffer, a retired secret agent sought by CONTROL agent Maxwell Smart (Don Adams) and by enemy spies. Taylor gets a chance in the plot to exchange humorous takes with Adams and perform some physical comedy. Another veteran of acting, Ellen Corby, also appears in this same Get Smart episode, which takes place in "Spy City," a retirement community for former agents.

In 1966 and 1968, Taylor made guest appearances on Petticoat Junction. In 1966, he played Mr. Foley, episode: "Better Never Than Late", and in 1968, he played Mr. Clayton, in the episode "Uncle Joe Runs the Hotel".


On April 26, 1983, Taylor died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center of a cerebral hemorrhage. He was 73.[4]


Taylor was nominated for the Emmy Award for Best Actor in 1952 and 1953.[9]



  1. Meegan, Jean (August 8, 1948). "Vaughn Taylor, 'Busiest' Television Actor, Gives Thanks That His Walk Up Rent Is Low". The Bridgeport Post. Connecticut, Bridgeport. Associated Press. p. 3. Retrieved June 5, 2017 via
  2. Panitt, Merrill (June 20, 1949). "Low Rent Helps Busiest Video Actor". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. p. 22. Retrieved October 25, 2018 via
  3. "Vaughn Taylor". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Archived from the original on 26 October 2018. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  4. "Television and film actor Vaughn Taylor dies at 73". The Courier-Journal. Kentucky, Louisville. Associated Press. May 7, 1983. p. 8. Retrieved October 25, 2018 via
  5. Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. p. 541. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7.
  6. "Ghost of the Cimarron: Cheyenne". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved September 6, 2014.
  7. "The Man from Blackhawk". Classic Television Archives. Retrieved January 30, 2013.
  8. "Colt .45". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved December 17, 2012.
  9. "("Vaughn Taylor" search results)". EMMYS. The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Archived from the original on 26 October 2018. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
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