Robert Taylor was an American film and TV actor who was one of the most popular leading men of his time. He began his career in films in 1934 when he signed with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Further, he also won his first leading role the following year in Magnificent Obsession.

Robert Taylor
Caption: Robert Taylor 

Robert Taylor Parents

Robert Taylor was born on August 5, 1911, in Filley, Nebraska, United States. He was the only child of Ruth Adaline (née Stanhope) and Spangler Andrew Brugh, a farmer turned doctor. He held American nationality and was of white ethnicity. 

During his childhood, the family moved several times, living in Muskogee, Oklahoma; Kirksville, Missouri; and Fremont, Nebraska. In the year September 1917, the Bruges moved to Beatrice, Nebraska, where they remained for 16 years. In his teenager, Taylor was a track and field star and played the cello in his high school orchestra.


Regarding his graduation, he enrolled at Doane College in Crete, Nebraska. While at Doane, Taylor took cello lessons from Professor Herbert E. Gray, whom he admired and idolized. 

After that, he was accepting a new position at Pomona College in Claremont, he moved to California and enrolled at Pomona. Then he joined the campus theater group and was eventually spotted by an MGM talent scout in 1932 after the production of Journey's End.

Robert Taylor Net Worth

Taylor was very successful in his career. Out of his acting career, Robert Taylor had a net worth of $3 Million at the time of his death. As one of the stars including Deborah Kerr, Leo Genn, and Peter Ustinov he spent much of 1950 working in Italy on the $7-million remake of “Quo Vadis.”

Picture of late American actor Robert Taylor
Caption: Picture of late American actor Robert Taylor (Photo: Alchetron)

Mr. Furthermore, he had signed a seven-year contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer with an initial salary of $35 per week, which rose to $2500 by 1936. As he was alive then obviously he will be living in a luxurious way.

Was Robert Taylor Married? 

Robert Taylor was a married man. After three years of dating, Robert was married to his wife Barbara Stanwyck. No information about their first met and dating history. However, Robert and Barbara exchanged the wedding vows on May 14, 1939, in San Diego, California. Zeppo Marx's wife Marion was Stanwyck's matron of honor and her godfather, actor Buck Mack who was Taylor's best man.

Robert Taylor with his ex-wife
Caption: Robert Taylor with his ex-wife

She divorced Taylor (reportedly at his request) in February 1951. The married couple had no children. After that, he met German actress Ursula Thiess in 1952. Then the couple married in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, on May 23, 1954. From their marriages, the duo became parents of two children together, son Terrance (born 1955) and daughter Tessa (born 1959). He was also stepfather to Thiess' two children from her previous marriage, Manuela and Michael Thiess.

Robert Taylor Cause of Death

On June 8th, 1969 Robert Taylor was dead in the Providence Saint John's Health Centre Emergency Room, Santa Monica, California, United States. His prime cause of death was lung cancer. He underwent surgery to remove a portion of his right lung in October 1968. 

Picture of late American actor Robert Taylor
Caption: Picture of late American actor Robert Taylor (Photo: Pinterest)

Then doctors suspected that he had contracted coccidioidomycosis known as "valley fever". Robert had lung cancer discovered by doctors during the surgery. Also, he was hospitalized 7 times due to infections and complications related to the disease. Taylor's funeral was held at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery, in Glendale, California.


Robert had signed a seven-year contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer with an initial salary of $35 per week, which rose to $2500 by 1936. Then the studio changed its name to Robert Taylor. After that, he made his film debut in the 1934 comedy Handy Andy, starring Will Rogers (on a loan-out to 20th Century Fox). He first led his role was in 1935 in the MGM crime short Buried Loot.

Picture of late American actor Robert Taylor
Caption: Picture of late American actor Robert Taylor (Photo: IMDb)

The same year, Irene Dunne requested Taylor for her leading man in Magnificent Obsession who was followed by Camille with Greta Garbo. Robert and Jean Harlow, 1937 Throughout he appeared in films of varying genres including the musicals Broadway Melody in 1936 and Broadway Melody in 1938, and as well as the British comedy A Yank at Oxford including Vivien Leigh. In the year 1940, he reteamed with Leigh in Mervyn LeRoy's drama Waterloo Bridge. After being given the nickname "The Man with the Perfect Profile", he began breaking away from his perfect leading man image and began appearing in darker roles beginning in 1941.

Robert Taylor with his co-actor
Caption: Robert Taylor with his co-actor

In the same year, he portrayed Billy Bonney (better known as Billy the Kid) in Billy the Kid. The next year, Taylor played the title role in the film noir Johnny Eager with Lana Turner. After playing a tough sergeant in Bataan, Taylor contributed to the war effort by becoming a flying instructor in the U.S. Naval Air Corps in 1943. Also, he starred in instructional films and narrated the 1944 documentary The Fighting Lady. After the war, he appeared in a series of edgy roles, including Undercurrent and High Wall. Later he co-starred with Elizabeth Taylor in Conspirator in 1949.


In the year 1950, he landed the role of General Marcus Vinicius in Quo Vadis with Deborah Kerr. The epic movie was a hit, grossing US$11 million in its first run. The following year, he starred in the film version of Walter Scott's classic Ivanhoe, followed by 1953's Knights of the Round Table and The Adventures of Quentin Durward, all filmed in England. Also, he filmed Valley of the Kings in Egypt in 1954. By the mid-1950s, he began to concentrate on westerns, his preferred genre. 

Picture of American actor Robert Taylor with his co-actor
Caption: Picture of American actor Robert Taylor with his co-actor (Photo: Wikipedia)

After that, he starred in a comedy western Many Rivers to Cross in 1955 co-starring Eleanor Parker. In the year 1958, he shared the lead with Richard Widmark in the edgy John Sturges western The Law and Jake Wade. Then in 1958, he left MGM and formed his own production company, Robert Taylor Productions.

Television Series

In the following year, he starred in the hit television series The Detectives Starring Robert Taylor (1959–1962). Following the end of the series in 1962, he continued to appear in films and television shows, including A House, Is Not a Home, and two episodes of Hondo. Taylor received the 1953 World movie Favorite – Male, award at the Golden Globes (tied with Alan Ladd). In the yare1963, NBC filmed but never aired, four episodes of what was to have been The Robert Taylor Show, a series based on case files from the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. 

Picture of late American actor Robert Taylor
Caption: Picture of late American actor Robert Taylor (Photo: TCM)

The worker was suddenly dropped for a lack of coordination with HEW. Later Taylor co-starred with his former wife Barbara Stanwyck in William Castle's psychological horror film The Night Walker in 1964. The next year, he took over the role of the narrator in the television series Death Valley Days when Ronald Reagan left to pursue a career in politics after filming Johnny Tiger in Florida. Robert would remain with the series until his death in 1969.