Rod Taylor Dies at 84: The Birds’ Costar Tippi Hedren Pays Respects

Rod Taylor 1966
Rod Taylor, the star of Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds, is dead at 84 -- read what his costar Tippi Hedren had to say. Courtesy Everett Collection

Rod Taylor, best known for his starring role in Alfred Hitchcock's film The Birds, died Wednesday, Jan. 7, in L.A. He was 84.

While Taylor's cause of death remains unknown, his daughter Felicia Taylor told CNN in a statement Friday that he was surrounded by his loved ones in his home when he passed away.

"My dad loved his work," Felicia, a former CNN News correspondent, told the network. "Being an actor was his passion — calling it an honorable art and something he couldn't live without."

Australian native Taylor moved to Hollywood in the '50s to launch his career, which spanned over six decades. He appeared in more than 50 films including The Time Machine, The Train Robbers, The Catered Affair, and Sunday in New York. He also had numerous television roles on shows like Hong Kong, Bearcats!, Falcon Crest, Outlaws, and more.

rod and tippi
Rod Taylor and Tippi Hedron in "The Birds", 1963 Courtesy Everett Collection

Actress Tippi Hedren, Taylor's costar in The Birds, also paid respects to her late colleague on Friday. "Rod was a great pal to me … we were very, very good friends," she told CNN. "He was one of the most fun people I have ever met, thoughtful and classy, there was everything good in that man."

His last and final role was as Winston Churchill in Quentin Tarantino's 2009 action drama Inglourious Basterds, co-starring Brad Pitt and Christoph Waltz.

He is survived by his beloved wife Carol and daughter Felicia.

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