Dub Taylor Cause of Death: How the Legendary Character Actor Passed Away

Dub Taylor was a prolific and versatile American character actor who appeared in hundreds of films and television shows, mostly in Westerns and comedies. He was known for his distinctive grizzled appearance, his trademark bowler hat, and his roles as comical sidekicks or eccentric outlaws. He was also the father of actor Buck Taylor, who starred in the long-running series Gunsmoke.

Dub Taylor’s career spanned nearly six decades, from the 1930s to the 1990s. He worked with some of the most acclaimed directors and actors in Hollywood, such as Frank Capra, Sam Peckinpah, Michael Cimino, James Stewart, Henry Fonda, Clint Eastwood, and Warren Beatty. He also appeared in some of the most iconic films of American cinema, such as You Can’t Take It with You, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Bonnie and Clyde, The Wild Bunch, The Getaway, and Back to the Future Part III.

But how did Dub Taylor die? What was his cause of death? And what legacy did he leave behind? In this article, we will explore these questions and pay tribute to one of the most beloved and recognizable character actors in film history.

Dub Taylor’s Early Life and Career

Dub Taylor was born Walter Clarence Taylor Jr. on February 26, 1907, in Richmond, Virginia. He was the middle child of five children of Minnie and Walter C. Taylor Sr. His family moved to Augusta, Georgia, when he was five years old, where his father worked as a cotton broker.

Dub Taylor got his nickname from his friends in Georgia, who called him “W” for Walter and then shortened it to “Dub”. He developed an interest in music and entertainment at an early age and learned to play the harmonica and the xylophone. He also played football for the Alabama Crimson Tide Football Team in 1937.

Dub Taylor began his acting career with Vaudeville, performing in various shows across the country. His musical talent landed him his first film role in 1938, when he was cast as Ed Carmichael, a cheerful ex-football captain who played the xylophone, in Frank Capra’s classic comedy You Can’t Take It with You. The film won two Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

The following year, Dub Taylor appeared in another Capra film, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, starring James Stewart as an idealistic senator who fights against corruption. Dub Taylor had a minor role as a reporter who covers the senator’s filibuster.

Also in 1939, Dub Taylor originated the character of Cannonball, a comic sidekick to cowboy heroes, in the Western film Taming of the West. He reprised this role for the next 10 years in over 50 films, mostly low-budget B-movies. He played Cannonball alongside various Western stars, such as Wild Bill Elliott, Charles Starrett, Russell Hayden, Tex Ritter, and Jimmy Wakely.

Dub Taylor’s Later Roles and Collaborations

Dub Taylor eventually dropped the Cannonball name and branched out to other genres and roles. He had bit parts in many classic films of different genres, such as A Star Is Born (1954), Them! (1954), No Time for Sergeants (1958), The Misfits (1961), How the West Was Won (1962), Major Dundee (1965), The Cincinnati Kid (1965), The Happening (1967), Support Your Local Sheriff! (1969), The Undefeated (1969), The Reivers (1969), WUSA (1970), Maverick (1994), and many more.

One of his most memorable roles was Ivan Moss, the father of C.W. Moss (played by Michael J. Pollard), in Arthur Penn’s groundbreaking crime film Bonnie and Clyde (1967). The film starred Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway as the notorious bank robbers of the 1930s. Dub Taylor had a memorable scene where he confronted his son for joining the gang and expressed his disappointment and anger.

Dub Taylor also became a frequent collaborator of director Sam Peckinpah, who was known for his violent and revisionist Westerns. He appeared in four of Peckinpah’s films: Major Dundee (1965), The Wild Bunch (1969), Junior Bonner (1972), and Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (1973). In The Wild Bunch, he played a minister who gets his flock shot in the film’s opening scene. In Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, he played Josh Brown, an old friend of Billy’s who joins him in his final days.

Another director that Dub Taylor worked with several times was Michael Cimino, who made his debut with Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974), starring Clint Eastwood and Jeff Bridges as a pair of bank robbers. Dub Taylor played a gas station attendant who gets involved in their heist. He also appeared in Cimino’s Heaven’s Gate (1980), a notorious Western epic that was a critical and commercial failure, and The Sunchaser (1996), Cimino’s last film.

Dub Taylor also had a prolific career on television, appearing in dozens of shows, such as The Andy Griffith Show, Gunsmoke, Bonanza, The Beverly Hillbillies, The Monkees, The Wild Wild West, The Brady Bunch, Little House on the Prairie, CHiPs, The Dukes of Hazzard, and many more. He also starred in his own short-lived sitcom, The Dub Taylor Show, in 1961.

Dub Taylor’s Personal Life and Death

Dub Taylor was married to Florence Gertrude Heffernan from 1930 until her death in 1987. They had two children: Buck Taylor and Faydean Taylor Tharp. Buck Taylor followed his father’s footsteps and became an actor, best known for his role as Newly O’Brien on Gunsmoke. He also appeared in several films with his father, such as Major Dundee, The Wild Bunch, and Bonnie and Clyde. Faydean Taylor Tharp became a teacher and a writer.

Dub Taylor lived in Woodland Hills, California, where he died of a heart attack on October 3, 1994. He was 87 years old. He was cremated and his ashes were scattered around Westlake Village, California.

Dub Taylor left behind a legacy of hundreds of films and television shows that showcased his talent, versatility, and charisma. He was one of the most recognizable and beloved character actors in Hollywood history. He was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1998.

According to IMDb, Dub Taylor’s last film role was in Maverick (1994), where he played a poker player who gets shot by Jodie Foster’s character. His last television role was in Walker, Texas Ranger (1994), where he played an old man who helps Chuck Norris’ character catch a criminal.

Dub Taylor was a true legend of the silver screen and the small screen. He entertained generations of audiences with his humor, charm, and personality. He will always be remembered as one of the greats of American cinema.

Doms Desk

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