Todd Gault's Movie Serial Experience

Todd Gault's Film Serial Experience: Movie serials, cliffhangers and reviews. A gallery of movie serial stars.
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"The Iron Claw"; 1941

Forrest Taylor has played everything you can play in a serial, except the hero. Working for Republic, Universal, Columbia, and Victory Studios; Taylor has played bit parts, heroine’s fathers, kidnapped scientists, suspicious acting suspects, henchmen, and outright villains in a career that has spanned the sound era of serials.

During the thirties he appeared in Victory’s “Shadow of Chinatown” (1936) as a minor character, Republic’s “Fighting Devil Dogs” (1938) as a suspicious butler, and Universal’s “The Phantom Creeps” (1939) as a henchman.

The forties held a variety of roles for Taylor. The first half of the decade he was employed at Columbia; playing the heroine’s father or uncle in “The Green Archer” (1940), “Terry and the Pirates” (1940), and “The Iron Claw” (1941). He also supplied the voice for the villainous Gargoyle in “The Spider Returns” (1941).

After a small role in “Perils of the Royal Mounted” (1942), Taylor moved over to Republic. Where he played the heroine’s father in “Haunted Harbor” (1945), the heroine’s father who is also a kidnapped scientist in “Manhunt on Mystery Island” (1945), and a scientist suspected of being “The Crimson Ghost” (1946). He also had small roles in “Federal Operator 99” (1945) and “The Black Widow” (1947).

The rest of Taylor’s serial career was spent back at Columbia where he had a small role in “Superman” (1948), as a scientist who for a short time knows Superman’s identity. The next year he played a kidnapped scientist who turns out to also be the villain in “Bruce Gentry” (1949). His final serial was “The Lost Planet” (1953), where he was again a kidnapped scientist who is also the heroine’s father.

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