|The 'brains' and 'action' heavies who had meaty roles and lots of dialog ... and the players who were fathers, ranch owners, lawman, mayors, judges, lawyers, storekeepers, newspaper editors, wardens, etc.|
Full name: Edwin Forrest Taylor
1883 - 1965
Above - face shots of Forrest Taylor and actress/wife Ada Daniels cropped from a 1916 newspaper theater ad.
(Courtesy of Jack Tillmany)
Above - a young Forrest Taylor - circa 1920.
(Courtesy of Ed Phillips)
Forrest Taylor - mid 1930s
Edwin Forrest Taylor was born in Ellsworth, Illinois in 1883 and came from a theatrical family. His father, Christopher C. Taylor (1855-1919), was a showman and theater owner/manager in Illinois.
Jump forward to the 1920s. Forrest and Ada Daniels divorced and his new leading lady was Ann/Anne Berryman. In the mid 1920s, they performed in Denver, Colorado, Portland, Oregon, Seattle, Washington, other locales. He and Ann/Anne married on February 4, 1925 in Farmington, Utah, and a couple years later, son Jack was born. Circa 1926-1930, they settled in sunny California and worked extensively with the Plaza Players in Sacramento and Savoy Players in San Diego.
Taylor's stage and film career spanned about sixty years, from approximately 1905 through the early 1960s. Les Adams has him in about 325 sound films and of that quantity, there's 200+ westerns and about three dozen cliffhangers. His credits at Republic Pictures number about 75 for the period 1937-1953 and most are B westerns and serials.
The Family Search website (free), Ancestry.com (subscription), California Death Index, Social Security Death Index (SSDI), ProQuest obituaries, death certificate, and funeral notice provide more on Forrest Taylor and family:
Find A Grave website has a photo of the grave marker for Forrest Taylor at Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills), Los Angeles California: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/6079809/forrest-taylor
There were many traces of Forrest Taylor's father, Chris Taylor, and Chris' son Walter in census and death records as well as tradezines (which are available at the Internet Archive):
Trade publication highlights and quotes:
Census and death records:
Some comments and questions about Forrest Taylor and family:
Some Taylor biographies have him born in Bloomington, Illinois. However, he lists Ellsworth, Illinois on his World War II draft registration as well as the 1906 birth certificate for son Jack. Perhaps he was born in Bloomington but the family home was in Ellsworth. The driving distrance between those two locales is about eighteen miles.
Some Taylor biographies note that his father Christopher Taylor was a newspaperman and hailed from New Jersey. Not so - he was a well known theater owner and manager in Illinois and was born in Pennsylvania.
According to the death certificate, Forrest's mother was Elizabeth Smith (born California). A major issue is that the 1890 census is unavailable. 1900 and 1910 census records indicate that his father Chris Taylor had married a second time circa 1896 to Clara Taylor. Have not found anything on first wife Elizabeth and whether she passed away or they divorced.
Some bios have Forrest serving in the military during World War I. That doesn't seem possible due to his stage work during that period. Plus he responded "No!" to the are you a military veteran question in the 1930 census.
The funeral notice for Forrest lists sons Jack F. Taylor and Forrest Don Taylor, married daughter Jeanne Elizabeth Hall, and a brother, Walter Taylor. I can account for son Jack, daughter Jeanne, and brother Walter. I'm guessing that the Edwin Forrest Taylor, Jr. who was born 1906 in Utah is the son named Forrest Don Taylor in the funeral notice.
Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Forrest Taylor: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0852365/
Family Search has a profile and photo of Ada Daniels (1879-1951): https://familysearch.org/photos/stories/17777951
The Internet Broadway database has several plays during the period 1918 - 1926 with Edwin Taylor: https://www.ibdb.com/broadway-cast-staff/edwin-taylor-61913
The Internet Broadway database has several 1933-1947 plays listed for Forrest Taylor as both a performer and stage manager. However, this is probably not our B western Forrest Taylor as he was extremely busy doing films circa 1946-1948: https://www.ibdb.com/broadway-cast-staff/forrest-taylor-61920
Daniel Neyer's "The Files of Jerry Blake" serial website has a webpage on Forrest Taylor doing serials: https://filesofjerryblake.com/serial-character-actors-2/forrest-taylor/
Boyd Magers has a profile on Taylor at his Western Clippings website: http://www.westernclippings.com/heavies/forresttaylor_charactersheavies.shtml
There's about twenty American Film Company titles from 1915-1916 for E. Forrest Taylor at the American Film Company (nicknamed the "Flying A") website which is maintained by the University of California at Santa Barbara. The page includes a small portrait shot of our Forrest Taylor. When you get to this webpage, click on the letter T, and scroll down the listing for E. Forrest Taylor: https://flyinga.filmandmedia.ucsb.edu/people/index.html
The University of Washington, J. Willis Sayre Photograph collection, has two circa 1911 photos of stage actor E. Forrest Taylor. One of the photos is clearly our Forrest Taylor. Go to:
The Google Newspaper archive has a couple papers with mentions of Forrest Taylor:
Forrest Taylor Players in Portland and Eugene, Oregon, 1925: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1310&dat=19251028&id=jaxWAAAAIBAJ&sjid=c-gDAAAAIBAJ&pg=5011,4624221&hl=en
1932 article on actress Ada Daniels, former wife of Forrest Taylor: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1338&dat=19320907&id=TtFXAAAAIBAJ&sjid=4vQDAAAAIBAJ&pg=7262,1318170&hl=en
|Billing himself as "E. Forrest Taylor", Forrest was a prolific stage performer from the early 1900s through the early 1930s. And he did a few silent films.|
Above - E. Forrest Taylor and Ada Daniels in Utah in 1913.
Above - E. Forrest Taylor with his own company on the Orpheum Circuit circa 1916 in Idaho. Note that the troupe was doing several plays.
Above - E. Forrest Taylor circa 1920 in Utah. His co-star, Ann Berryman, would become Mrs. Taylor in 1925.
Above - trade ad from late 1915 for Forrest Taylor and Helene Rosson in THE TRAIL OF THE SERPENT, one of the Mustang shorts from the American Film Company and distributed by Mutual. Helene Rosson was the sister of directors Arthur Rosson, Richard Rosson and cinematographer Harold Rosson, and she was married to - and divorced from - Ashton Dearholt (producer of the 1935 THE NEW ADVENTURES OF TARZAN serial that starred Herman Brix/Bruce Bennett).
Forrest's father was a theater owner/operator in Illinois. From the January 8, 1916 issue of Moving Picture World: "Actor's Dad an Exhibitor. Manager Chris Taylor of Dreamland at Kewanee (Illinois) features his son, E. Forrest Taylor, in western pictures every Monday."
(Courtesy of Dana Driskel and the American Film Company website (link above))
Above are Anna Little and a young Forrest Taylor in an unidentified American Film Company silent circa 1916. Taylor would have been about thirty years old when he did this film.