Another IAGenWeb Project

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(Louis Weiss)

"Boston Blackie" was born and lived in Chickasaw County. That's right for those who remember that television series in the early 1950's you can count him as a Chickasawian.
Kent Taylor was his stage name but he was born Louis Weiss on a farm southeast of Nashua in 1906.

The Weiss family moved to Nashua when Louis was 7. In high school he performed in several plays before graduating at 16. The family then moved to Waterloo, where Louis was a window trimmer in a ladies' clothing shop. After a brief move to Chicago, the Weiss family relocated to Los Angeles, where father and son started an awning company. Weiss proved to be a good salesman but turned to acting when a friend introduced him to director Henry King. It took Taylor a year of bit parts to become "discovered," when he and Iowa-born Claire Dodd improvised an acting scene so that a new camera device could be tested. The result was a long-term contract at Paramount studios.

Kent Taylor's movie credits include "The Magnificent Lie" (1931), "The Devil and the Deep" (1932), "I'm No Angel" (1933), "Death Takes a Holiday" and "David Harum" (1934), "Ramona" (1936), "I'm Still Alive" (1940) and "Payment on Demand" (1950). Taylor wrapped up his acting career with parts in such horror films as "The Crawling Hand" (1963), "Brides of Blood" and "Satan's Sadists" (1968) and "I Spit on Your Corpse" (1974). He freelanced in big and small productions at such studios as RKO, Paramount, Columbia, and Universal, often cast as detectives or soldiers of fortune. His film credits are over a hundred in number. His television work was highlighted by "Boston Blackie," which ran from 1951 to 1953, Taylor was a suave master thief who turned detective. The show also profitted well into the 1960's in rerun format. He followed that with "The Rough Riders," a Western series that ran from 1958 to 1959.

Taylor died in 1986 after a series of heart operations. Among his survivors was his wife of 57 years, Augusta.

Des Moines, Iowa Register.
MSN Entertainment; Hall Erickson, All Movie Guide
Transcribed by Mike Peterson