We put John Gavin in that category, and another male “star” of the 60s and 70s also qualifies — Rod Taylor.
Born in suburban Sydney in 1930, he started off his adult professional life as a commercial artist. Inspired by his viewing of a live performance by a touring Laurence Olivier as Richard III, Taylor steered himself into an acting career. Initially he made quite a splash on Australian radio playing a broad variety of roles including that of Tarzan.
By the early Fifties, Taylor was making movies in Australia and in Hollywood. His brash good looks and hearty physique made him a sought-after talent.
The film that by far survives Taylor most is Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 thriller The Birds in which the actor portrays a handsome lawyer protecting socialite Tippi Hedren from an escalating series of violent bird attacks.
We like Taylor’s sympathetic performance in MGM’s The V.I.P.’s” another Sixties drama with an all-star cast (featuring Burton and Taylor no less). The actor portrays an international businessman wheeler-dealer who comes to acknowledge his feelings for his shy secretary (Maggie Smith).
In a decision worthy of George Raft — renowned for boneheaded choices of starring roles — Taylor was approached and turned down an offer to play James Bond in the first of the 007 films, 1963’s Dr. No. It was a decision Taylor regretted. (He said the role of James Bond was “beneath him.”)
Nonetheless, Taylor appeared in a mix of front-line commercial titles with big stars including John Wayne (1973’s The Train Robbers), Jane Fonda (1963’s Sunday in New York), Bette Davis (1956’s The Catered Affair), James Garner (1964’s 36 Hours) and Doris Day (1966’s The Glass Bottom Boat).
In all, Taylor rolled up some 90 film and tv credits in the U.S. and in Australia. His last film appearance — the actor died in 2015, four days short of his 85th birthday — was as Winston Churchill in director Quentin Tarantino’s 2009 World War II drama, Inglourious Basterds.