Irish born film director William Desmond Taylor, will be remembered and celebrating during a festival in Carlow on the 21st – 23rd September, coinciding with the 140th anniversary of his birth.
Carlow man, William Desmond Taylor, a pioneer during Hollywood’s silent movie era was an immensely successful Hollywood actor and director during this time, and this much anticipated Irish Festival, TaylorFest, aims to recognise this.
Presenting a selection of his classic films, performances of scenes from his extraordinary life and talks from world experts, TaylorFest will also screen some 92 years after it premiered in Hollywood, the classic Huckleberry Finn. Taylor directed this film in the 1920s and this is the first time that the black and white silent adaptation of the Mark Twin classic will have been seen by an Irish audience.
Taylor who was born in Carlow in 1872, left Ireland for America when he was just 18, but he relocated to Hollywood in his late 30s. During his career throughout the golden era of Hollywood silent movie, he acted in 27 films and directed some 60 films, which included to name but a few; Tom Saywer (1917), How could You, Jean? (1918), Anne of Green Gables (1919), Huckleberry Finn (1920) and Soul Of Youth (1920) that looked at social problems amongst youth and was the precursor for the iconic James Dean movie, Rebel Without a Cause.
At the time of his suspicious death in February 1922 aged only 49, Taylor was the head of production at Paramount Studios and his compelling story continues to fascinate Hollywood as does the scandal surrounding his still-unsolved deaths.