Martha Note: This week’s Little Mystery comes to you from LAistory
His family thought it was the medical contion when Taylor vanished in 1912, turning up in Los Angeles, replete with his new name and English accent. (Taylor was not the only Tanner to pull this stunt; his brother vanished, abandoning his family as well.)With a change of scene, Taylor’s acting career took off, but before long, he was directing. His first film was The Awakening in 1914. Before he returned to Britain in 1918 (where he joined the Royal Army Service Core (or possibly the Canadian army) to fight in World War I at the age of 46), he made more than fifty films, many starring greats of the age, including Mary Pickford, Constance Talmadge and George Beban. Even as things began to work out, he continued to lie. He told people he had once spent three months in jail for the woman he loved. He cast aspersions on the mental states of many of his high profile friends.
Taylor had his kindnesses as well. When his ex-wife tracked him down (or rather, saw him on a movie screen), he began a relationship with his daughter and made her his heir. When his brother’s family turned up on his doorstep penniless, he promised to pay them fifty dollars a month until his death. He was very worried about his friend, actress Mabel Normand, who was getting increasingly involved with drugs. He picked a fight with her drug dealers.
Tomorrow: Part Three!