Early life and career
Born Walter Clarence Taylor, Jr. on February 26, 1907 in Richmond, Virginia, Dub was a prolific merican actor who worked extensively in Westerns, but also in comedy from the 1940s into the 1990s. As a youngster he and his family moved to Augusta, Georgia when he was five years old and lived in that city until he was 13. During that time he befriended Ty Cobb's son and namesake, Ty Cobb, Jr.
Originally starting out as a vaudeville performer, Taylor made his film debut in 1938, playing cheerful ex-football captain Ed Carmichael in Frank Capra's classic film You Can't Take It with You. The following year, Taylor appeared in The Taming of the West, in which he originated the character of Cannonball, a role he continued to play for the next ten years, in over fifty films. "Cannonball" was a comic sidekick to "Wild Bill" Saunders (Bill Elliott), a pairing that continued through thirteen features, during which Elliott’s character became Wild Bill Hickok.
Taylor appeared with Lucille Ball in an episode of I Love Lucy and also guest-starred on The Brian Keith Show and in a fourth-season episode of The Cosby Show (1988), both NBC sitcoms. A good portion of his later years on television was consumed by his weekly appearances on the long-running country music/comedy show, Hee-Haw. Taylor's participation lasted six seasons, 1985-1991, where he was mostly seen as a regular in the Lulu's Truck Stop skit featuring Lulu Roman and Gailord Sartain. Taylor's routine was to complain about the food being served.
Dub made at least two television and movie cameo appearances in the early 1990s. In addition to this Back to the Future III appearance, he was in the film Maverick (1994), as a hotel room clerk, which was his last film appearance. In addition to son Buck, he had a daughter, Faydean Taylor Tharp (born ca. 1931) of the Greater Los Angeles Area.
Death and legacy
Dub's son, Buck Taylor (b. May 13, 1938 in Hollywood, California), is also a veteran actor and a painter in his own right. Buck played deputy Newly O'Brien on CBS's long-running Gunsmoke. Before he joined the Gunsmoke cast, Buck Taylor appeared in ten episodes of the largely forgotten ABC western, The Monroes in 1966-1967. Dub appeared in two of those episodes and also guest starred numerous times on Gunsmoke. Buck and Dub both appeared together in the 1991 Turner Network Television film Conagher starring Buck Taylor's friend, actor Sam Elliott and Elliott's wife, actress Katharine Ross.
In early 2006, filmmaker Mark Stokes began directing a feature-length documentary on the life of Dub Taylor, That Guy: The Legacy of Dub Taylor, which has received support from the Taylor Family and many of Dub's previous co-workers, including Bill Cosby, Peter Fonda, Dixie Carter, John Mellencamp, Don Collier, and Cheryl Rogers-Barnett. The project is from executive producers Stokes and James Kicklighter from JamesWorks Entertainment and Professor Pauper.