George Taylor

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George Taylor (b. Derbyshire, **/**/1881? - **/**/****) was an actor and singer.

Biography

George Taylor was born in rural Derbyshire and worked on his father’s farm before securing a job organising all the sports and concerts for what became the City of London Mental Hospital. A choir member from an early age, he started taking singing lessons from Robert Charlesworth, a soloist with the famous Sheffield Choir, which was to tour South Africa in 1911. Eventually, from classic oratorios he turned to more humorous songs. In Australia he teamed up with Naomi McQuoin (1887-1962), described as “a dainty soubrette”, and toured with one of the Dandies groups organised by Edward Branscombe. They married in 1913 and as a musical comedy duo became very popular. They must have been an interesting combination, as he was supposedly 6’4” tall and she was just 4’6”. In South Africa they appeared in shows at the Empire Palace, including The Bing Boys Are Here (1918), A Funnier Fare (1918), Xtra Speshul (1919) and the pantomime The Babes in the Woods (1919), with Thomas Pauncefort as Simple Simon and Alec Kellaway as General Smuts in the patriotic finale. His height must have been an advantage when H. Lisle Lucoque cast him as Prince Nasta in Allan Quatermain (1919) and Joseph Albrecht selected him for the title role in Isban (1920), both for African Film Productions. Afterwards the couple returned to Australia where they appeared on stage in The Midnight Frolics (1923) and other shows. (FO)

Sources

The Mail, Adelaide, 15 November 1913

Le Roux, André I. & Fourie, Lilla – Filmverlede: geskiedenis van die Suid-Afrikaanse speelfilm (1982)

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