Ted Taylor RIP
I just heard this morning that UK “modelling legend” Ted Taylor passed away yesterday of the crime of growing old enough to do so. (We’re all headed toward that “guilty” verdict)
I only knew him the way I know most of you – through the internet – but it’s been my pleasure to learn over the years when I have met any “virtual world” modeling friend in the “real world” that they’re always exactly what I expected as a person. I’m sure it would have been lots of fun to spend any time in Ted’s company, since he was always enthusiastic about life. I’ve never built a truck, but I have improved my models reading Ted’s accounts of how to build a truck, and looking at the masterpieces he turned out. As well all the rest he did in every other genre.
I take great personal pleasure in the fact that, the first time I contacted Ted, he took it as a compliment that I would want to talk to him. That, however, is something I have found across the board throughout my life: the people who Really Know What They Know are never the ones trumpeting the fact. They never have any secrets about what they do or how they do it, and they love nothing better than sharing it. And no matter how much they do that, no matter how many other people take their advice and put it to work, you can always tell their work. John Alonzo, the cinematographer of “Chinatown” (among many others) once told me how he enjoyed “backstopping” young cinematographers, promising to step up and take over if they proved incapable, so they could get their first gig as Director of Photography. Someone once asked him if he wasn’t worried about “promoting the competition”, to which he replied, “There’s no one else who can shoot a John Alonzo picture.” Ted was exactly the same way and had the exact same confidence, for the exact same reason.
Too often, I find myself paying too much attention to the lesser lights, but the truth is that I’ve met some of the most interesting people ever through this hobby. Ted was definitely on that list.
And if a life can be judged by the reactions of others to one’s departure, I think it’s obvious from replies elsewhere that Ted indeed had A Life Well-Lived. We can all only hope for similar memories.