Early life, family, educational background
American actor, John Taylor Robert was born on 12 November 1963 in Melbourne, Victoria Australia. He moved to a mining town in Western Australia, and lived with his uncle and aunt after his parents separated when he was nine. As a teenager, he worked as a miner, and later got a job as a lifeguard, then as a bouncer. He attended university three times.
When he was 21, he worked on an oil rig in the Indian Ocean. Off the west coast of Australia, his ship collided with another and sank, luckily he escaped on a lifeboat with his two crewmates.
He suffered with broken ribs and a fractured arm, but while in hospital, he saw an advertisement for auditions to attend a drama school in Perth. He auditioned at 24 and was enrolled in the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA).
He shares a name with the 1940s and 1950s American actor, Robert Taylor, and has fond memories of growing up with his ‘film star’ name. When he was a child, living in northwestern Australia, he was part of a Cub Scout group. He recalls that Aboriginal people have a tendency of naming their children after movie stars, so in his scout group were also ‘Gary Cooper, John Wayne and Matt Dillon’ – of course his name is from his father, who was also named Robert Taylor.
Family’s personal life
He is married to Australian film producer, Ayisha Davies, famous for producing well-known movies including “The Bloody Sweet Hit” in 2007 and 2009’s “Coffin Rock.” Ironically, Robert starred in both of the films. She worked for an Australian television series, “Halifax” as a production secretary before becoming a film producer, and then became a literary manager, representing David Lightfoot and the filmmakers of “SAW,” among several other talents in the Australian film industry.
She currently works for Ultra Films. In 2007, she took her first shot at producing, of the short film “The Bloody Sweet Hit,” directed by Damian Walshe-Howling, which was a huge success.
It was selected to play on various stages, including The St Kilda International Film Festival, Flickerfest, Miami Film Festival, Shorts Film Festival, Movie Extra and London’s Rushes Soho; MTV Italy recently purchased the film. Her other work as a producer includes “What Lola Wants,” “John Doe: Vigilante,” “Press,” “Skylab” and “Rogue.”
In 1988, Robert graduating from WAAPA., and began professional acting career, appearing as Nicholas Walsh in the Australian soap opera, “Home and Away,” which was his first significant role. His first lead role was in 1993’s mini-series, “The Feds,” as David Griffin.
In 2001, he played Father Vincent Sheahan in “Ballykissangel” – the BBC television drama was set in Ireland and directed by Kieran Prendiville. The series follows a rural Irish community in a small village called Ballykissangel and specifically focuses on the local church and pub. The series had a total of six seasons, but Robert only appeared in the last one – his character comes from Australia and deals with Brian Quigley’s strange disappearance, and a new online confessional.
In 2002, he played Paul Bennett in “MDA” and Nicholas Ray in 2004’s “The Mystery of Natalie Wood” directed by American director Peter Bogdanovich. In 2005, he played Kiron in the NBC telemovie “Hercules,” John McCoy in 2010’s “Satisfaction,” Tom O’Neill in “Cops LAC” and Tim Watson-Munro in the 2011 “Killing Time.”
From 2012 to 2017, he played Sheriff Walt Longmire in “Longmire,” the lead role in A&E’s crime drama series which moved to Netflix after the third season. The American-Western series had a total of six seasons, premiering on 3 June 2012 on the A&E and based on Craig Johnson’s mystery novels, “Walt Longmire.” Although it was the highest-rated original drama in A&E’s history, they didn’t renew the series after their third season, so from August 2014, the fourth and following seasons were picked up by Netflix. When speaking about the show, Robert expressed how much of an honor working on the show is. ‘I’ve worked in Ireland, England, New Zealand, Asia and Canada. This is an amazing project with some amazing people, and it’s not renouncing my homeland at all to have the privilege of coming here and working with these people on this show.’
His career has lasted over three decades, and in that time, he’s starred in several more Australian and American TV productions, including “Mr. & Mrs Murder” on the TEN Network, “Ned Kelly,” “Nash’s Vision” and Screentime’s “Underbelly – Tell Them Lucifer Was Here.”
In 1999, he portrayed Agent Jones in the popular film “The Matrix,” which is considered his Hollywood big break. In 2000 he played Skip Taylor in “Vertical Limit,” alongside Scott Glenn and Chris O’Donnell. The action-thriller was directed by Martin Campbell, who also directed “GoldenEye” and “Casino Royale.” In 2002’s “The Hard Word,” he played the lead role, Frank, opposite Rachel Griffiths and Guy Pearce.
He appeared in three movies in 2007, the short film, “The Bloody Sweet Hit” as Lindsay, as Everett in “Rogue” which was directed by Greg McLean and in “Storm Warning’ as Rob, the lead role opposite French actress Nadia Fares – Jamie Blanks directed the film for the American movie production company, Dimension films.
In 2009 he played the lead role of Rob Willis in “Coffin Rock” for Head Gear Films. In 2015, he played alongside Margot Robbie and Will Smith as McEwen in “Focus” directed by John Requa and Glenn Ficarra. That same year, he played another supporting role, as Jed in “What Lola Wants,” opposite Sophie Lowe in the Rupert Glasson-directed film. In 2016, he played Clive Struthers in the Australian feature film directed by David Parker, “Menkoff Method.”
In 2017 he appeared in two films: “Kong: Skull Island” and “Don’t Tell.” In the Australian film, “Don’t Tell,” he plays Robert Brewster and stars opposite Jacqueline McKenzie, Rachel Griffiths, Aden Young and Jack Thompson, directed by Tori Garrett. “Kong: Skull Island,” was written by Dan Gilroy, Max Borenstein and Derek Connolly, and Robert’s role is minor as the captain of the Athena ship; Jordan Vogt-Roberts directed the film. In 2018, he played Heller in the Jon Turteltaub-directed, action sci-fi “The Meg,” opposite Jason Statham. In 2019, he appeared in “Blood Vessel” as Malone and as Frank Parson in “Into the Ashes.”
He has appeared in several Australian television movies, including a few guest roles. Such appearances include “Stingers” and “Blue Heelers” – he is often cast as a police officer.
He co-founded Veg Out, a community garden and farmer’s market in St Kilda, Victoria. In 2019, he received the Medal of the Order of Australia for his service to the community of St Kilda.
After 16 years of dating, Taylor and Ayisha married on 12 July 2017. In 2011, their daughter, Scarlet, was born.
He has reddish-brown hair and blue eyes. He is 6ft 2ins (1.88m) tall and weighs 172lbs (78kgs).
Net worth and salary
As of early 2020, his net worth is estimated at $6.45 million.