William S Taylor

Actor – Director – Musician

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William is an actor, musician and director based in Vancouver, B.C.  To find out about upcoming performances check out the  Gigs page.

 

William Taylor Bio

William Taylor was born in New Orleans and moved to Seattle with his family at age 14. Athletically, creatively, and academically gifted, he was High School All American in football and track and field in 1965. With offers from schools all across the United States, he chose Eastern Washington until BC Lions recruited him to join the CFL and play pro-ball when he moved north to Vancouver.

Raised by a mother with a strong work ethic and driven to excel at whatever he undertook, he transformed the boxing lessons that were part of his football training into the title of Canadian Heavyweight Champion of 1967. He also qualified for the Pan-American Games and the 1968 Canadian Olympics Team. However, the life of a professional athlete did not satisfy his need for self-expression. He missed the music which infused his New Orleans childhood and so began to study music theory, voice, and bass. As a singer, he toured BC and Alberta with several different bands.

Still striving for higher standards, he enrolled in the music program at Vancouver City College, where he acquired a thorough education in classical and improvational music. The singular resonance of his 3-octave basso profundo voice soon attracted the attention of theatre directors, though he resisted offers and moved to New York to play jazz. Formed in 2000, his band Master Builder was an early Jazz/Blues fusion. He is currently readying to record his band Fah True in Vancouver, Canada.

When New York theatre also paid attention, he became interested. His children being in Canada, he returned to Canadian theatre, where he stunned audiences with his performance as Charlie Parker at the Vancouver Cultural Centre. This triumph led to Shakespeare at the Vancouver Playhouse, where he played Oberon and Theseus. Especially noteworthy was his performance as Othello the Moor at the Vancouver Shakespeare Festival. With the passion and intensity he typically brought to his work, he became a dedicated student of acting. His interest in South African playwright Athol Fugard led to sensitive and refined portrayals of the leading characters in the Fugard canon.

Offers came from music, theatre, and film and he embarked on years of work with some of the most talented and esteemed writers, directors, and actors of the day. An offer from Los Angeles resulted in steady Guest Star roles in the popular series. With strong family ties to Canada he continued to work on both sides of the border, while studying at intensive actors’ workshops and studios. In 1997 he was nominated for Best Actor of the Year by the NAACP Dramalogue in Hollywood, the same year in which he was a member of the winning ensemble for a production at the Mark Taper Forum. (Oliver Mayer’s Blade to the Heat, a depiction of gay pro boxers)

On location in Acapulco for 54 episodes of the Tarzan series, he learned the technical aspects of film making, landing him a recurring role on 90210 and numerous Guest Star roles in various episodic shows. Concurrently he co-starred for 4 seasons in the Canadian series Neon Rider.

Throughout his journey, he has mentored, sponsored, and taught students of the arts, particularly minorities and disadvantaged teens. With 2 sisters who were Christian ministers, the family value of social contribution and helping others has always been part of his makeup. William Taylor continues to accept roles in television and film.