William Desmond Taylor, as he is popularly known as, was born as William Cunningham Deane-Tanner in Carlow, Ireland. Since an early age, he showed an interest in filmmaking and acting. Though he did take up stage acting for sometime early in his career, he gave up the same to run an English Antique shop set by his father in law. However, suffering from mental lapses, he suddenly vanished one morning and was later found working as an actor and director in Hollywood. In his almost a decade of film career, he acted in various movies and directed about 60-odd films. Some of his most famous directorial ventures include, ‘The Diamond From the Sky’, ‘Tom Sawyer’, ‘How Could You, Jean?’, ‘Anne of Green Gables’ and ‘Huckleberry Finn’. He even served in World War I but before he could be transferred to France, the war came to an end. Just like his sudden disappearance in 1908, his death was also unexpected and abrupt. He was murdered at his home on February 1, 1922. Though there were numerous names that were laid out as suspects, his murderer could not be found.
A century ago, Hollywood’s favorite director was gunned down in his own home. Although there is no shortage of suspects, this murder remains unsolved. William Desmond Taylor, Dec. 1915, Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain.