On this day in comedy on March 31, 1938 Actor, Nathaniel “Rollo” Taylor was born in St. Louis, Missouri, 1938
Nathaniel Taylor gained popularity during the Blaxploitation Era. In 1972, he was featured in the Robert Hook’s hit movie, Trouble Man. Taylor played the most visible henchman; the one with speaking lines as opposed to one of the disposable, die quick henchman. However, Taylor is known chiefly for his role as Rollo Larson on NBC’s hit sitcom, Sanford and Son. Taylor was Lamont Sanford’s recurring running buddy; the embodiment of the cool, yet shifty brother in the hood. He played opposite Redd Foxx and Demond Wilson in the original and reprised the part in the 1980-1981 spin-off Sanford, also starring Foxx (Demond Wilson did not return).
Taylor was more than just a comedic actor. He displayed his range as a sax player looking for his roots with his father (Clarence Muse) in the 1977 film, Passing Through, written by Ted Lange and Lenny Clark. However, comedy was his thing. Taylor worked with Redd Foxx again on the short-lived ABC series The Redd Foxx Show in 1986. He also appeared on What’s Happening!! as Rerun’s brother-in-law, Ike.
By Darryl “D’Militant” Littleton
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