Rod Taylor: The Aussie Actor Who Hit It Big in ‘The Birds’

You might remember Rod Taylor as Mitch Brenner, the handsome, stolid lawyer who, despite being something of a mama’s boy, summons up the courage and presence of mind to repeatedly rescue young socialite Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren) from flocks of inexplicably murderous avians in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 horror-suspense classic, The Birds. Taylor, who died Jan. 7 at age 84 in Los Angeles, was one of the first Australian-born actors to make it big in Hollywood, following in the footsteps of …

Susan Sarandon: When Stage Mothers Go Wild

Susan Sarandon plays the Stage Mother from Hell in her new movie, The Last of Robin Hood: Her character turns a blind eye when her 15-year-old daughter (Dakota Fanning) starts an affair with a middle-aged Errol Flynn (Kevin Kline). The movie is set in the late 1950s, but the Oscar-winning Sarandon says Stage Mom Syndrome has, if anything, gotten worse. “There are some crazy moms out there,” Sarandon told me recently. “You see it on the set: Mothers who won’t …