Australian actor Rod Taylor, who rose to film fame in Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" and "The Time Machine", died Thursday in Los Angeles. He was 84. 

Taylor's daughter Felicia confirmed the news in a statement to media outlets. 

"My dad loved his work," Felicia Taylor's statement read, in part. "Being an actor was his passion – calling it an honorable art and something he couldn't live without."

Taylor was born and raised in Sydney, but spent the bulk of his career in Hollywood. His first major role was that of the inventor in George Pal's 1960 adaptation of H.G. Wells's famous novel. That same year, he voiced the character of Pongo, the lead dog in Disney's "101 Dalmatians."

Three years later came his most memorable role when he played Mitch Brenner alongside Hitchcock regular Tippi Hedren in "The Birds." Hedren, told People magazine Thursday that Taylor had been "a great pal to me and a real strength".

"He was one of the most fun people I have ever met, thoughtful and classy. There was everything good in that man," she said.

Despite his early success, Taylor's career never again matched those heights, and he had become known as a television actor by the 1980s. During the latter stages of his career, he had recurring roles on "Falcon Crest," "Murder, She Wrote," and "Walker, Texas Ranger."

Taylor came out of retirement for his final film appearance, a cameo role as Winston Churchill in 2009's "Inglorious Basterds."

Taylor, who would have celebrated his 85th birthday Sunday, is survived by wife Carol Kikumura, in addition to his daughter.

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