Kent Taylor was a former awning salesman who became best known for his title role in the 1950s television series "Boston Blackie," playing a one-time master thief with a pencil-thin mustache who turned detective.
Taylor appeared in 63 films, including "Ramona" (1936), "The Daltons Ride Again" (1945) and "Girls for Rent" (1974).
His film career began after his family moved to Los Angeles from Iowa, where he had played the saxophone in a small dance band and appeared in school plays. Taylor worked as a salesman in his family's awning business and appeared as a movie extra until Paramount took an interest in the tall, dark-haired aspiring actor and gave him a screen test.
A recovered alcoholic, he received recognition for his work in starting the Beginner's Group of Alcoholics Anonymous in North Hollywood in 1954. He also received a certificate of esteem from the U.S. Department of Defense for his services in providing entertainment for the armed forces in North Africa during World War II. He was also recognized for his volunteer work for the United Jewish Welfare Fund.