Los Angeles: Actor Rod Taylor, the star of "The Birds" and "The Time Machine" died at 84, just days ahead of his 85th birthday.
Taylor died of natural causes Wednesday, his representative told people.com.
The actor, who would have turned a year older Sunday, died at his home here, surrounded by his family and friends. He is survived by Carol, his wife of 35 years, and his daughter Felicia.
"My dad loved his work. Being an actor was his passion, calling it an honorable art and something he couldn't live without," Felicia said in a statement.
Taylor's big breakthrough came with his starring turn in "The Time Machine", director George Pal's 1960 adaptation of the H.G. Wells's 1895 sci-fi classic.
He also played the heroic Mitch Brenner in Alfred Hitchcock's 1963 classic "The Birds", coming to the aid of Tippi Hedren, and he starred opposite Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in another 1963 release, "The V.I.P.s".
Most recently, he played Winston Churchill in Quentin Tarantino's "Inglorious Basterds" (2009).