AceShowbiz - Rod Taylor, the Australian-born actor who starred in "The Birds", "The Time Machine" and most recently in Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds", passed away on Wednesday, January 7, his representative told PEOPLE. He was 84.
His daughter Felicia, a former CNN correspondent, said in a statement, "My dad loved his work. Being an actor was his passion - calling it an honorable art and something he couldn't live without. He once said, 'I am a poor student sitting at the feet of giants, yearning for their wisdom and begging for lessons that might one day make me a complete artist, so that if all goes well, I may one day sit beside them.' "
His co-star in "The Birds" Tippi Hedren remembered him, "There are so many incredible feelings I have for him. Rod was a great pal to me and a real strength, we were very, very good friends. He was one of the most fun people I have ever met, thoughtful and classy, there was everything good in that man."
In other news, Andrae Crouch, the seven-time Grammy-winning gospel singer, songwriter, arranger, producer and pastor, died on Thursday afternoon, January 8 at the age of 72. His representative, Brian Mayes, told Los Angeles Times that the singer died at around 4:30 P.M. at Northridge Hospital Medical Center in Los Angeles from complications after suffering a heart attack on Saturday.
During his hospitalization, his twin sister Sandra Crouch asked fans to pray for him on Facebook. "On Saturday, January 3rd, my brother, Andrae Crouch, was taken to the hospital so that medical staff could more directly address some serious health complications that had arisen," she wrote, "At this time, Andrae is being attended to by a medical team, and we are so grateful for their wonderful care."
"We are also so grateful for the many thousands of people around the world who are praying for Andrae right now," she continued, "We ask for your continued prayer - that Andrae will respond positively to the medical attention being given to him at this time, and that he will fully recover from this current health complication. Thank you so much...Sandra Crouch."
Andrae wrote some popular gospel songs like "The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power", "My Tribute (To God Be the Glory)" and "Soon and Very Soon". He worked as an arranger with Michael Jackson, Madonna, Elton John, Quincy Jones and Diana Ross. He was the person who directed the choirs that sang on Michael's "Man in the Mirror" and Madonna's "Like a Prayer".
Andrae's recent "Let the Church Say Amen" Celebration tour was canceled back in December after he was hospitalized with pneumonia and congestive heart failure.