Sad news: According to CNN, Rod Taylor, who played Mitch Brenner in Alfred Hitchcock's 'The Birds,' passed away on Jan. 7, just two days before he was due to turn 85. He died at home in Los Angeles.

Originally from Australia, Rod had his first breakthrough role after starring in 'The Time Machine' -- the film adaption of H.G. Wells' famous sci-fi story. His film repertoire is an impressive one, including 'The V.I.P.s' where he starred opposite Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. He also starred alongside Doris Day in 'The Glass Bottom Boat' -- just to name a few. Rod most recently played Winston Churchill in 'Inglorious Basterds' in 2009.

Rod was noted for his film choices, telling Screenland magazine in an interview in 1961 (quote via the Hollywood Reporter), "To a large degree, those early lean days were self-imposed. I would only do the good things. I wouldn't do anything I didn't consider prestige. I'd much rather turn down a starring role in a bad picture and do a small role in a very good picture."

We'd like to extend our condolences to Rod's family and friends during this difficult time.

Stars We Lost in 2014