Not one to stay in the limelight, Rachael Taylor does not need to rely on the status of her partners to maintain her celebrity status. Australian actress and model, Taylor stepped into the Hollywood lights when she debuted as the popular figure, Maggie, in the film “Transformers”. Since then, she has made an appearance in notable and iconic films such as the remake of “Charlie’s Angels”, and the ever-popular “Grey’s Anatomy”. Rachael is also known for the scandal surrounding her recent relationships; this is through no fault of her own, but due to the domestic abuse she has suffered, and the surreptitious nature of her most recent relationship.
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Early Life and Family
Rachael Taylor was born on 11 July 1984, in Launceston, Tasmania, Australia to British parents Cristine and Nigel Taylor.
As the only child of the couple, Taylor enjoyed a comfortable childhood, showered with love and care. Both her parents and her grandparents owned caravans, and this allowed them to nurture a close relationship constructed around family vacations and traveling along the East Coast. Today she still maintains an affinity for her homeland, describing Tasmania as having ‘a lovely confused beauty. It’s a majestic place.’
Rachael’s future careers were foreshadowed from an early age. She had a distinct interest in acting, participating in multiple school plays, and even tried her hand at modeling and pageantry. In 1988 at the age of 14, she competed in the Miss Teen Tasmania beauty pageant, which marked her first win in the beauty industry.
However, this is not a phase in her life that Taylor likes to remember. She told Australian “The Fitzy & Wippa Show” that ‘It’s the humiliation of my life. It was really embarrassing.” She did go on to compete in the state finals, she soon left this life behind to move into a new stage of her life.
Just like the majority of her life, Rachael Taylor’s education follows an eventful pattern. Taylor attended Riverside High School in her hometown, however, by the age of 16 she already knew that she wanted to become an actress. A little while, and a lot of persuasive action, later, Taylor moved to Sydney to become an actress. According to the initial agreement she and her parents had put in place, she was supposed to complete her high school career through correspondence.
Rachael told “The Sunday Morning Herald” that she ended up having to return home to Launceston to finish her schooling properly. Despite this hiccup, Taylor still did well enough to qualify for a degree in History and Politics. She attended the University of Sydney to pursue her degree, but deferred her studies to pursue her acting career. Since then she has returned to university to study International Relations. What comes as a surprise to many, is the fact that Rachael never had any formal training in acting, and learned it all on the job.
Acting and Modelling
Rachael Taylor started her career as a model for Skye-Jilly International Agency when she was only a teenager, but soon graduated from the beauty industry into acting and film.
Taylor has previously said that “Women are asked to consider their beauty too much” and has consequently chosen a career that focuses more on innate ability than physical attributes.
Taylor’s first adventure into film came when she was cast in “The Mystery of Natalie Wood” in 2004. The film followed the accounts of the family of friends to create a flowing narrative of the life and mysterious death of actress Natalie Wood, perhaps best known for playing Maria in “West Side Story”. Subsequently, she played a few minor roles before finally landing a leading role in the Australian TV series “Headland” in 2005 – for her performance in the series, she has received a Logie Award for Most Popular New Female Talent.
In 2006, Rachael Taylor made her way to Los Angeles and the bright lights of Hollywood.
This turned out to be one of the best moves in her career, as she was cast in the 2007 “Transformers” as Maggie Madsen. This was a pivotal point in her career, that allowed her to work alongside the star-studded cast that included well-known names such as Megan Fox, prolific Josh Duhamel, and French-American actor Shia LeBeouf.
After her Hollywood debut, Rachael Taylor became one of the most sought-after actresses in the industry, making appearances in multiple films including “Red Dog” (2011), “The Loft” (2014), and “Finding Steve McQueen” (2019), and scoring a recurring role in “Grey’s Anatomy”. Taylor also plays the role of Trish Walker in the Marvel series “Jessica Jones”, incredibly important to her as it focuses on a woman trapped in an abusive relationship and the effect thereof.
Having experienced this herself, she feels she can be passionate about the project, and relishes the opportunity to bring this topic into the light.
Writing and Producing
Like many actresses and actors in the industry, Taylor soon became interested in what goes on behind the scenes to create films and series. Rachael co-created and directed the web series “PILLOW TALK” which ran from 2017, and currently has another series in the pipeline, which she has been developing with Sharon Horgan from “Hello Merman”.
Rachael Taylor currently lives on the beach a short distance away from Santa Monica. She loves to cook and has many friends in the acting community. She relates that she finally feels confident in her body and self. She is in a loving relationship with her current boyfriend; however, things have not always been so idyllic.
Rachael Taylor and Matthew Newton
Rachael and Matthew started dating in 2008, and the public was starry-eyed at the cute couple’s relationship. Yet there was a much darker side to Matthew than the public knew – he had previously been charged with four offenses against his previous girlfriend, Brooke Sachwell, including stalking and assault. Ultimately, his lawyer managed to get him off on probation, arguing that he was unlikely to repeat the offense. He could not have been more wrong.
Rachael and Matthew became engaged, but the happiness was soon shattered. After being thrown out of a bar in 2010 after a brief altercation with a man who had approached Rachael, Newton assaulted his fiancée in their hotel later that night, allegedly punching Taylor in the face, leaving her with concussion and a sprained jaw.
News at the time revealed that in addition to his psychological issues, Newton had been abusing alcohol and using various narcotics, including cocaine, methamphetamines and marijuana. Taylor then filed for an Apprehended Violence Order against Newton and the two ended their relationship. Rachael asserted that she had been experiencing abuse of all types – verbal, psychological, and physical – at the hands of her fiancée for at least a year. This was not the end of her troubles with Newton, as he later breached the terms of his AVO in 2011. Newton spent much of his life in treatment for his bipolar disorder, and acquired an extensive rap sheet, including the alleged assault of a 66-year old taxi driver, two counts of resisting arrest, plus trespassing and battery.
Taylor reveals that at first she felt “stupid” and ashamed of being a victim of abuse, but she now uses this experience to empower other women. There is nothing she can do about the tattoo on the inside of her wrist that says ‘Matthew’, but she has rebuilt herself into a stronger and more resilient woman. Since these events, she has opened up to various sources to discuss the abuse she suffered, as well as her recovery process.
Rachel Taylor and Mike Piscitelli
Rachael has kept her more recent relationship out of the public eye. She and Mike, photographer and director, had been dating for two years before she finally released that information to the public in 2015. Taylor says that their relationship is what makes her most proud, especially in the wake of her traumatic experience with Newton.
— Deadline Hollywood (@DEADLINE) January 30, 2015
Rachael has been sporting what many speculate to be an engagement ring on her ring finger since 2017. An additional ring has the public wondering if she and Mike have tied the knot, however, no such rumors have been confirmed by the parties involved.
Rachael Taylor is a reputedly stunning actress with a pale complexion and shoulder-length blonde hair and pale green eyes. Taylor is slender and keeps to a healthy workout routine. She is 5ft 8ins (1.72m) tall and weighs 126lbs (57kgs).
Net Worth and Salary
Taylor has made ripples in the industry, progressing from small parts played in local films and TV series to big-time Hollywood movies. Her net worth reflects her journey, growing to as high as an estimated $4 million. While some may feel that this is a paltry sum, Taylor is not looking for awards and glitz and glam. She is simply doing what she loves and living the life that makes her happiest.