Taylor was born in Streatham and lived in Stanthorpe Road Streatham and is credited as the first British film star to appear in a "talkie" film.
She made her first screen appearance as a child actor in the 1907 film His Daughter's Voice. She went on to appear in more than 150 film roles, appearing in a number of larger-budget films such as Shadow of Egypt which was shot on location in Egypt in 1924. Taylor was one of the major British stars of the 1910s and early 1920s.
In 1915 she was voted the most popular British performer by readers of Pictures and the Picturegoers, comfortably beating Charlie Chaplin into second place.
She acted only occasionally after 1932, appearing in films such as Lilacs in the Spring, Blue Murder at St Trinian's and A Night to Remember during the 1950s.