Last week, we said goodbye to the oldest working actor in Hollywood. The legendary Norman Lloyd worked with everyone from Alfred Hitchcock to Judd Apatow. He was a charter member of Orson Welles’s Mercury Theater. Yet his experience provided him with a wealth of stories and the wisdom of experience. His professional career extended across the stage, cinema, television and radio, and included credits as an actor, producer and director. In addition to Hitchcock, Welles and Apatow, he was directed by Charlie Chaplin, Elia Kazan, and Martin Scorsese, among others. He also acted alongside Chaplin, Welles, Gregory Peck, Ingrid Bergman, Karl Malden, Anthony Hopkins, Robin Williams, Daniel Day-Lewis and Amy Schumer.
In losing Lloyd, we said goodbye to a living history of the film and television industry – in fact, Lloyd’s good friend Karl Malden basically said that exact same thing. Maybe this is why the Coen Brothers reportedly offered him a role in their homage “Hail, Caesar!” their homage to the Golden Age of Hollywood. Sadly, his doctors advised him to turn down at the time. Even without the Coens, it’s a pretty solid bet to claim there was literally no one in Hollywood who has worked with all those great directors and actors. He even flipped the script on occasion: in the famous television episode “The Man from the South” Lloyd directed Steve McQueen his first roles. If you haven’t seen it, we definitely recommend—it’s based on a story by Roald Dahl and has a clever twist that still provides chills, or a demented laugh, today.
Lloyd’s life and career offered great insight into what it was like to work just outside the limelight (though, of course, Lloyd did appear in Chaplin’s “Limelight”). Lloyd’s firsthand knowledge of events ranging from the infamous Hollywood Blacklist era to the emergence of streaming content and social media was a treasure trove of wisdom. We were fortunate to be able to sit down and chat with him to hear some of his incredible stories firsthand. Stay tuned for more of these to be released on HV!