Norman Lloyd was a name I wasn’t truly familiar with when I drifted into the Classic Hollywood online community. However, it didn’t take long for me to finally put a name behind the face I’d seen in movies my entire life. My eyes were opened even wider the first time I attended the TCM Classic Film Festival and not only saw the vibrant and charismatic man in action (he was a sprightly 103 at the time), but also the pure love and respect he earned from his fans. The Old Hollywood community is such a small one that figures like Norman Lloyd, who come out to not only meet fans, but share the stories we’re all passionate about, quickly find themselves endeared to so many and their memory should be celebrated.
A look over Norman Lloyd’s filmography shows exactly why he’s one of Hollywood’s most treasured performers. His earliest credits come in 1939 and he’d hardly amassed a handful of roles before he landed the part which endears him to audiences even today, that of Frank Fry in the 1942 Alfred Hitchcock film, Saboteur.
However, in a career that encompassed almost 80 years, Saboteur really was just the beginning. Lloyd appeared regularly on the big screen in still well-known films like A Place in the Sun, Spellbound and Limelight. In simply looking at these few films, Lloyd already establishes himself as a journeyman performer of the highest order.
Yet, this isn’t even factoring in the expanse of his work on the small screen as television rose to prominence in the 1950s. Not only did he act, but he grew his reputation behind the camera and began not only producing, but directing shows like Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Columbo and The Name of the Game. He continued working behind the camera deep into the 1980s and remained active in front of the camera on television well into the turn of the new century. If you watched shows like Modern Family or The Practice over the last two decades, chances are you’ve seen Norman Lloyd in action.
Attendees of the TCM Classic Film Festival have their own memories of Norman Lloyd, who was a regular festival attendee. Lloyd showed up every year, he always brought a smile and a desire to interact with the passionate fans who come together to celebrate Classic Hollywood. Chances are, if you’re a regular TCMFF attendee, you have your own Norman Lloyd memories. He shared his stories and these moments should be treasured.
Norman Lloyd passed away today at the age of 106, but he leaves the Classic Hollywood community a better place. Not only did he leave audiences with dozens of memorable and entertaining roles, but he gave of himself to our community. He shared his time, he shared his memories and he told us his stories. These are the most important contributions anyone with a passion for history can ask for.
What are your favorite Norman Lloyd memories? Let us know in the comments!
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Podcaster, film historian, and general lover of all things classic film and television. Studying the contributions of women behind the camera in classic television.
You can find me on Twitter @kpierce624!