LOS ANGELES – Norman Lloyd, whose kind role of Dr. Daniel Auschlander on “St. Elsewhere ”was just one chapter in a distinguished career on stage and on screen that put him in the company of Orson Welles, and other greats, has passed away. He was 106 years old.
Lloyd’s son Michael Lloyd said his father died at his home in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles on Tuesday.
Its credits range from the first known American television drama, “On the Streets of New York” from 1939, to 21st century projects including “Modern Family” and “The Practice”.
“If modern cinema history has a voice, it’s Norman Lloyd’s,” critic Kenneth Turan wrote in The Los Angeles Times in 2012 after Lloyd regaled a Cannes Film Festival crowd with anecdotes about friends and rarefied colleagues, including Charlie Chaplin and Jean Renoir.
The nervous 5-foot-5 Lloyd, whose energy was also limitless offscreen, continued to play tennis until he was 90 years old. In 2015, he appeared in Amy Schumer’s comedy “Trainwreck”.
His most notable role in the film was as the collapsing villain of the Statue of Liberty in 1942 “Saboteur”, directed by Hitchcock, who also played Lloyd in the classic 1945 thriller “Spellbound.”
His other movie credits include “The Southerner” by Jean Renoir, “Limelight” by Charlie Chaplin, “Dead Poets Society” with Robin Williams, “In Her Shoes” with Cameron Diaz and “Gangs of New York” with Daniel Day-Lewis .
On Broadway, Lloyd played Louis Calhern’s Fool vs. King Lear in 1950, starred with Jessica Tandy in the comedy “Madame, Are You Going to Walk” and directed Jerry Stiller in “The Shrew of the Shrew” in 1957.
It was also part of Welles’ 1937 fascist-era production titled “Julius Caesar,” which went down in history as one of the historic plays of American theater. Norman played the small but important role of Cinna the poet, opposite Welles’ Brutus. Stage magazine made the cover of Welles in June and proclaimed the production “one of the most exciting dramatic events of our time.”
Born on November 8, 1914 in Jersey City, New Jersey, Lloyd started out as a youth in the 1920s. On stage, he was a regular at the Mercury Theater in Welles, the revolutionary troupe of the 1930s which also included Joseph Cotton and Agnes Moorehead and formed the basis of Welles’ classic debut film, “Citizen Kane”.
His other plays include “Crime,” directed by Elia Kazan and starring his future wife, Peggy Craven. The couple married for 75 years, until Peggy Lloyd died in 2011 at age 98.
Viewers knew him best as the memorable quiet hub of St. Eligius Hospital in the 1982-99 NBC drama series “St. Elsewhere. His Dr. Daniel Auschlander was originally only supposed to appear in a few episodes, but Lloyd became a series regular and stayed with the series throughout the race. The series would inspire shows such as “ER” and “Grey’s Anatomy”.
Lloyd worked regularly as an actor and television director in the early 1950s, but the political liberal found his career in jeopardy during the period of Hollywood’s blacklist targeting Communists or their sympathizers.
In 1957, Hitchcock came to his rescue, Lloyd told the Los Angeles Times in 2014. When the famous director sought to hire Lloyd as an associate producer for his series “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” but he was told, “There is has a problem with Norman Lloyd, ”Hitchcock didn’t back down, Lloyd recalls.
“He said three words, ‘I want it,’ Lloyd said. He was immediately hired and eventually worked as an executive producer on another series, “The Alfred Hitchcock Hour”.
Her other television credits include roles in “Star Trek: The Next Generation”, “Murder, She Wrote”, “The Paper Chase”, “Quincy ME”, “Kojak” and “The Practice”.
In 2014, in recognition of his 82 years in show business and turning 100, Los Angeles City Council proclaimed that his birthday, November 8, would be honored as “Norman Lloyd Day.”