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Christopher Lloyd

Actor

Christopher Allen Lloyd

born October 22, 1938 is an American actor. He has appeared in theater productions, films, and television since 1961, and is known for portraying Emmett “Doc” Brown in the Back to the Future trilogy (1985–1990) and Jim Ignatowski in the comedy series Taxi (1978–1983), winning two Emmy Awards for the latter.

Lloyd came to public attention in Northeastern theater productions during the 1960s and early 1970s, earning Drama Desk and Obie awards for his work, and making his cinematic debut in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975). Lloyd also starred as Commander Kruge in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984), Judge Doom in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), and Uncle Fester in The Addams Family (1991) and its sequel Addams Family Values (1993).

Lloyd earned a third Emmy for his 1992 guest appearance in Road to Avonlea, and won an Independent Spirit Award for his performance in Twenty Bucks (1993). He has done extensive voice work, including Merlock in DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp (1990), Grigori Rasputin in Anastasia (1997), the Woodsman in the Cartoon Network miniseries Over the Garden Wall (2014), and the Hacker in PBS Kids series Cyberchase (2002–present), which earned him two further Emmy nominations. Lloyd has also been nominated for two Saturn Awards and a BIFA Award.

Early life

Lloyd was born on October 22, 1938, in Stamford, Connecticut, the son of Ruth Lloyd (née Lapham; 1896–1984), a singer and sister of San Francisco mayor Roger Lapham, and her husband Samuel R. Lloyd, Jr, a lawyer. He is the youngest of three boys and four girls, one of whom, Samuel Lloyd, was an actor in the 1950s and 1960s. Lloyd’s maternal grandfather, Lewis Henry Lapham, was one of the founders of the Texaco oil company and Lloyd is also a descendant of Mayflower passengers, including John Howland. Lloyd was raised in Westport, Connecticut where he attended Staples High School and was involved in founding the high school’s theatre company, Staples Players.

Career

loyd began his career apprenticing at summer theaters in Mount Kisco, New York, and Hyannis, Massachusetts. He took acting classes in New York City at age 19—some at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre with Sanford Meisner—and he recalled making his New York theater debut in a 1961 production of Fernando Arrabal’s play And They Put Handcuffs on the Flowers, saying, “I was a replacement and it was my first sort of job in New York.” He made his Broadway debut in the short-lived Red, White and Maddox (1969), and went on to Off-Broadway roles in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Kaspar (February 1973), The Harlot and the Hunted, The Seagull (January 1974), Total Eclipse (February 1974), Macbeth, In the Boom Boom Room, Cracks, Professional Resident Company, What Every Woman Knows, The Father, King Lear, Power Failure and, in mid-1972, appeared in a Jean Cocteau double bill, Orphee and The Human Voice, at the Jean Cocteau Theater at 43 Bond Street.

Lloyd returned to Broadway for the musical Happy End. He performed in Andrzej Wajda’s adaptation of Dostoyevsky’s The Possessed at Yale Repertory Theater, and in Jay Broad’s premiere of Whte Pelican at the P.A.F. Playhouse in Huntington Station, New York, on Long Island.

In 1977, he said of his training at the Neighborhood Playhouse under Meisner, “My work up to then had been very uneven. I would be good one night, dull the next. Meisner made me aware of how to be consistent in using the best that I have to offer. But I guess nobody can teach you the knack, or whatever it is, that helps you come to life on stage.”

His first movie role was as a psychiatric patient in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975). He is known for his work as “Reverend” Jim Ignatowski, the ex-hippie cabbie on the sitcom Taxi, for which he won two Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series; and the eccentric inventor Emmett “Doc” Brown in the Back to the Future trilogy for which he was nominated for a Saturn Award. In 1985, he appeared in the pilot episode of Street Hawk. In 1986, he played the reviled Professor B.O. Beanes on the television series Amazing Stories. Other roles include Klingon Commander Kruge in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984) (on suggestion of fellow actor and friend Leonard Nimoy), Professor Plum in Clue (1985), Professor Dimple in an episode of Road to Avonlea (for which he won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series),[16] the villain Judge Doom in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), a wacky sound effects man named Zoltan in Radioland Murders (1994) and Uncle Fester in the movie adaptations of The Addams Family (1991).

Lloyd at the Fort Lauderdale Film Festival, November 2015

Lloyd portrayed the star character in the adventure game Toonstruck, released in November 1996. In 1999, he was reunited onscreen with Michael J. Fox in an episode of Spin City entitled “Back to the Future IV — Judgment Day”, in which Lloyd plays Owen Kingston, the former mentor of Fox’s character, Mike Flaherty’s who stopped by City Hall to see him, only to proclaim himself God. That same year, Lloyd starred in the movie remake of the 1960s series My Favorite Martian. He starred on the television series Deadly Games in the mid-1990s and was a regular on the sitcom Stacked in the mid-2000s. In 2003, he guest-starred in three of the 13 produced episodes of Tremors: The Series as the character Cletus Poffenburger. In November 2007, Lloyd was reunited onscreen with his former Taxi co-star Judd Hirsch in the season-four episode “Graphic” of the television series Numb3rs as Ross Moore. He then played the role of Ebenezer Scrooge in a 2008 production of A Christmas Carol at the Kodak Theatre with John Goodman and Jane Leeves.In 2009, he appeared in a comedic trailer for a faux horror film version of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory entitled Gobstopper, in which he played Willy Wonka as a horror-movie-style villain.

In the summer of 2010, he starred as Willy Loman in a Weston Playhouse production of Death of a Salesman. That September, he reprised his role as Doctor Emmett Brown in Back to the Future: The Game, an episodic adventure game series developed by Telltale Games. On January 21, 2011, he appeared in “The Firefly” episode of the J. J. Abrams television series Fringe as Roscoe Joyce. That August, he reprised the role of Dr. Emmett Brown (from Back to the Future) as part of an advertising campaign for Garbarino,an Argentine appliance company, and also as part of Nike’s “Back For the Future” campaign for the benefit of The Michael J. Fox Foundation. In 2012 and 2013, Lloyd reprised the role of Brown in two episodes of the stopmotion series Robot Chicken. He was a guest star on the 100th episode of the USA Network sitcom Psych as Martin Khan in 2013.

In May 2013, Lloyd appeared as the narrator and the character Azdak in the Bertold Brecht play The Caucasian Chalk Circle, produced by the Classic Stage Company in New York.

On the October 21, 2015, episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live, Lloyd and Michael J. Fox appeared in a Back to the Future skit to commemorate the date in the second installment of the movie trilogy.

In May 2018, Lloyd made a cameo appearance in the episode titled “No Country For Old Women” of Roseanne, where he played the role of Lou, the boyfriend to the mother of Roseanne and Jackie, and in late 2019 provided the voice of Master Xehanort for the “Re Mind” downloadable content pack of Kingdom Hearts III, taking over the role from the late Leonard Nimoy and Rutger Hauer.

Personal life

Lloyd first was married to Catharine Dallas Dixon Boyd, on June 6, 1959 The couple divorced in 1971 after 12 years of marriage. He was next married to actress Kay Tornborg, from 1974 to 1987. Lloyd’s third marriage, to Carol Ann Vanek, lasted from 1988 to 1991. His fourth marriage, to screenwriter Jane Walker Wood, lasted from 1992 to 2005. They have 1 son together.

After his divorce from Wood, Lloyd bought a smaller house in Montecito, California, on March 23, 2007, and that May listed his 8.07-acre old estate for over $11 million; the price was later dropped to $6.5 million. Wood and Lloyd had bought the house in 1997 for $1.6 million. This home, which was on the market at the time, was destroyed in the Tea Fire of November 2008 in Montecito, California. By August 5, 2016, Lloyd was engaged to Lisa Loiacono, a real estate broker. Lloyd married Loiacono in November 2016.

Lloyd’s philanthropist mother, Ruth Lapham Lloyd, died in 1984 at age 88. Her surviving children at the time, aside from Christopher, were Donald L. Mygatt, Antoinette L. Mygatt Lucas, Samuel Lloyd III, Ruth Lloyd Scott Ax and Adele L. Kinney. Lloyd’s nephew, Sam Lloyd (1963–2020), was best known for playing Ted Buckland, the lawyer on Scrubs.

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