Actor, director, and producer Norman Lloyd passed away Monday, May 10 at the age of 106. The actor, a regular staple in the classic film community, was a jack-of-all trades with a career going back to the golden year of 1939. Lloyd’s most notable credits include Alfred Hitchcock’s “Saboteur” and “Spellbound,” the television series “St. Elsewhere,” Martin Scorsese’s “The Age of Innocence,” and Amy Schumer’s “Trainwreck” which he starred in at the age of 100.
Lloyd was born Norman Perlmutter in Jersey City, New Jersey on November 8, 1914. Lloyd started working the vaudeville circuit in New York at age nine. When he graduated high school, he started attending classes at NYU but dropped out quickly. He worked his way up through repertory theater companies before starring on Broadway in 1935.
The budding star soon met Orson Welles, and when Welles launched his famed Mercury Theatre troupe, Lloyd was one of the first members. Lloyd worked with the Mercury Theatre until the late 1930s when Hollywood came calling. He’d hoped to work with Welles and the rest of the Mercury crew on an adaptation of “Heart of Darkness” for RKO, though that project never came to fruition (one of several for Welles).
In 1942 Lloyd made his feature film debut playing a Nazi spy in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Saboteur.” The pair would have a lifelong personal and professional relationship with Lloyd returning to star in Hitchcock’s psychological romance, “Spellbound,” opposite Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck in 1945. In the 1950s he appeared opposite the acclaimed Charlie Chaplin in “Limelight;” Lloyd and Chaplin would become regular tennis buddies.
Lloyd’s career was almost derailed by the House Un-American Activities Committee — an experience he’d watched his friend John Garfield go through — but was spared a significant blacklisting thanks to Hitchcock’s influence. Hitchcock would hire Lloyd to be the associate producer for his television series, “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” and Lloyd would also direct 19 episodes. The actor would continue to direct up until the mid-1980s, predominately on television movies.
The multi-hyphenate creator became a series regular on the medical drama “St. Elsewhere” from 1982-1988 and would return to the film world after a decade-long absence with 1989’s “Dead Poets Society,” co-starring opposite Robin Williams.
Lloyd is survived by his two children.