Norman Lloyd Dies At 106: The Acting Legend Began His Career During The New Deal Lloyd performed with the Federal Theatre Project in the 1930s and appeared in Trainwreck at age 100. He acted with Charlie Chaplin, was directed by Alfred Hitchcock and appeared in dozens of TV shows.

Norman Lloyd, Who Got His Acting Start During The New Deal, Dies At 106

  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript


To call an actor a Hollywood legend sounds like hyperbole, but Norman Lloyd really was. His manager told the Associated Press that he died Tuesday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 106 years old. NPR's Neda Ulaby has our remembrance.

NEDA ULABY, BYLINE: Norman Lloyd, born in 1914, got his start performing with the Federal Theatre Project, part of President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal in the 1930s.


UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Extra, extra - Uncle Sam going into show business.

ULABY: The Federal Theatre Project employed hundreds of out-of-work actors. And Lloyd, the son of a Jersey City store manager, soon started acting with Orson Welles at his acclaimed Mercury Theatre. Then Alfred Hitchcock hired Norman Lloyd to play the saboteur in his 1942 movie "Saboteur."


NORMAN LLOYD: The big scene, if I may say so, is my falling off the Statue of Liberty.

ULABY: That's Norman Lloyd in 2013 on Los Angeles Public Radio station KCRW. The movie ends with his character dangling from the statue's torch after tussling with the hero...


ROBERT CUMMINGS: (As Barry Kane) Can you get a grip with your feet?

LLOYD: (As Frank Fry) I can't.

ULABY: ...And then spectacularly plummeting to his death.


LLOYD: (As Frank Fry, screaming).

ULABY: Because Norman Lloyd had long associated with leftists like Orson Welles, he found it hard to get hired during the McCarthy blacklists of the 1950s. So Hitchcock gave him another job behind the scenes, producing his popular TV show.


ULABY: Over Norman Lloyd's nine decades of producing, directing and acting, he appeared on screen with everyone from Charlie Chaplin to Daniel Day Lewis. He was directed by the great French filmmaker Jean Renoir. And you may have seen him in the movies "Dead Poets Society" or the comedy "Trainwreck" - it was his final role at age 100 - or in dozens and dozens of TV shows; "Murder, She Wrote," "Modern Family," "Star Trek: The Next Generation" or the 1980s hospital drama "St. Elsewhere." Lloyd starred as a doctor.


LLOYD: (As Dr. Daniel Auschlander) You've caught an infection, Francine, but it has nothing to do with your operation.

ULABY: Originally, that role was supposed to last just a few episodes because the doctor he played had cancer. But as Lloyd told the Archives of American Television (ph) in 2012, the show decided to keep him around.


LLOYD: And so the character went for six years with the longest remission on record.

ULABY: Norman Lloyd was also known as a devoted Hollywood husband. He was married to actress Peggy Lloyd for 75 years until her death at age 98 in 2011.

Neda Ulaby, NPR News.

Copyright © 2021 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.