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Old Hollywood

At 93 and the subject of a new documentary, Norman Lloyd is still in the biz

Lloyd has outlived many of the luminaries whom he counted among his colleagues and friends; a large vase made by Jean Renoir (for whom he appeared in The Southerner) occupies a corner of Lloyd's living room. He played the stage manager in Limelight for Chaplin, whom he'd met on the tennis court (Lloyd still plays two or even three times a week), and who confided to Lloyd that he'd buried his first million somewhere in Hollywood. "When he was in England," Lloyd says, "before he went up to Switzerland, his wife Oona made a very quick trip into town. I'm sure it was to dig up that million."

Lloyd, saboteur and tennis ace
photo: Film Forum
Lloyd, saboteur and tennis ace

He and Chaplin were going to make They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, but Chaplin's expulsion from the United States embittered Lloyd and the project fell apart. It's a small miracle that Lloyd isn't more bitter—though he does, during the documentary, flash with anger at his recollection of the blacklist. "I lost all those years," he says. "That's part of the answer as to why one is not better known."

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