Christopher Lloyd


Actor

About

Also Known As
Chris Lloyd
Birth Place
Stamford, Connecticut, USA
Born
October 22, 1938

Biography

Renowned character actor Christopher Lloyd won over critics and audiences alike with the wide array of quirky, off-beat characters he brought to life on the big and small screens. A former Broadway actor, Lloyd seemed to spring from nowhere to earn a number of Emmys for his role as burnt out ex-hippie Jim Ignatowski on the acclaimed sitcom "Taxi" (ABC, 1978-82; NBC, 1982-83). Of the many...

Family & Companions

Kay Lloyd
Wife
Actor. No longer together.
Carol Ann Vanek Lloyd
Wife
Homemaker. Married c. 1988; filed for divorce in July 1991.
Jane Walker Wood-Lloyd
Wife
Married c. 1991.

Biography

Renowned character actor Christopher Lloyd won over critics and audiences alike with the wide array of quirky, off-beat characters he brought to life on the big and small screens. A former Broadway actor, Lloyd seemed to spring from nowhere to earn a number of Emmys for his role as burnt out ex-hippie Jim Ignatowski on the acclaimed sitcom "Taxi" (ABC, 1978-82; NBC, 1982-83). Of the many times he portrayed mad scientists and inventors with unkempt hair and elastic facial expressions, his biggest legacy was that of bringing to life eccentric garage tinkerer Doc Brown in the blockbuster "Back the Future" film series. Lloyd's physical plasticity supported his penchant for the offbeat, unstable, unpredictable characters he embodied so memorably. In retrospect, it would be impossible to imagine anyone else inhabiting such iconic roles as Uncle Fester in "The Addams Family" film series or and the villainous Judge Doom in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" (1988). Many actors tried their hand at playing "kooky," but Lloyd succeeded by always going beyond the half-mad stereotype to offer an appealing humanity that kept audiences laughing with his characters rather than at them.

Christopher Lloyd was born on Oct. 22, 1938, and raised in Stamford, CT, though he received a boarding school education in Massachusetts. The youngest of six children of a lawyer and a singer, Lloyd became interested in acting when he was young, and was apprenticing in Summer Stock Theater by the time he was a teenager. He moved to New York City with acting on his mind at the age of 20, studying at The Neighborhood Playhouse before toiling in relative obscurity in comedies and off-Broadway dramas for years. He reached Broadway in a 1969 production of "Red, White and Maddox," and in 1973, earned an OBIE and Drama Desk Award for his performance in "Kaspar."

This profile boost led to Lloyd's memorable screen debut as a mental patient in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" (1975), that year's Academy Award-winner for Best Picture, in which he often stole scenes from the film's star, Jack Nicholson. Fresh off his "Cuckoo" success, he began to appear in TV guest roles and returned to Broadway in 1977 with a starring role in the musical "Happy End." The following year, he landed the role of a lifetime with 'Reverend Jim' Ignatowski, the legendary drug-addled hippie holdover on the acclaimed sitcom, "Taxi," where he enriched and deepened a character who was initially a stereotypical 1960s burnout. The child-like innocence and generosity of spirit with which he imbued Ignatowski transformed a cartoonish madman into a beloved eccentric, bringing him two Emmy Awards for his efforts.

Lloyd's panache with quirky characters found a home in appropriate films like Mel Brooks' spoof "To Be or Not to Be" (1983) and the cult favorite "The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension" (1984). The same year, he delivered a memorable turn as the treacherous Klingon Captain Kruge in "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock" (1984). That pair of sci-fi titles may have inspired Lloyd's casting as an amateur inventor in Robert Zemeckis' time travel comedy "Back to the Future" (1985), where Lloyd further demonstrated his ability to humanize broad, eccentric characters. Lloyd co-starred opposite hot young TV star Michael J. Fox as the high school student's friend and mentor, Dr. Emmett Brown. The ensuing blockbuster spent over 11 weeks at no. 1 and earned over $300 million at the box office. With the widespread success of "Back to the Future," Doc Brown became a signature character, one which Lloyd reprised for a number of spin-off media forms, including an animated series and video game. He re-teamed with Zemeckis for "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" (1988) where he aptly embodied the archetypal cartoon villain Judge Doom - a live-action menace to the team of hapless `toons. The following year, Lloyd took a detour into drama and delivered a nuanced portrait of a pro ball player and unscrupulous gambler in John Sayles' "Eight Men Out" (1988).

In 1989, Lloyd reprised Doc Brown in "Back to the Future Part 2" (1989), which found Doc and Marty McFly traveling to 2012 instead of the 1950s like the first film. The concurrently filmed third installment "Back to the Future Part III" was released the following year, and though audience interest dipped, the Western frontier-themed comedy still brought in over $200 million at the box office. Lloyd's resume of zanies grew with his characterization of Uncle Fester in "The Addams Family" (1991), the big screen adaptation of the 1960s TV series inspired by Charles Addams' macabre comic strips. Its 1993 sequel "Addams Family Values" turned the sweet-natured Fester into an unlikely sex object involved in a romance with Joan Cusack's sultry, scheming nanny. A guest appearance on an episode of the Disney Channel drama series "Road to Avonlea" (1990-96) earned Lloyd a third Emmy, while an outstanding performance as the well-spoken stick-up man of "Twenty Bucks" (1993) earned the actor an Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actor. He returned to cartoonish villainy as Switchblade Sam in John Hughes' rendering of the comic strip "Dennis the Menace" (1993) and played off-kilter Al the Angel in the remake of "Angels in the Outfield" (1994), reprising the role in "The Wonderful World of Disney" sequel "Angels in the Endzone" (ABC, 1997).

In the short-lived UPN series "Deadly Games" (1995), Lloyd was well-cast as a villain in the convoluted sci-fi concept about video games come to life, and he was likewise a strong addition to the cast of the dark "Things to do in Denver When You're Dead" (1995) where he played an ex-con with a propensity for losing his digits. Lloyd voiced Rasputin in the animated hit "Anastasia" (1995) and stayed close to family fare to play a White Knight in NBC's TV movie of "Alice in Wonderland" (NBC, 1999) and yet another mad scientist in the ludicrous "Baby Geniuses" (1999). Reteaming with Forman decades after "Cuckoo," Lloyd had the unusual opportunity to play himself in "Man on the Moon" (1999) a biopic of "Taxi" co-star Andy Kaufman starring Jim Carrey. That particular film was widely praised by critics but its somber tone and enigmatic subject did not draw in large audiences.

The actor continued to appear regularly in lower-profile films, telepics and as a voiceover artist and commercial pitchman, with some of his more memorable work coming from guest stints on various television series. In 1999, he reteamed with Michael J. Fox for a "Spin City" (ABC, 1996-2002) two-parter, and he was also a welcome visitor on left-of-center comedies like "Ed" (NBC, 2000-04), "Malcolm in the Middle" (Fox, 2000-06) and "King of the Hill" (Fox, 1997-2009). In April 2002, Lloyd returned to the stage to play Carl Bolton in "Morning's at Seven" by Paul Osborn at Broadway's Lyceum Theater, and the following July, played Malvolio in Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night" at New York's Delacorte Theater.

After a three-episode turn on the movie spin-off series "Tremors" (Sci Fi Channel, 2003), Lloyd returned to series TV with the short-lived baseball drama "Clubhouse" (2004) where he played veteran grandfatherly coach, Lou Russo. In his first return to sitcoms since his Emmy-winning "Taxi" stint, Lloyd co-starred as an eccentric book store customer in the Pamela Anderson sitcom, "Stacked" (Fox, 2005-06) until it was unceremoniously cancelled in a year. His dramatic rumbling voice continued to be one of his most valuable assets, so he found steady work voicing animated family features like "The Tale of Despereaux" (2008), "Foodfight" (2008) and "Fly Me to the Moon" (2008).

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

Boundaries (2018)
Handmade Puppet Dreams (2017)
Muse (2017)
Going in Style (2017)
Ghost Station (2017)
The Sound (2017)
I Am Not a Serial Killer (2016)
Over the Garden Wall (2015)
The Woodsman
Just in Time for Christmas (2015)
Last Call (2015)
A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014)
The One I Wrote for You (2014)
88 (2014)
Zodiac (2014)
Freedom Force (2013)
Voice
The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure (2012)
Voice
Dead Before Dawn 3D (2012)
Excuse Me for Living (2012)
Piranha 3DD (2012)
Anything But Christmas (2012)
Love, Wedding, Marriage (2011)
Adventures of Serial Buddies (2011)
Insight (2011)
Piranha 3D (2010)
Snowmen (2010)
Jack and the Beanstalk (2010)
Call of the Wild 3-D (2009)
Meteor (2009)
The Tale of Despereaux (2008)
Voice
Fly Me to the Moon (2008)
77 (2008)
Flakes (2007)
Last Call at Murray's (2006)
A Perfect Day (2006)
Enfants Terribles (2005)
Peter Cottontail: The Movie (2005)
Voice
Admissions (2004)
Easter (2003)
Interstate 60 (2003)
Hey Arnold! the Movie (2002)
City Coroner
Wish You Were Dead (2002)
On the Edge (2001)
Kids World (2001)
Leo
Wit (2001)
When Good Ghouls Go Bad (2001)
Uncle Fred
The Big Time (2001)
Baby Geniuses (1999)
My Favorite Martian (1999)
Alice in Wonderland (1999)
Premonition (1999)
The Animated Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1998)
Voice
The Ransom of Red Chief (1998)
Changing Habits (1997)
Theo Teagarden
The Real Blonde (1997)
Dinner at Fred's (1997)
Fred'S Father
Anastasia (1997)
Voice
Quicksilver Highway (1997)
Angels in the Endzone (1997)
The Right to Remain Silent (1996)
Cadillac Ranch (1996)
Mr. Payback (1995)
Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead (1995)
Pieces
Rent-a-Kid (1995)
Angels in the Outfield (1994)
Al
Camp Nowhere (1994)
The Pagemaster (1994)
Radioland Murders (1994)
In Search of Dr. Seuss (1994)
Twenty Bucks (1993)
Jimmy
Dennis The Menace (1993)
Addams Family Values (1993)
Dead Ahead: The Exxon Valdez Disaster (1992)
T-Bone N Weasel (1992)
Suburban Commando (1991)
The Addams Family (1991)
Legend of the White Horse (1991)
DuckTales: The Movie (1990)
Voice
Why Me? (1990)
Bruno Daley
Back To The Future (Part 3) (1990)
The Dream Team (1989)
Back To The Future (Part 2) (1989)
Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
Track 29 (1988)
Eight Men Out (1988)
Walk Like A Man (1987)
Miracles (1986)
Back To The Future (1985)
Clue (1985)
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai: Across the 8th Dimension (1984)
John Bigboote
Joy of Sex (1984)
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984)
The Cowboy and the Ballerina (1984)
Woody
To Be or Not to Be (1983)
September Gun (1983)
Mr. Mom (1983)
National Lampoon's Movie Madness (1982)
Money on the Side (1982)
Sergeant Stampone
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981)
The Legend Of The Lone Ranger (1981)
Pilgrim, Farewell (1980)
Paul
The Black Marble (1980)
Schizoid (1980)
Gilbert
Butch and Sundance: The Early Days (1979)
Stunt Seven (1979)
The Lady in Red (1979)
The Onion Field (1979)
Goin' South (1978)
Lacy and the Mississippi Queen (1978)
Jennings
Three Warriors (1977)
One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (1975)

Producer (Feature Film)

Dream For an Insomniac (1996)
Executive Producer

Music (Feature Film)

Going in Style (2017)
Song Performer

Misc. Crew (Feature Film)

Man on the Moon (1999)
Other

Cast (Special)

A Perfect Day (2006)
1998 MTV Movie Awards (1998)
Performer
Best of Taxi (1994)
A Menace Called Dennis (1993)
The 64th Annual Academy Awards Presentation (1992)
Presenter
1991 Emmy Awards (1991)
Performer
Time Warner Presents the Earth Day Special (1990)
Pat Hobby Teamed With Genius (1987)
Old Friends (1984)
Jerry Forbes

Cast (TV Mini-Series)

Knights of Bloodsteel (2009)
It Came From The Sky (1999)
The Word (1978)

Life Events

1958

Moved to New York at age 20 (date approximate)

1973

Appeared off-Broadway in "Kaspar," winning an OBIE and a Drama Desk Award

1975

Feature film debut playing one of the inmates in Milos Forman's "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" opposite Jack Nicholson

1976

Played Czar Alexander I in the PBS miniseries "The Adams Chronicles"

1977

Acted opposite Meryl Streep in Broadway production of "Happy End"

1978

TV miniseries debut, "The Word" (CBS)

1978

TV movie debut, "Lacy and the Mississippi Queen" (NBC)

1978

"Goin' South" reteamed him with Nicholson and De Vito

1978

Starred as 'Reverend Jim' Ignatowski in the classic TV sitcom "Taxi" (ABC), joined as regular cast member in second season; won two Emmy Awards

1984

Appeared as Phillip Semenka on two-part episode of "Cheers" (NBC)

1984

Played the villain (Jim Ignatowski goes Klingon) in "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock"

1985

Portrayed Professor Plum in "Clue," based on the play inspired by the board game

1985

First collaboration with director Robert Zemeckis and screenwriter Bob Gale, "Back to the Future" as Doc Emmett L. Brown opposite Michael J. Fox's Marty McFly

1986

Teamed with Zemeckis and Gale for the "Go to the Head of the Class" episode of NBC's "Amazing Stories"

1988

Portrayed Judge Doom in Zemeckis' "Who Framed Roger Rabbit"

1989

Reprised Doc Brown in "Back to the Future II"

1989

Returned to the loony bin as self-serious tidiness freak of "The Dream Team"

1990

Returned as Brown for "Back to the Future III"

1991

Played Uncle Fester in "The Addams Family," a featured based on the 1960s ABC series

1991

Provided the voice of Dr. Emmett Brown and appeared in live-action intros and epilogues for the animated series "Back to the Future" (CBS): reprised the character for the Universal Studios' theme park attraction "Back to the Future...The Ride"

1992

Won his third Emmy for guest appearance on Disney's "Avonlea"

1993

Won an Independent Spirit Award for his outstanding supporting portrayal of a well-spoken, purposeful stick-up man in "Twenty Bucks"; Endre Bohem wrote the original screenplay in 1935, and his son Leslie rewrote it and saw it into production

1993

Reprised Uncle Fester for "Addams Family Values"

1994

Portrayed Al the Angel for "Angels in the Outfield"

1995

Landed role as the villainous Sebastian Jackal on UPN's "Deadly Games," executive produced by Leonard Nimoy

1995

Acted in the first interactive film "Mr. Payback"; directed by Bob Gale

1995

Played Pieces, a porno projectionist with leprosy whose toes and other parts are falling off in "Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead"

1996

Executive produced Tiffanie DeBartolo's feature directing debut "Dream for an Insomniac"

1996

Made his CD-ROM game debut in the interactive "Toonstruck," reprising his Judge Doom character from "Who Framed Roger Rabbit"

1997

Reprised Al for "The Wonderful World of Disney" (ABC) presentation of "Angels in the Endzone"

1997

Provided voice of Rasputin for animated feature "Anastasia"

1998

Acted in the off-Broadway revival of "Waiting for Godot"

1998

Starred in Bob Clark's "The Ransom of Red Chief," a "Wonderful World of Disney" remake of the O. Henry story

1999

Appeared as himself in Milos Forman's "Man on the Moon," the biopic of Lloyd's "Taxi" cohort Andy Kaufman

1999

Reteamed with Clark for "Baby Geniuses" opposite Kathleen Turner

1999

Played the White Knight in the NBC movie adaptation of "Alice in Wonderland"

1999

Portrayed Uncle Martin in "My Favorite Martian," the feature version of the 1960s CBS sitcom

1999

Reteamed with Michael J. Fox for the "Back to the Future IV: Judgment Day" episode of the ABC sitcom "Spin City"

2001

Played supporting role in the HBO adaptation of "Wit"

2001

Starred opposite Holland Taylor in a Los Angeles production of Yasmina Reza's play "The Unexpected Man"

2005

Cast in the Fox series "Stacked" opposite Pamela Anderson

2006

Cast in Showtime's "Masters of Horror" anthology series

2008

Voiced the character of Hovis in the animated fantasy film "The Tale of Despereaux"

2010

Acted opposite Elisabeth Shue in the action thriller "Piranha 3D"

2011

Cast as The Wizard of Oz in the Syfy miniseries "The Witches of Oz"

2012

Returned for the thriller sequel "Piranha 3DD"

Photo Collections

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - Premiere Brochure
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - Premiere Brochure

Videos

Movie Clip

Back To The Future (1985) -- (Movie Clip) A Case Of Missing Plutonium The sometimes overlooked opening, filled with broad exposition, from the original screenplay by Bob Gale and director Robert Zemeckis, as presented by executive producer Steven Spielberg, star Michael J. Fox appearing just at the ending, in the hit time-travel comedy Back To The Future, 1985.
Back To The Future (1985) -- (Movie Clip) It's A Delorean Meeting his pal the freelance mad scientist “Doc” Brown (Christopher Lloyd) at the mall after midnight, high-schooler Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) is surprised to see he’s really on to something, the first big special effects sequence from director Robert Zemeckis, in Back To The Future, 1985.
One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (1975) -- (Movie Clip) Getting Things Off Your Chest McMurphy (Jack Nicholson) joins group session on the psych ward, Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher) leading, Brad Dourif, Danny DeVito, William Redfield, Christopher Lloyd and Sydney Lassick as “Cheswick” among the inmates, in Milos Forman’s One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, 1975.
One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (1975) -- (Movie Clip) You All Crazy? With assist from the Chief (Will Sampson), McMurphy (Jack Nicholson) grabs a bus and leads fellow mental patients (Danny DeVito, Brad Dourif, William Redfield, Vincent Schiavelli et al) on a breakout, picking up Candy (Marya Small), in Milos Forman’s One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, 1975.
Eight Men Out -- (Movie Clip) This Is Your Bonus Introducing gamblers (Richard Edson, Christopher Lloyd) in the stands, players (John Cusack, Charlie Sheen, David Strathairn et al) afield, owner Comiskey (Clifton James) with director John Sayles among the reporters, in Eight Men Out, 1988.

Trailer

Companions

Kay Lloyd
Wife
Actor. No longer together.
Carol Ann Vanek Lloyd
Wife
Homemaker. Married c. 1988; filed for divorce in July 1991.
Jane Walker Wood-Lloyd
Wife
Married c. 1991.

Bibliography