It’s official: Norman Lloyd is the last one standing. With the recent passing of Olivia de Havilland, Norman, whose first life memory is of the giant parade up New York’s Fifth Avenue on March 25, 1919, to commemorate the end of the First World War, has seen and gloriously participated in more aspects of what was long called show business — and for longer — than anyone else on the planet. He’s seen it all and done it all, and magnificently so.
Even now, at 106, Norman’s booming voice is clear, unmistakable. It’s no wonder, as he was trained to project from a stage to the top of the third balcony, and even now he can sit a good 15 feet away from visitors to his home and still be clearly heard as he enunciates in a classical manner now rarely heard in any theater.
Norman is a true Olympian of the dramatic arts, excelling in all its principal manifestations — theater, cinema and television. He made his stage debut in Liliom with Eva Le Gallienne in New York in 1932, worked with Elia Kazan at the Federal and Group theaters and, most famously, played Cinna the Poet in Orson Welles’ legendary Julius Caesar.
He made his screen debut as the villain who fell from the Statue of Liberty in Alfred Hitchcock’s Saboteur, starting a relationship that led to Norman’s long stint as associate producer of television’s Alfred Hitchcock Presents. He acted with Chaplin in Limelight, was the longtime director of the La Jolla Playhouse, was executive producer of PBS’ Hollywood Television Theatre and is well remembered by a younger generation as Dr. Auschlander on St. Elsewhere.
For so special a man of the arts, LAFCA felt compelled to create a new award that embraces the full reach of his talents. May he continue to thrive, inspire and abide as we recognize an exceptional artist whose achievements enhanced all he touched.
— Todd McCarthy