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Harold Lloyd

Harold Lloyd

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The Harold Lloyd Collection... A standout contributor to the art of silent film comedy, Harold Lloyd... more info $24.95was $24.95 Buy Now

The Harold Lloyd Collection 2... In this two-DVD collection of ten films, Harold Lloyd (Safety Last) demonstrates... more info $29.95was $29.95 Buy Now

The Milky Way / Kid Dynamite (Double... Knock yourself out with two Golden Age boxing films together in one double... more info $14.95was $14.95 Buy Now

The Milky Way DVD "The Milky Way" (1936) is a hilarious screwball comedy featuring the unlikeliest... more info $6.98was $6.98 Buy Now

The Sin Of Harold Diddlebock... Embark upon an amusing journey with Harold Lloyd in "The Sin of Harold... more info $6.98was $6.98 Buy Now

Also Known As: Harold Clayton Lloyd Died: March 8, 1971
Born: April 20, 1893 Cause of Death: prostate cancer
Birth Place: Burchard, Nebraska, USA Profession: comedian, actor, producer, screenwriter, director, stagehand, usher

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Generally ranked alongside Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton as one of the masters of comedy during the silent era, Harold Lloyd created a more conventional personality than his contemporaries with the so-called Glasses Character, an ever-optimistic, constantly striving everyman who thoroughly captured the public's fancy during the 1920s. In fact, throughout most of the decade, his films proved to be more popular than Chaplin's or Keaton's, though in later years those two far outpaced him in terms of their places in cinema history due to Lloyd's tightfisted control over his work. Nonetheless, after developing a Chaplin knockoff character in Lonesome Luke, who managed a successful run from 1915-17, Lloyd reinvented himself as The Boy, the bespectacled optimist who bumbled his way in and out of trouble in often death-defying ways. A pioneer of sight gags and extreme stunts, Lloyd risked life and limb to create some of the most iconic images in silent film, most notably in "Safety Last!" (1923), in which he famously hung by a broken clock hand ten stories off the ground without use of trick photography. He went on to enormous success with hits like his personal favorite "Grandma's Boy" (1922), "Girl...

Generally ranked alongside Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton as one of the masters of comedy during the silent era, Harold Lloyd created a more conventional personality than his contemporaries with the so-called Glasses Character, an ever-optimistic, constantly striving everyman who thoroughly captured the public's fancy during the 1920s. In fact, throughout most of the decade, his films proved to be more popular than Chaplin's or Keaton's, though in later years those two far outpaced him in terms of their places in cinema history due to Lloyd's tightfisted control over his work. Nonetheless, after developing a Chaplin knockoff character in Lonesome Luke, who managed a successful run from 1915-17, Lloyd reinvented himself as The Boy, the bespectacled optimist who bumbled his way in and out of trouble in often death-defying ways. A pioneer of sight gags and extreme stunts, Lloyd risked life and limb to create some of the most iconic images in silent film, most notably in "Safety Last!" (1923), in which he famously hung by a broken clock hand ten stories off the ground without use of trick photography. He went on to enormous success with hits like his personal favorite "Grandma's Boy" (1922), "Girl Shy" (1924) and "Welcome Danger" (1929), before enjoying measurable popularity in the sound era with "Feet First" (1930), "The Cat's-Paw" (1934) and "The Milky Way" (1936), with the latter being arguably his best talkie. Though his dissolved his production company in 1938 and effectively retired in the next decade, Lloyd fell into obscurity, only to regain prominence after his death, proving that the great comedian's appeal was timeless.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  The Cat's-Paw (1934) Fill-In Director
2.
  The Lamb (1918)
3.
4.
  Pinched (1917)

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 The Sin of Harold Diddlebock (1947) Harold Diddlebock
2.
 Professor Beware (1938) Professor Dean Lambert
3.
 The Milky Way (1936) Burleigh Sullivan
4.
 The Cat's-Paw (1934) Ezekiel Cobb
5.
 Movie Crazy (1932) Harold Hall
6.
 Feet First (1930) Harold Horne
7.
 Welcome Danger (1929) Harold Bledsoe
8.
 Speedy (1928) Harold "Speedy" Swift
9.
 The Kid Brother (1927) Harold Hickory
10.
 For Heaven's Sake (1926) The Uptown Boy [J. Harold Manners]
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
During childhood, lived in various cities in Nebraska and Colorado
1905:
Made stage debut in "Macbeth" with Shakespeare Repertory Company in Beatrice, Nebraska
:
Acted with various stock companies in Nebraska, Colorado and San Diego, California
1912:
Moved to San Diego with family when father received settlement for on-the-job accident
:
Studied with and also taught acting at school founded by John Lane Connor
1913:
Entered films with a bit part in The Edison Company's "The Old Monk's Tale"
:
Moved from Edison to Universal before eventually joining former fellow-extra Hal Roach in the Rolin Film Company
:
At Rolin, created first major character, Willie Work; only one film "Just Nuts" (1915) featuring Willie remains extant
1915:
Developed second major character, Lonesome Luke, patterned after Charlie Chaplin's 'Tramp'; Luke wore tight-fitting instead of baggy clothes; made over 100 one-reelers and numerous two-reelers in this persona
1915:
Appeared in "Miss Fatty's Seaside Lovers", directed by Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle for Mack Sennett's Keystone; only known title of Lloyd's films for Sennett
1917:
Seized upon the gimmick of eye-glasses as an outstanding trademark, debuting The Glass Character (or 'Glasses') in September's "Over the Fence"; acted in as well as wrote and directed; sole film on which Lloyd received directing credit; continued making Lonesome Luke films until he was sure of new character's popularity
1919:
While posing for a series of new publicity stills during the filming of "Haunted Spooks" (1920), a real bomb (which had got mixed in with fake explosives by mistake) blew up in his hand, resulting in the loss of the thumb and index finger on his right hand and tiny scars on his lower right cheek
1921:
First feature film, "Sailor-Made Man"
1923:
"Safety Last", became his most famous film because of the great stunt that had him hanging from the hands of a clock on a high-rise building
1924:
First full-length film as producer, "Girl Shy"; also acted
1925:
Played a college newcomer who will go to any length to be the most popular man on campus in "The Freshman"; his most successful film at the box office, it grossed over $2.5 million making it one of the biggest grossers of the Silent Era
1929:
First film with sound sequences, "Welcome Danger"
1938:
Retired from screen acting after "Professor Beware"
1943:
A nitrate explosion in his home destroyed what in many cases was the sole extant copy of some of the Lonesome Luke films
1944:
Hosted NBC radio series "Old Gold Comedy Hour"
1947:
Made a curious comeback in Preston Sturges' "The Sin of Harold Diddleback"; opening sequence featured footage from "The Freshman"; re-released under the title "Mad Wednesday" in 1950
1953:
Appeared as a mystery guest on "What's My Line?" (CBS)
1962:
Released first compilation of silent work, "Harold Lloyd's World of Comedy", followed by "Harold Lloyd's Funny Side of Life" (1963)
1971:
Will established the Harold Lloyd Foundation, to encourage the study of film
2001:
Exhibition of his 3-D photographs mounted in London under the title "Double Vision"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

School of Dramatic Art: San Diego , California -

Notes

The tragic bomb blast on August 24, 1919 which cost him his two fingers required a 16-day hospitalization and also incapacitated him for seven months; he always wore a skin-toned rubber glove after that. For the balance of his life, Lloyd never publicly mentioned the loss of his fingers, despite mentioning the explosion aplenty. He did not, as was said during his lifetime, do all his own stunts (though he certainly did his share).

Lloyd produced the first compilation of his work, "Down Memory Lane", for the Masonic order of Shriners (an organization for which he served as Grand Potentate) in 1948 (no public screenings so far as known). He also compiled "Harold Lloyd's Laugh Parade" (1951) for the Shriners.

About The Glass Character: "The glasses would serve as my trade-mark and at the same time suggest the character--quiet, normal, boyish, clean, sympathetic, not impossible to romance. I would need no eccentric make-up, 'mo' or funny clothes. I would be an average recognizable American youth and let the situations take care of the comedy." --Harold Lloyd

"I never took credit for direction, although I practically directed all my own pictures. The directors were entirely dependent on me. I had these boys (i.e., Hal Roach; Fred Newmeyer and Sam Taylor) there because I felt they knew comedy, they knew what I wanted, they knew me and they could handle the details." --Harold Lloyd quoted in David Thomson's "A Biographical Dictionary of Film"

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Mildred Davis. Actor. Born in 1901; married from February 10, 1923 until her death on August 18, 1969 at age 68.

Family close complete family listing

father:
James Darsie Lloyd. Moved family frequently because of inability to hold a job; divorced from Lloyd's mother in 1910 had a cameo role in "Over the Fence"; died in 1947.
mother:
Elizabeth Lloyd. Divorced fropm Lloyd's father in 1910; died in 1941.
brother:
Gaylord E Lloyd. Actor, director. Later worked as a vice-president for the Harold Lloyd Corportation; born in 1888; died in 1943.
daughter:
Gloria Lloyd. Born in 1923.
daughter:
Peggy Lloyd. Adopted in 1930; died in 1986.
son:
Harold Lloyd Jr. Actor, singer. Born in 1931; suffered stroke in 1965; died on June 8, 1971; mother, Mildred Davis.
granddaughter:
Suzanne Lloyd Hayes.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"An American Comedy: An Autobiography"
"Harold Lloyd: The Man on the Clock"
"Harold Lloyd: A Bio-Bibliography" Greenwood Press

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