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Veteran actor Christopher Lloyd (born 22 October 1938; age 83) played the role of Klingon Commander Kruge in the 1984 film Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. He is perhaps best recognized for his roles on the television series Taxi and the successful Back to the Future films.

Born in Stamford, Connecticut, Lloyd attended the prestigious Fessenden School in Massachusetts and later Staples High School in Connecticut, graduating from the latter in 1957. Since embarking on a career in acting, he has appeared in over a hundred film and television projects as well as over 200 stage productions, and has become a highly recognized figure in show business.

Famous roles

Lloyd first rose to fame as Reverend Jim Ignatowski on the ABC (and later NBC) television comedy Taxi. Lloyd won two Emmy Awards for his role as the lovable, burnt-out Ignatowski, one in 1982 and another in 1983. Coincidentally (as revealed in the episode "Jim Joins the Network"), Lloyd's character was a huge fan of Star Trek who resented NBC's decision to cancel the show. However, one of his qualms about the series was the male Romulan commander [in TOS: "Balance of Terror"], whom he believed "did things no Romulan would ever do."

On film, Lloyd is probably best recognized for his portrayal of the eccentric inventor, Dr. Emmett Brown, in the popular Back to the Future movie trilogy. This role not only earned him a Saturn Award nomination from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, but also granted him worldwide recognition and status as a cinematic icon.

Another role for which he is well-remembered – and for which he received a second Saturn Award nomination – is that of the sinister Judge Doom in 1988's Who Framed Roger Rabbit, co-starring Joanna Cassidy and David L. Lander. He also had a memorable turn as Uncle Fester in the 1991 film The Addams Family and its 1993 sequel Addams Family Values. Both of these films co-starred TNG guest actor Carel Struycken.

Stage productions

Lloyd's first stage performance as a member of the Actors' Equity Association was a production of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream in 1961, co-starring Ellen Geer. He made his Broadway debut in the play Red, White and Maddox, which ran for 41 performances in 1969.

In 1973, Lloyd played the title role in Peter Handke's play Kaspar, for which he won an Obie Award and a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Performance. His subsequent stage credits include a production of MacBeth, Yale University productions of The Possessed and A Midsummer Night's Dream, and an off-Broadway production of In the Boom Boom Room.

From October 1974 through May 1975, Lloyd performed as Bill Cracker in the play Happy End at the Yale Repertory Theatre. [1] When the play was brought to Broadway in 1977 (with Frank Kopyc working as a performer and understudy), Lloyd was unable to perform on opening night due to a leg injury sustained in a stage fall, and future Star Trek: The Next Generation guest actor Bob Gunton went on in his place. Lloyd soon resumed his role, but had to do so on crutches. [2] [3]

Lloyd's later stage credits include productions of Waiting for Godot, Oliver!, and the two-person play The Unexpected Man. His most recent Broadway production was Morning's at Seven in 2002.

Early film work

Lloyd made his feature film debut in 1975's Best Picture Academy Award-winner One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, playing Max Taber, one of the inmates at the mental institute which is the film's primary setting. Fellow Trek alumni Louise Fletcher, Brad Dourif, Michael Berryman, Peter Brocco, and Vincent Schiavelli also starred in this film. Three years later, Lloyd had a supporting role in the comic western Goin' South, directed by and starring his Cuckoo's Nest co-star Jack Nicholson and co-starring the likes of Ed Begley, Jr., Georgia Schmidt, and Tracey Walter.

1979 proved to be a very busy year for Lloyd. Not only did he join the cast of Taxi, but he also appeared with his Cuckoo's Nest co-star Louise Fletcher, as well as Dick Miller and Phillip R. Allen, in the gangster drama The Lady in Red. That same year, Lloyd co-starred with Jeff Corey, Peter Weller, Noble Willingham, John Schuck, and Cuckoo's Nest co-stars Peter Brocco and Vincent Schiavelli in Butch and Sundance: The Early Days. And also in 1979, Lloyd joined the likes of John Savage, Ronny Cox, Richard Herd, K Callan, Michael Pataki, Phillip R. Allen, and John de Lancie as part of the cast of the acclaimed drama The Onion Field.

Lloyd's notable film work while Taxi was still in production included the 1980 thriller Schizoid, co-starring fellow Star Trek alumni Richard Herd, Marianna Hill, and Craig Wasson, and the 1981 remake of The Postman Always Rings Twice, starring fellow Klingon portrayer John Colicos and future DS9 guest actor Albert Henderson.

Later films

After Taxi was canceled in 1983, Lloyd played the Lectroid John Bigboote (that's "Bigboo-tay") in the comic science fiction film The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension in 1984, co-starring with Butch and Sundance co-stars Peter Weller (in the title role) and Vincent Schiavelli, as well as Clancy Brown and Robert Ito. Since its release, Buckaroo Banzai has achieved a cult following and has even influenced other science fiction works: numerous in-joke references to this film have been made in Star Trek productions (see its listing at Science fiction references in Star Trek). The following year, Lloyd himself would be part of a Star Trek production when Leonard Nimoy cast him as the villainous Kruge in Star Trek III. Nimoy initially wanted Edward James Olmos to play the part, but the role went to Lloyd instead.

Although he has been most inclined to perform in comedic roles, such as those of Buckaroo Banzai, 1985's Clue (co-starring Michael McKean) and 1989's The Dream Team, he has often proven his versatility with dramatic turns in such projects as the 1995 crime drama Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead (which also featured Bill Cobbs, Don Stark, Tommy "Tiny" Lister, Jr., Bill Bolender, and Bill Erwin) and the 1993 drama Twenty Bucks. He won an Independent Spirit Award for his role as a bank robber in Twenty Bucks, which also starred Matt Frewer and Concetta Tomei.

Lloyd appeared opposite Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan actor Paul Winfield in the 1993 adaptation of the comic strip Dennis the Menace (also featuring Bill Erwin). In 1994, he starred in Camp Nowhere, which also featured The Next Generation's Jonathan Frakes, Star Trek: Voyager star Kate Mulgrew, and fellow Trek actors John Putch and Ron Fassler. Later that year, he appeared and lent his voice to the fantasy film The Pagemaster, which also featured the voices of TNG's Patrick Stewart and Whoopi Goldberg, VOY's Robert Picardo, and Star Trek III director Leonard Nimoy.

Lloyd played the role of "Uncle Martin the Martian" in the 1999 film My Favorite Martian, a role which TNG actor Ray Walston originated in the classic TV sitcom on which it is based. Walston himself also had a supporting role in the film, as did Wallace Shawn.

Other memorable films in which he starred include Mr. Mom (1983, with Teri Garr, Graham Jarvis, Carolyn Seymour, Bruce French, Michael Ensign, and Derek McGrath), Eight Men Out (1988, with Gordon Clapp, Kevin Tighe, and John Anderson), and Angels in the Outfield (1994, with Neal McDonough). In the latter, he played Al, the boss angel, a role which he reprised in a 1997 TV sequel called Angels in the Endzone, with Paul Dooley.

Lloyd also lent his voice to several animated films, including Disney's DuckTales: The Movie - Treasure of the Lost Lamp (1990, with Richard Libertini), Anastasia (1997, with Kelsey Grammer, Kirsten Dunst, Glenn Harris and Andrea Martin), and Hey Arnold! The Movie (2002, with Paul Sorvino and Vincent Schiavelli). Lloyd has a number of other animated films in the works, including Foodfight! and The Tale of Despereaux, both due for release in 2008. He is also rumored to be a voice actor for Back to the Future director Robert Zemeckis' animated adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol for Walt Disney Pictures.


Besides his role on Taxi, Lloyd's television credits includes guest appearances on several popular series, from Barney Miller (starring Ron Glass and James Gregory) and Cheers (along with Christopher Carroll and Kelsey Grammer) to Malcolm in the Middle and The West Wing. In 1978, Lloyd appeared in the mini-series The Word, as did Diana Muldaur, Nehemiah Persoff, Allan Miller, Jonathan Banks, and Voyager star Kate Mulgrew.

Lloyd won an Emmy for his guest appearance on Road to Avonlea in 1992; among those who starred in this series were Star Trek guest stars Claire Rankin and Marc Worden. Lloyd and his Pagemaster co-star (and TNG star) Patrick Stewart appeared in the TV movie In Search of Dr. Seuss in 1994, along with Matt Frewer, Graham Jarvis, and Andrea Martin. In 1995, he co-starred with TNG actor Brent Spiner on the short-lived Deadly Games.

Lloyd co-starred with Emma Thompson in the acclaimed, Emmy Award-winning 2001 HBO film adaptation of Margaret Edson's play, Wit. He has also lent his voice to such animated shows as The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy and King of the Hill. Most recently, he was a regular on the FOX TV sitcom Stacked.

Vincent Schiavelli

Lloyd has co-starred with the late Vincent Schiavelli at least eight times since the two of them first appeared together in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. In addition to the aforementioned Butch and Sundance, Buckaroo Banzai, and Hey Arnold!, they shared the screen in the film Another Man, Another Chance (1977, also starring Michael Berryman) and three episodes of Taxi (1982-83). They also made brief appearances in 1999's Man on the Moon, a film depicting the life of their Taxi co-star Andy Kaufman. Schiavelli passed away in 2005.

Other Trek connections

Additional projects in which Lloyd worked with other Star Trek alumni are listed below.


TV guest appearances

TV movies

External links

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