Classic Movie Hub (CMH)


Harold Lloyd

Harold Lloyd

Sam Taylor was the most important director for him.

A 1919 accident with a prop bomb which turned out to be a live bomb, cost him the thumb and forefinger of his right hand. In subsequent films, he wore a glove and prosthetic device to hide it. Remarkably, he was able to do many of his gags (he employed a stunt man for serious stunts) convincingly afterward.

A famous story about Lloyd concerns he and composer Gaylord Carter regarding the scoring of Lloyd's film Safety Last! (1923)) for a re-release in the Lloyd He was present during the recording session; during the sequence from the film in which he is scaling the side of a building, he loses his grip and catches hold of the hands of an enormous clock. During this moment, Carter at the organ swung into the song "Time on My Hands", which prompted Lloyd to give Carter a mock stern glance and declare, "Gaylord, I'LL do the jokes!".

According to the book, "The History Of Pulitzer Prize Winning Plays", Lloyd was originally slated to play the lead role of Elwood P. Dowd in Mary Chase's Broadway stage play "Harvey". Lloyd turned the part down, and it then went to Frank Fay.

After Lloyd's career as an actor deserted him in 1938, he immersed - some would say drowned - himself into one hobby after another. While he bred Great Danes and collected cars earlier in life, he would later indulge himself in marathon movie nights several times each week, and become rabidly interested in photography (which allowed himself intimate contact with innumerable models) and later, in hi-fidelity sound systems. He placed standing orders for the entire catalogs of several record companies, amassing an enormous record collection.

Aside from two talking films, The Milky Way (1936) & The Sin of Harold Diddlebock (1947) (AKA "The Sin of Harold Diddlebock"), all films from 1922 through Grandma's Boy (1922), were owned by Lloyd. Many of the pre-1920 shorts were lost in a nitrate explosion in his film vault in 1943 and are now considered lost. A limited number of films rights were sold to Time-Life in 1998, and released on VHS format. The estate rejected offers to release them to DVD up until 2005, when they accepted an offer from New Line (some have also been restored and shown periodically on TCM). His films are set to be released on DVD somewhere in the next two years (2006-2007) (The two talking films are in the public domain, and all films before 1922 are owned by KINO having passed from Pathe and Roach)

Before moving into his famous home Greenacres in 1928, Lloyd and his wife lived at 502 South Irving Boulevard in Los Angeles, just south of Hollywood. The house still exists. Before that, up until shortly after his marriage in 1923, Lloyd live in a large two-story house on Hoover Street.

Brother of Gaylord Lloyd.

Clark Kent, the alter-ego of Superman, was partly inspired by Harold Lloyd according to comic book author Roger Stern.

Father of Harold Lloyd Jr. and Gloria Lloyd Roberts.

Grandfather of Suzanne Lloyd Hayes.

Great-uncle of Bentley Mitchum (Robert Mitchum's grandson).

Harold Lloyd had acted in theatre since boyhood, and started acting in one-reel film comedies shortly after moving to California. Lloyd soon began working with Thomas Edison's motion picture company, and eventually formed a partnership with fellow struggling actor and director Hal Roach, who had formed his own studio in 1913. The hard-working Lloyd became the most successful of Roach's comic actors between 1915 and 1919.

He adopted daughter Marjorie Elisabeth Lloyd in 1929, when she was five years old.

He and his wife Mildred Davis are mentioned twice in the Drake Bell song "End it Good" off of his 2006 album "It's Only Time".

He is the great-great uncle of Casper Van Dien and Grace Van Dien.

Head of jury at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1960.

His actual autographs prior to 1936 are quite rare. His father, J. Darcie 'Foxy' Lloyd, was given the job as the official fan mail correspondent within the Harold Lloyd Corporation. Foxy's signature is easy to recognize - it's right out of the 19th century and quite florid. HL's signature is much plainer and common. His father retired to Palm Springs in 1936. HL found it impossible to dodge autograph seekers when he began whirlwind movie/bowling nights around Los Angeles as his acting career wound down about the same time. Real pre-1936 autographs exist mainly on contracts and extremely personal correspondence to Bebe Daniels.

His hobbies included 3-D photography. He took hundreds of stereo images of Hollywood stars such as Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne, Sterling Holloway, Richard Burton and Roy Rogers. Many of these photos are reproduced in the book "3-D Hollywood: Photography by Harold Lloyd", which was edited by his granddaughter, Suzanni Lloyd Hayes, and comes with a 3-D viewer.

His home, "GreenAcres" has 44 rooms, 26 bathrooms, 12 fountains, 12 gardens and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.