In the late 1970s, actor Christopher Lloyd was known for his role of ex-hippie driver Reverend Jim Ignatowski in the sitcom “Taxi” (1978-1983), a role which gave him two Emmy Awards. Lloyd’s landmark role, however, was the eccentric inventor Doc Emmett L. Brown in the movies Back to the Future (1985), Back to the Future Part II (1989) and Back to the Future Part III (1990). He was next seen as Uncle Fester in The Addams Family (1991) and Addams Family Values (1993).
Lloyd also gave notable performances in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), an episode of “Road to Avonlea” (1992, won an Emmy Award), the indie feature Twenty Bucks (1993), the animated feature Anastasia (1997, voiced Rasputin) and the Halloween-themed When Good Ghouls Go Bad (2001, TV). On stage, Lloyd hypnotized his audiences with his role in “Kaspar” (1973, won an Obie Award and a Drama Desk Award), “Happy End” (1977), “Waiting for Godot” (1998) and “The Unexpected Man” (2001).
Lloyd, who is sometimes confused with a TV writer and producer with the same name, appeared as his Addams Family character in M.C. Hammer's “Addams Groove” music video. As for his romantic life, the actor was formerly married to Catherine Boyd (1959-1971), Carol Vanek (1988-1991) and Jane Walker Wood (1992-2005).
Childhood and Family:
Christopher Allen Lloyd was born in Stamford, Connecticut, on October 22, 1938, and grew up in New Canaan, Connecticut. He developed a passion for acting while attending Staples High School.
Christopher, whose first public appearance was in a 1954 summer stock play, eventually moved to New York at age 20 and studied acting at the Neighborhood Playhouse under Sanford Meisner. Christopher became known as a versatile and outrageous theatrical actor, although he is in fact very reclusive and shy.
Previously, Christopher was married to Catherine Boyd (1959-1971) and Carol Vanek (1988-1991). A year after the divorce, he married writer Jane Walker Wood, whom he divorced in December 2005.
Back to the Future
In New York, Christopher Lloyd appeared in a number of stage productions, including the Broadway staging of “Red, White and Maddox” (1969), before eventually winning an OBIE and a Drama Desk award for his performance in “Kaspar” (1973). This brought him to the screen world, where he took a minor part in the drama One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) and Un autre homme, une autre chance (1977). Also in 1977, Lloyd acted opposite Meryl Streep in the staging of “Happy End.”
A year later, the newcomer was cast as Reverend Jim Ignatowski, the spaced-out ex-hippie cab driver, in the classic TV sitcom “Taxi” (1978-1983), created by James L. Brooks, Stan Daniels and David Davis. For his comic and compelling performance, Lloyd collected two Emmys for Best Supporting Actor. The success soon brought in many larger film roles, including Deputy Towfield in the western comedy Goin’ South (1978), Skip Hartman in the TV drama The Fantastic Seven (1979), Gilbert in the murder film Schizoid (1980), Maj. Bartholomew ‘Butch’ Cavendish in the western family movie The Legend of the Lone Ranger (1981), serial killer Samuel Starkman in National Lampoon Goes to the Movies (1982) and Capt. Schultz in the WWII-set To Be or Not to Be (1983).
After guest starring in two episodes of “Cheers” (1984), Lloyd collaborated with director Robert Zemeckis for the sci-fi adventure movie Back to the Future (1985), costarring as eccentric, but lovable, scientist Doc Emmett L. Brown, opposite Michael J Fox. The Saturn-nominated role was later reprised in the sequel Back to the Future Part II (1989), Back to the Future Part III (1990) and the animation series “Back to the Future” (1991).
Following his episodic performance in “Amazing Stories” (1986) and his title role in Tales from the Hollywood Hills: Pat Hobby Teamed with Genius (1987, TV), the actor re-teamed with director Zemeckis in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) and earned another Saturn nomination for his turn as Baron von Rotton/Judge Doom. Lloyd then performed another landmark role, this time as Uncle Fester, in the comic strip-based The Addams Family (1991, also played Gordon Craven) and, later, Addams Family Values (1993).
Lloyd, who won his third Emmy for guest appearing in “Road to Avonlea” (1992), was handed an Independent Spirit award after superbly portraying robber Jimmy in the indie feature Twenty Bucks (1993). He was then involved in films like the family movie Angels in the Outfield (1994), the experimental movie Mr. Payback: An Interactive Movie (1995), the TV drama The Right to Remain Silent (1996), the animated feature Anastasia (1997, voiced Rasputin) and The Ransom of Red Chief (1998, TV).
Revisiting the stage, Lloyd took part in the Off-Broadway revival of “Waiting for Godot” (1998). The next year, the actor appeared as himself in the biopic of fellow “Taxi” costar Andy Kaufman, in Man on the Moon (1999). He then gave a convincing performance as Uncle Fred Walker in the Halloween-themed When Good Ghouls Go Bad (2001, TV) and enchanted his stage audience with a starring turn in the L.A. production of “The Unexpected Man” (2001).
On the small screen, Lloyd guest starred in the sitcom “Malcolm in the Middle” (2002) and the comedy drama “Ed” (2003). He also played Lou Russo in the drama series “Clubhouse” (2004-2005) and acted alongside Pamela Anderson in the cancelled sitcom “Stacked” (2005-2006). In 2006, the veteran actor will appear in the upcoming comedy movie Flakes and the TV drama A Perfect Day.
Lloyd is also set to provide his vocals for Mr. Clipboard in the animation movie Foodfight (2007) and have the turn of Grandpa in Fly Me to the Moon (2007). He will also voice a character in the adaptation of Kate DiCamillo’s book, The Tale of Despereaux (2008) and will play Cliff Small in the movie Wallflowering.
- Independent Spirit: Best Supporting Male, Twenty Bucks, 1994
- Emmy: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, “Road to Avonlea,” 1992
- Emmy: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy or Variety or Music Series, “Taxi,” 1983
- Emmy: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy or Variety or Music Series, “Taxi,” 1982
- OBIE: “Kaspar,” 1973
- Drama Desk: “Kaspar,” 1973