Norman Lloyd is best known for playing kindly “Dr. Auschlander” on St. Elsewhere (photo below, right) and as the titular character in Alfred Hitchcock’s classic 1942 film Saboteur; he also produced for Alfred Hitchcock Presents and KCET’s Hollywood Television Theater and appeared in movies for Charlie Chaplin (Limelight) and Jean Renoir (The Southerner). This past week he celebrated an over 70 year career in television with a hilarious bit on ABC’s Modern Family. Now featured for viewing on ABC’s website, Modern Family: “Manny Get Your Gun” sees Norman Lloyd (photo left, with Jesse Tyler Ferguson) as an elderly paramour who’s assisted by Cam (Eric Stonestreet) in getting the attention of his lost love.
Norman Lloyd made his TV debut in 1939 with the W2XBS productions: “The Streets of New York” (which also starred George Coulouris) and “Missouri Legend” (which also starred Dean Jagger and Mildred Natwick). A picture-only fragment of “The Streets of New York” (aired August 31, 1939) exists at The Paley Center for Media and is one of the oldest extant pieces of American TV.
Watch chapter two of Norman Lloyd’s Archive interview where he discusses his first year in TV in these productions.
“What they did was take a radio studio and simply put the sets up against the wall. On this wall, they put a set, and maybe had room for another. That’s how confined it was, and how primitive. And that was the days of the beginning of TV.”