Suzanne Lloyd | Granddaughter of Silent Film Star Harold Lloyd
About Suzanne Lloyd
Suzanne Lloyd, the granddaughter of Harold and Mildred Lloyd, was raised at their Beverly Hills estate, Greenacres. Harold
Lloyd, the master comedian who produced and starred in more than 200 films, came to personify silent films as “the man in glasses hanging from the clock.”
Harold recognized Suzanne’s aptitude for business, trained her well, and when he died in 1971, made the 19-year-old the trustee of his film library and 3D library that holds more than 200,000 photographs. Suzanne has devoted herself to film preservation ever since, and keeps her grandfather’s films alive by sharing his work with the world. She introduced the newly restored Speedy at the Tribeca Film Festival with DJ Z-Trip, the American Film Institute’s 50th Anniversary Festival, the Bologna Film Festival, the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, and in 2015, made seven features and eight shorts available on iTunes in various languages in more than 15 countries (many for the first time). In 2016, she did numerous shows with the Academy of Motion Picture Art and Sciences with Harold’s extraordinary 3D library, presenting rare, 3D photographs of opening day and the early years of Disneyland. Suzanne and Cinesite Studios are currently in partnership working to animate Harold for the first time.
Suzanne served on the Board of the American Film Institute as a trustee for more than 20 years, and has published three books. She works closely with Criterion, The Packard Humanities Institute, and the UCLA Film and Television Archive on the restoration of the library. She has produced the releases of Safety Last!, The Freshman, and Speedy, and is currently working on The Kid Brother to be released by the end of the year.
About Harold Lloyd (1893-1971)
Harold Lloyd was one of the great comic stars of the cinema, a genius on a par with Chaplin and Keaton. However, he came from a humble background, and perhaps this was the key to his affinity with “the ordinary man” who does extraordinary things.
Lloyd was born in Burchard, Nebraska, on April 20, 1893, and was acting at an early age with theatrical repertory companies. He made his film debut as an extra in a 1913 one-reel film for the Edison Film Company. He became friends with another extra, Hal Roach, and when Roach formed his own film company, he invited Lloyd to join him.
Lloyd’s initial comic characterization was a tramp character called Willie Work. After a series of partings over money and subsequent reconciliations, Roach and Lloyd created a new character called Lonesome Luke which became popular despite Lloyd’s dislike of imitating Charlie Chaplin, which the film distributor, Pathé, demanded.
Then Lloyd found the idea that was to become his trademark, and change him from a good comedian to a major star-the glasses. Lloyd persuaded Roach and his distributor to abandon Lonesome Luke, and in 1917, Lloyd shed grotesque comedy clothes and characterizations for a pair of horn-rimmed glasses. In doing so, Lloyd created an American archetype, an optimistic and determined go-getter sporting spectacles and a toothy smile.
Lloyd retained the “Glass Character” (as Lloyd called his comic persona) throughout the rest of his motion picture career, which spanned 34 years and more than 200 comedies. Among his most famous films are Grandma’s Boy (1922), Safety Last! (1923), The Freshman (1925), The Kid Brother (1927), Speedy (1928), and Movie Crazy (1932).
Lloyd married his leading lady, MildrEd Davis, in 1923, and the two remained married until her death in 1969. The Lloyds built a magnificent Beverly Hills estate, called Greenacres, and raised three children- Gloria, Peggy, and Harold, Jr.
After retiring from films, Lloyd kept busy with various philanthropic activities, vigorously pursued his many hobbies, and raised his granddaughter, Suzanne Lloyd. He was elected Imperial Potentate of the Shriners in 1949, and worked tirelessly for the many Shriners’ Hospitals for disabled children. Lloyd was also a prize-winning stereo (3-D) photographer. He produced two compilation films of his earlier work, Harold Lloyd’s World of Comedy (1962) and Harold Lloyd’s Funny Side of Life (1963), and was preparing further revivals of his best films before succumbing to cancer on March 8, 1971, at the age of 77.