There are several actors who can be instantly identified to a single character role. For Christopher Lloyd, the recognition is twofold. He is readily known to television audiences for his two-time Emmy Award-winning portrayal of spaced-out cabbie Jim Ignatowski in "Taxi," and returns to the second of those characters in the persona of "Doc" Emmett Brown in "Back to the Future Part II."
Interestingly enough, Lloyd recalls that when he was initially contacted about playing the role in the first film, he had some doubts, and seriously considered passing on the project. "I was in Mexico when my agent called and told me that these guys wanted to meet me," says the actor. "I was anxious to do a play that I'd been offered back east, and I just wasn't sure that this was something I wanted to get involved in at that point. Luckily, Carol, my future wife, reminded me that I always told myself never to turn anything down without at least checking it out. After flying to L.A. and meeting with Bob Zemeckis, Bob Gale and Neil Canton, I was ready to put on the wig and hop into the DeLorean."
Originally conceiving the character of Doc Brown as "sort of a cross between Leopold Stokowsky and Albert Einstein," Lloyd's portrayal has taken the role to untold dimensions. Constantly astounding and amusing fellow cast and crew members with outrageous improvisation, his performance takes on a variety of facial and body contortions that are unique only to Lloyd.
"Chris is very quiet on the set," says producer/writer Bob Gale, "yet when it's time for him to act, he just turns something on, and suddenly Doc Brown is there. You wonder how much of it is conscious, or if it's just an amazing instinct."
Lloyd admits that there are times when the character does take over the performance. "When I go into a scene," says the actor, "I usually know where I want to go with it, but it doesn't always end up there. Sometimes I don't know what I've done until I see it on the screen."
Because of Lloyd's extensive work in all entertainment media, his credits are numerous. In addition to his work on "Taxi," Lloyd's other television credits include "Cowboy and the Ballerina," "September Gun," "Old Friends," "Money on the Side," "Best of the West," "Visions," "Amazing Stories" and "The Word."
Directed by such filmmakers as Nicholas Roeg, Milos Forman, Jack Nicholson, Bob Rafelson and Leonard Nimoy, as well as several times by Robert Zemeckis, Lloyd's film career has found him in some of Hollywood's biggest critical and box office successes, including "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" and "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (his film debut) as well as "The Dream Team," "Eight Men Out," "Track 29," "Clue," "To Be or Not To Be," "Mr. Mom," "The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai," "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock," "The Postman Always Rings Twice," "The Legend of the Lone Ranger," "The Black Marble," "The Onion Field," "Goin' South," "Butch and Sundance: The Early Days" and "Three Warriors."
Lloyd has also been recognized for his work in the theatre with a 1973 Drama Desk Award for his off-Broadway role in "Kaspar." Other theatre credits include the Broadway production of "Happy End," and such New York Shakespeare Festival and off-Broadway productions as "Macbeth," "The Seagull," "The Boom Boom Room," "Total Eclipse," "As They Put Handcuffs on the Flowers" and "Red, White and Maddox."
Steven Spielberg Presents A Robert Zemeckis Film. "Back to the Future Part II." Starring Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Thomas F. Wilson. Music by Alan Silvestri. Edited by Arthur Schmidt, Harry Keramidas. Production Design by Rick Carter. Director of Photography, Dean Cundey, A.S.C. Executive Producers, Steven Spielberg, Frank Marshall, Kathleen Kennedy. Story by Robert Zemeckis & Bob Gale. Screenplay by Bob Gale. Produced by Bob Gale and Neil Canton. Directed by Robert Zemeckis. A Universal Picture.
as of October 24, 1989