Noted Character Actor Returns to World Series 91 Years Later

Norman Lloyd

Veteran character actor Norman Lloyd has one of those Hollywood faces you recognize immediately, even if you can’t match it with a name. He has plenty of fascinating stories to tell about his years in the entertainment industry, but recently there was just one thing on his mind – baseball.

At the age of 102, Lloyd was probably the only fan at Dodger Stadium for this week’s World Series who could describe what it was like to watch Babe Ruth play in the series 91 years earlier. He was there.

In an interview with the LA Times, Lloyd described watching “the Babe” split his pants as he slid into home base in the 1926 championship. “He stood up, on the base, hands on his hips, surveyed the crowd and stood there while they sewed him up.” Lloyd was just 12 years old at the time, and never forgot that day. He was hooked on baseball from then on, but never made it back to a World Series until now.

His appearances in hundreds of films and television shows make Norman Lloyd a bona fide celebrity, but to him, sports icons like Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig were real superstars. Born in New Jersey and raised in Brooklyn, he recalled the impact of being in the stands on that day in 1926 when the Yankees and the St. Louis Cardinals battled it out. “Baseball has always remained a passion for me,” said Lloyd.

Lloyd added that watching a World Series game from the stands once again was “wonderful.” During a busy acting career spanning more than 80 years, there wasn’t a lot of time to attend series games, but he followed the sport intensely, and has remained a true-blue Dodgers fan to this day.

Lloyd has appeared in countless movies and TV shows. He played the starchy, unyielding headmaster in “Dead Poet’s Society” and made a memorable appearance in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Saboteur.” On television, he had guest and starring roles in popular shows such as “Murder, She Wrote,” “The Practice,” “Wings,” and “Star Trek – The Next Generation.” More recently, he appeared on “Modern Family.” But he is best known for playing Dr. Auschlander for six seasons on the popular 1980s TV hospital drama, “St. Elsewhere.”

He always embraced his love for sports, and not just baseball. Until a recent fall, he played tennis almost daily, challenging everyone from Charlie Chaplin to Spencer Tracy on the court. But this week was all about baseball. He hadn’t planned on attending, but when friends surprised him with tickets as an early birthday gift, he didn’t complain. After 91 years, why not show up one more time?


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