Christopher Lloyd is regarded as one of the greatest character actors. His singular combination of charisma and mania produced his pantheon of iconic cinematic characters ranging from the pleasantly bizarre to the disturbingly charming.
After seeing him play characters like Dr. Emmett Brown in Back to the Future, Max Taber in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and Judge Doom in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, you can’t imagine anyone else playing that role.
But it appears that we haven’t seen Christopher Lloyd since the mid-1990s. He went from being an A-lister at the pinnacle of his career to essentially disappearing. But don’t worry if you’ve been missing him! He wasn’t transported to the Wild West or suffocated in a fall.
There are several reasons for Hollywood’s beloved old lovable loon’s recent absence, some of which are quite unexpected. Let’s see what he’s been up to.
Lloyd’s inability to work is partly attributed to his busy personal life, which has always been full of ups and downs. He’s never married, but he’s had a long string of relationships that haven’t always ended happily.
His first marriage was to Catherine Boyd, whom he divorced in 1959. We can deduce that this was his most contentious divorce. In 2002, Boyd filed a lawsuit against Lloyd for allegedly unpaid alimony.
Lloyd married again in 1974, this time to actress Kay Tornborg, with whom he remained married until 1987. Then, in 1988, he married Carol Ann Vanek; however, they were only married for a short time, ending in 1991. He married screenwriter Jane Walker Wood shortly after, and they were married from 1992 to 2005. He was married for the fourth time.
He chose to remain single for the next ten years, but he recently remarried in 2016, this time to real estate broker Lisa Loiacono. Let us hope that this concept survives.
The truth is that it was never easy to cast Christopher Lloyd. He exudes a distinct energy that lends itself perfectly to portraying some very specific characters.
Being in the right place at the right time may have helped him land some of his first big jobs. He might have always been destined to be a middle-of-the-road character actor.
Lloyd used to play a wide range of ages, switching between older and younger characters from film to film to compensate for the low demand for eccentric weirdos in big-budget films.
For example, at the age of 46, he played both the much younger Professor Plum in Clue and the much older Doc Brown in Back to the Future.
His options are becoming increasingly limited as he approaches old age. He alluded to the challenges of growing older in the aforementioned interview with Metro New York, saying, “I once did a Q&A for Back to the Future, and some little child goes for the microphone and says:
‘Mr. Lloyd, now that you’re older, do you miss putting on old-age makeup?’” Lloyd burst out laughing. For a young child, this is an excellent observation.
Unfortunately, the fact that Back to the Future is very likely never going to return is one of the reasons we haven’t seen more of Christopher Lloyd.
Lloyd isn’t the issue; he still enjoys portraying Doc Brown in supporting roles and ancillary content. In response to a question regarding whether he would take part in a sequel from the Phoenix New Times, he stated, “I would be thrilled. A fourth film would be fantastic for me.”
But the producers are categorically opposed, and there’s also the issue of Michael J. Fox’s health. Despite acting frequently since then and publicly battling Parkinson’s disease since 1998, Fox wouldn’t be able to manage a new main role in a Back to the Future movie.
Director Robert Zemeckis responded to a question regarding a potential sequel by saying, “Oh my God, never! Until producer Bob Gale and I pass away, it cannot happen. It’s like suggesting that Citizen Kane be remade. Who will we cast in the role of Kane? What madness, what nonsense is that?”
Even if the Back to the Future series is over, its spirit lives on in various forms of media. The most popular of these is the wildly popular twisted adult animated sitcom Rick and Morty, whose two main characters were, respectively, modeled by Doc Brown and Marty McFly.
Christopher Lloyd reportedly watched it and indicated an interest in making a guest appearance on the show, presumably as Rick’s father, in the same New Times interview.