Lloyd, Harold, 1893–1971, American movie actor. Born in tiny Burchard, Kans., he came to California in 1912. Lloyd became famous for his comic portrayals of a wistful innocent with horn-rimmed glasses who blunders in and out of hair-raising situations, e.g., hanging from the hands of a clock high above a city in Safety Last (1923), often considered his masterpiece. Lloyd's natural style of acting helped to create a believable character that made him the most popular film comedian of the 1920s. He appeared in more than 500 films, including many shorts and 18 feature-length films, spanning both the silent and sound eras; among them were Girl Shy (1924), The Freshman (1925), Movie Crazy (1932), and Mad Wednesday (1947). Lloyd was also the subject of two compilations, Harold Lloyd's World of Comedy (1962) and The Funny Side of Life (1963), which he produced and edited.
See interviews ed. by W. Cahn (1974); S. Lloyd (his granddaughter) and J. Vance, Harold Lloyd: Master Comedian (2002); biography by A. M. D'Agostino (2009); studies by R. Schickel (1974) and A. Reilly (1977); A. M. D'Agostino, Harold Lloyd: a Bio-Bibliography (1994) and The Harold Lloyd Encyclopedia (2004, repr. 2010).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.