Gaylord Lloyd: Harold’s Lucky Brother

Gaylord is the one on the right.
Gaylord is the one on the right.

It’s well known that Charlie Chaplin employed his brothers Sydney Chaplin and Wheeler Dryden on his films, and then later cast most of his children, and equally well known that Buster Keaton often cast his parents Joe and Myra and his sister Louise. It’s perhaps less well known that Harold Lloyd provided such employment for his older brother Gaylord (1888-1943).

Gaylord started out as a double for Harold and a bit player in 1919. This ability to double was especially useful in twin comedies like His Royal Slyness (1919). In 1921 he was tried in his own series of shorts, which was timely because Harold was about to up to features. But comedies like The Lucky Number and Dodge Your Debts didn’t set the world on fire, so Gaylord was moved back to supporting roles. By the late twenties he was working on his brother’s features behind the camera, as assistant director, location manager, and business manager. He died in 1943 at the age of 55.

To learn more about comedy film history including the career of Gaylord’s brother Harold Lloyd, don’t miss my book: Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube

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