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Joe Turkel, ‘Blade Runner’ & ‘The Shining’ Actor, Dies at 94

TV Insider logo TV Insider 7/5/2022 Martin Holmes
Joe Turkel in The Shining © YouTube/Warner Bros. Joe Turkel in The Shining

Veteran character actor Joe Turkel, best known for playing the ghostly bartender Lloyd in The Shining and Dr. Eldon Tyrell in Blade Runner, has died. He was 94.

According to Deadline, Turkel passed away on Monday, June 27, at St. John’s Hospital. He was said to have died peacefully with his sons Craig and Robert by his side.

Born on July 15, 1927, in Brooklyn, New York City, Turkel joined the US Army when he was 17 and served in the European Theater of Operations during World War II. His acting career began in 1948 when he made his first film appearance in City Across the River. He would go on to feature in several movies throughout the 1950s, including Lucky Losers, Man Crazy, and The Beast of Budapest.

His television work included The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, where he played the role of young Texas cowhand Jim Rellance. He also appeared in shows such as Bonanza, Frontier Doctor, Kojak, The Lone Ranger, S.W.A.T., The Andy Griffith Show, The Untouchables, Dragnet, and Miami Vice.

However, Turkel is most recognized for playing the creepy bartender Lloyd in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. The actor gives a menacing performance as he talks with Jack Nicholson’s disturbed Jack Torrance at the Overlook Hotel bar. Turkel also appeared in two other Kubrick films, 1956’s The Killing and 1957’s Paths of Glory.

Turkel’s last on-screen role came in the 1990 sci-fi horror film The Dark Side of the Moon. However, in 1997 he reprised the role of Dr. Eldon Tyrell for the Blade Runner video game.

According to Deadline, Turkel had completed a memoir entitled The Misery of Success just before his death. The family plans to publish the book later this year.

He is survived by his two sons and daughters-in-law, Craig and Annie Turkel, and Robert and Casilde Sesti, and his brother David Turkel; two grandchildren, Ben and Sarah.


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