If you’re a fan of horror movies, then you’ve likely seen ‘The Shining,’ the 1980 classic directed by Stanley Kubrick. And if you’ve seen The Shining, then you’re familiar with Danny Torrance, the young boy with psychic abilities who is tormented by his father while they spend the winter as caretakers of the Overlook Hotel.
Danny Torrance was played by Danny Lloyd, a child actor who became an instant icon in the horror genre. But what happened to Lloyd after his star-making turn in The Shining? Let’s take a peek into his life and career.
From The Midwest To The Big Screen
Danny Lloyd hails from the Midwest and wasn’t really a child actor at the time he was cast in ‘The Shining.’ He found his way to the role after his father saw a casting call for young children to act in an upcoming film. Lloyd was ultimately chosen to play the son of Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall’s characters because director Stanley Kubrick was impressed by Lloyd’s ability to concentrate and focus, which would come in handy in the Stephen King adaptation’s most intense scenes.
A Surprising Discovery
Believe it or not, when Danny Lloyd was filming ‘The Shining,’ he didn’t know he was starring in a horror movie! In a 2017 interview with The Guardian, Lloyd revealed that he thought the movie was a drama about a family who lived in a hotel. It wasn’t until years later, when he watched the uncut version of the movie that he realized that the twin girls he played with on the set were playing ghosts and that Nicholson’s character, Jack Torrance, was trying to kill him.
Protected On Set
Despite the movie’s violent and terrifying scenes, director Stanley Kubrick and the rest of the cast and crew went out of their way to make sure that young Danny Lloyd wasn’t scarred for life. They used dummies in place of Lloyd in some of the most violent scenes, and they played lots of games between takes to keep the atmosphere light. Lloyd has said that he has fond memories of making the movie, and he even remembers being banned from the set during Scatman Crothers’ brutal death scene.
The End Of An Acting Career
After The Shining, Lloyd appeared as ‘Young Liddy’ in Will: The Autobiography of G. Gordon Liddy, but that was his last credit as a child actor. Lloyd continued auditioning for a time, but he eventually told his parents that he was ready to quit. They were supportive of his decision, and Lloyd went on to have a normal childhood and adolescence. He told The Guardian that he always enjoyed acting, but as he got older, it started to feel a bit boring.
Danny’s Life After The Shining
Today, Danny Lloyd is a father of four and teaches biology at Elizabethtown Community College in Kentucky. He leads a pretty normal life and says that people don’t usually recognize him when he goes out in public. In fact, he prefers that his students don’t know about his former life as a child actor. Lloyd had a small cameo in the 2019 sequel to ‘The Shining,’ ‘Doctor Sleep,’ where he played a spectator at a baseball game.
Danny Lloyd’s role as Danny Torrance in ‘The Shining’ made him a horror icon at a very young age. While he didn’t pursue acting as an adult, he found success in other areas of life, such as teaching biology and being a loving father of four. Despite his success outside of the film industry, Lloyd is still remembered and admired for his iconic role in ‘The Shining.’ It’s clear that his ability to concentrate and focus, which impressed Stanley Kubrick, has carried over into other aspects of his life. Danny Lloyd may have been a child star, but he’s now living a normal, fulfilling life.