Actor and former lawmaker Sam Lloyd died Friday at his home in Weston. Lloyd, who was 91, led a remarkably full civic and stage life.
Born in New York City, Lloyd grew up in Connecticut and served in the Marines in World War II. After the war, he studied acting in New York.
He made his first appearance on the Weston Playhouse stage in the summer of 1951. He and his family moved to Weston a decade later.
Lloyd met his second wife Barbara at the playhouse in the 1950s, although it wasn’t until many years later, after their first marriages had ended, that they became a couple.
Weston Playhouse Theatre Company artistic director Steve Stettler met Lloyd in the early 1970s. Stettler was in college, like most of the actors at Weston at that time, and impressed with Lloyd’s performance in the lead role of a production of Our Town.
“Sam was definitely for us an idol and superstar. His performance in that play was particularly memorable and quite wonderful,” says Stettler.
Stettler directed Lloyd in many other plays over the years, including Lloyd’s last performance at the Weston Playhouse in 2014: an annual production of A Christmas Carol, featuring Lloyd as Scrooge.
Stettler says as a person, Lloyd was far from Scrooge-like.
“He really did theater the way he did politics, as a service to his friends and community. It was not so much about Sam as it was about the joy of sharing theater with others,” he says.
The list of Lloyd’s civic roles is as lengthy as his resume of stage roles.
He spent 35 years as Weston’s town moderator. He served in many capacities in town government and ran the Weston Bowl Mill for many years.
Lloyd also represented his neighbors in the Vermont House, where he served four terms, helping craft Vermont's law banning billboards and the development control legislation, Act 250.
He chaired the Committee on Natural Resources and later served on the state’s Environmental Board.
“Sam had a love for the people and the institutions of Vermont and was proud to be someone who was helpful in that arena,” says former Commissioner of Fish and Wildlife Steve Wright, who served on the board with Lloyd.
Wright says Lloyd brought wisdom and statesmanship to his role on the board.
As a philanthropist, Lloyd donated computers to his local school and set up an ongoing program to support the technology. He served on the board of the Vermont Institute of Natural Science and supported the Vermont Land Trust and the Vermont Community Foundation.
As busy as he was, the theater remained a constant for Lloyd. He appeared in more than 1,000 Weston Playhouse performances.
Lloyd’s son, Sam Jr., is also an actor, as is his brother, Christopher. In 1990, the three appeared, with Lloyd’s wife Barbara, in a Weston Playhouse production of Sherlock Holmes.
In 2001, the theater company marked Lloyd's 50 years on stage by naming its rehearsal hall in his honor.
Lloyd also appeared in three Vermont-made films: The Spitfire Grill, Where the Rivers Flow North and Bereft.
The Weston Playhouse, which announced Lloyd’s death, says a memorial service will be held at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to the Weston Playhouse Theatre Company.
In addition to his wife, Barbara, Lloyd is survived by his four children and three siblings, as well as grandchildren and great grandchildren.