Fan Expo 2016: The Shining’s Danny Lloyd Finally Tells His Story

The reputation of The Shining has only grown over the years, as has curiosity about actor Danny Lloyd, who graced that film with one of the most memorable child performances of all-time. For decades, Lloyd has avoided the convention circuit, but he recently started making public appearances—with enlightening results. At Fan Expo on Saturday, he participated in the Children of Horror Cinema panel, addressing many long-unanswered questions about Lloyd and his relationship with The Shining. Did he play with the Grady twins on the set? Of course he did. How old was he when he saw the film? Around 12, with “probably a little censorship” from his parents. Is he a parent himself? Yes, he has four children. Is he a blocked novelist living with his family in an isolated hotel? Fortunately, no.


Lloyd was only five at the time of the shoot, but he can still recall key shooting days with impressive precision. For example, he was able to discuss the hard work that went into the hedge maze finale and even the shooting schedule of his onscreen dad, Jack Nicholson. “Jack wasn’t there for a lot of it,” Lloyd says of the late-movie pursuit. “He worked hard on it too… there was a little bit where we worked together there, but as far as being chased, I honestly think I was concentrating too hard on working my way through that maze. I think we won in the end, so I didn’t mind.”

As for the experience of working with one of the most revered and exacting filmmakers ever to pick up a camera, Danny has nothing but fond memories. “Stanley Kubrick was clearly—even to a five-year-old—the man in charge, but not in a mean way,” he said. “Everybody loved him. Everybody loved being on his set. Even as young as I was, I have memories of him playing catch with me with a tennis ball. I don’t think I knew what a New York accent was, but I was from the Midwest so I was like, ‘Why is this guy talking so fast?’ But he was great. My whole family was there with me and he was great to us.”

For fans of The Shining, Lloyd’s life after the shoot has always been something of a mystery, but he generously filled in some of the blanks. “There was a point after The Shining that I kept on auditioning and trying out for other parts and then early into high school is when I gave that up,” he revealed. “I love science. I’m a biology teacher and that’s the way my road went. Occasionally, a student will come up and say, ‘Would you sign this?’ I’ve got rules. I don’t go into all that. Sometimes that can be disruptive… being a teacher kind of tests you and you don’t want distractions and things like that. I’ve made it work.”