Peter Bart Pays Norman Lloyd the Highest Hollywood Compliment

Tomorrow, on the sunny west coast, Peter Bart will meet Norman Lloyd for a game of tennis. Bart, the former Paramount Studios production VP and current Variety editor-at-large, is 82. Lloyd, a Tinseltown legend, will turn 100 on Saturday.

The combined 181 years of these players is actually not the most notable aspect of tomorrow’s match. Per Bart’s latest transcribed weekly conversation with Deadline EIC Mike Fleming Jr., the game will be distinguished by something even rarer. Explains Bart:

“I’ve never caught Norman making a bad call on the tennis court, setting him apart from everyone else I’ve ever played with.”

Bart has been playing tennis with Lloyd for 30+ years, dating back essentially to not long after he had a crucial hand in movies such as Rosemary’s baby and Harold and Maude. For more on actor-producer-director Lloyd, check out this recent piece by The Hollywood Reporter’s Todd McCarthy. An article that begins, breathtakingly, as follows:

He’s been going to Broadway shows since he paid 50 cents for a balcony seat to see Al Jolson in Bombo in 1921. During the Great Depression he worked with Elia Kazan in the Theater of Action, then joined Orson Welles’ Mercury Theater to act in the Boy Wonder’s legendary  Julius Caesar. He made his screen debut falling from the Statue of Liberty in Alfred Hitchcock’s Saboteur, produced the world premiere of Bertholt Brecht’s Galileo starring Charles Laughton at the Coronet Theater in Los Angeles, acted in films for Jean Renoir and Charlie Chaplin (and was the latter’s tennis partner for years), selected the stories and hired the writers and directors for Hitchcock’s long-running televisions shows and later won a whole new generation of fans playing Dr. Daniel Auschlander on St. Elsewhere for six years in the 1980s. Since then he’s acted in films by Martin Scorsese and Peter Weir and, this past summer, played a role in Judd Apatow‘s forthcoming Trainwreck.

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