Joe Turkel, ‘The Shining’ and Classic TV Star, Dead at 94

by Suzanne Halliburton

Joe Turkel, a noted character actor who played a ghostly bartender on The Shining, died earlier this week. He was 94.

Turkel’s representative confirmed to Variety and other outlets that the actor died Monday at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, Calif.

If you were a fan of Stanley Kubrick horror movies, you probably recognize Joe Turkel. He played Lloyd the bartender on The Shining. And he also appeared in two other Kubrick movies — The Killing and Paths of Glory.

His most notable role might’ve been that of Lloyd. His appearance in The Shining was the first major clue that Jack Nicholson’s character was going mad. Nicholson’s Jack Torrance walked into a giant, empty ballroom at The Overlook. Jack walked up to the bar and declared he’d give up his soul “for a goddamn glass of beer.” Suddenly he could see Lloyd, so he ordered some “hair of the dog.” And it was this scene in the gold room that provided some of Jack’s back story. He talked about his wife, Wendy, and son, Danny. Lloyd was the silent listener, who eventually told Jack: “Women: can’t live with them, can’t live without them.”

In previous interviews, Turkel said he and Nicholson rehearsed the scene for six weeks.

Joe Turkel started acting at a young age. He served in the Army during World War II, then moved to California. His first part was in the movie 1949 movie City Across the River.

Turkel had more than 100 acting credits. One of his other notable roles was in the 1982 movie Blade Runner. He portrayed Dr. Eldon Tyrell, who owned the company that sold replicants.

Joe Turkel had so many other roles, especially on TV. He appeared on such classic TV shows as Bonanza, The Andy Griffith Show, The Untouchables and Fantasy Island. His last role was a voice-over in a 1997 Blade Runner video game.

He is survived by two sons and a brother. His family said that Turkel had written a memoir before his death. They said it will be published.