Joe Turkel, the Overlook Hotel's bartender in The Shining, dies at 94
Joe Turkel, a prolific character actor known for his turns in The Shining and Blade Runner, has died at 94, a representative confirmed to EW. Turkel died Monday at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, Calif. with his sons Craig and Robert by his side.
Of his 100-plus film and TV credits, Turkel is perhaps best known for his role as Lloyd, the preternaturally calm, credit-extending bartender in Stanley Kubrick's The Shining. When Jack Nicholson's unraveling hotel caretaker asks who's picking up his bar tab, Lloyd assures him, "It's not a matter that concerns you, Mr. Torrance — at least not at this point."
Two years later, in 1982, Ridley Scott cast Turkel in Blade Runner as Eldon Tyrell, who developed the replicants at the heart of the dystopian sci-fi classic and who dies brutally at the hands of one of his creations.
With his lean face and hollow cheeks, Turkel was a frequent presence on screens big and small beginning in 1949 with City Across the River, a crime noir about a Brooklyn street gang, until his final credited appearance in 1990's outer-space thriller The Dark Side of the Moon, which is set on a satellite maintenance ship in 2022.
In the decades in between, Turkel made appearances on shows including Miami Vice, The Andy Griffith Show, Fantasy Island, S.W.A.T., Bonanza, The Lone Ranger, and The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin.
Before casting him in The Shining, Kubrick worked with Turkel two other times, in 1956's The Killing and 1957's Paths of Glory. Turkel's turn as Lloyd in The Shining has been spoofed and homaged in TV and film over the years, including 2016's Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence sci-fi flick Passengers, which found Michael Sheen playing a similarly dressed, similarly unflappable bartender named Arthur.
The barman in 2010's PlayStation 3 game Heavy Rain also bears a strong resemblance to Turkel's character, and in 1994, The Simpson's annual Halloween outing, "Treehouse of Horror V," found Moe (voiced by Hank Azaria) standing in as the bartender encouraging Homer to kill his family, reasoning, "They'd be much happier as ghosts."
Before becoming a professional actor, Turkel joined the merchant Marines at 17 and enlisted in the United States Army during World War II, deploying to Europe. He was married to Anita J. Turkel, who preceded him in death.
Turkel completed his memoir, The Misery of Success, just before his death, and his family plans to publish it later this year.