Weston Playhouse remembers Sam Lloyd Jr., Vermont native, ‘Scrubs’ star who died of cancer

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The Weston Playhouse in southern Vermont is remembering Sam Lloyd Jr., the actor known from roles on “Scrubs” and “Seinfeld” who died last week after battling cancer.

Lloyd, 56, who lived in California, was diagnosed last year with brain cancer that spread to his lungs, liver, spine and jaw. He and his wife, Vanessa, had their first child — a son named Weston — in 2018.

Lloyd’s late father was a Vermont legislator and actor who helped make the Weston Playhouse one of the state’s top professional-theater companies. Sam Lloyd Jr. grew up in that environment in southern Vermont and returned frequently for performances. His uncle, TV and film actor Christopher Lloyd, has also performed at the Weston Playhouse.

“To those of us who have known him since he was a boy, he’ll always be Sammy,” Steve Stettler and Tim Fort, founding artistic directors of the Weston Playhouse, wrote in a remembrance posted Monday by the theater company. “The name says it all: playful, impish, eternally youthful. He walks in the room and you’re instantly in a better place. Full of talent and full of life, he makes you laugh because he’s clever, but he makes you care because he’s good.”

From Shakespeare to ABBA

His work “exhibited the Lloyd family gift for grounding eccentricity in humanity,” Stettler and Fort wrote.

“The diverse roles he created, from the main stage to the Cabaret, were unforgettable and undeniable,” according to Stettler and Fort. “Often, he brought to life a world of characters in one play like ‘The Mystery of Irma Vep’ or ‘The Complete Works of William Shakespeare,’ even all on his own in ‘Fully Committed.’ He never lost his theatre muscles while doing TV and film, and as he matured as a person, he matured as an artist, bringing a subtle ease and gravitas to a jukebox musical like ‘Mamma Mia!’”

The two noted that Lloyd “fought a progressive illness with unimaginable strength and positivity.”

“The best to walk this earth teach us both how to live and how to die,” Stettler and Fort wrote. “All too soon, but oh so fully. Sammy, our dear Sammy, did that in spades.”

Roles on ‘Scrubs,’ ‘Seinfeld’

Outside of Vermont, Lloyd is best known for his role as Ted Buckland on the TV series “Scrubs.” He acted on the TV show “Desperate Housewives” and had a memorable guest role in a couple of episodes of “Seinfeld” as a creepy admirer of Elaine Benes.

“When we were together during the summers in Weston, it wouldn’t take long for us to revert to our 12-year-old selves and start causing some (mild) trouble around town,” David Bonanno, a frequent Playhouse performer, recalled of Lloyd in a remembrance for the theater company.

“No one made us laugh harder,” according to Bonanno. “He had been through so much the past few years… losing his dad, then his mom, and then dealing with this awful cancer. He handled it all with so much grace.”

“Then, in the middle of all that… finding the love of his life and having a beautiful baby boy,” Bonanno wrote. “Losing him is just devastating for all of us who knew and loved him.”

Contact Brent Hallenbeck at 660-1844 or bhallenbeck@freepressmedia.com. Follow Brent on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BrentHallenbeck.

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