The real power of an actor can be one single role, one performance, even if it is for only a minute or two onscreen that will make movie-goers remember them forever. Joe Turkel, and actor who had over a 140 acting credits to his name, did that twice in his career. They were on the later part of his career, but they are still as an effective performance now and they were some 40 years ago today.
The first and probably best known, is that of Lloyd the bartender in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining (1980). His underplayed and subdued characterization sells the roles even more. But then two years later, he appeared in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, as Dr. Eldon Tyrell, the creator of the replicants that Harrison Ford’s character is out to capture. Again, not a huge role and not a lot of screen time, but Turkel made an impact with it.
It’s a shame too since he appeared in a ton of different TV shows and films in his long career. He was even in Bert I. Gordon’s Tormented (1960), as well as working Kubrick a few times during that time.
Turkel passed away on Monday, at the age of 94. He had just finished writing his autobiography, entitled The Misery of Success, which his family plan on publishing later this year. A great character actor and one that will definitely live on along with the films he appeared in. Our thoughts go out to his friends and family during this difficult time.