A child star who booked one iconic role, Jake Lloyd experienced the best and worst aspects of fame during his brief career. Born March 5, 1989 in Fort Collins, CO, Jake Lloyd recurred on "ER" (NBC, 1994-2009) and "The Pretender" (NBC, 1996-2000) before playing the son of Marisa Tomei in "Unhook the Stars" (1996) and of Arnold Schwarzenegger in "Jingle All the Way" (1996). He won the part of a lifetime and instant global fame when George Lucas cast him in the hotly anticipated "Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace" (1999) as the young Anakin Skywalker, the future Darth Vader. With a building fan frenzy rarely seen in Hollywood, the film and Lloyd were showered with unprecedented media attention and featured in countless tie-ins and merchandise. Accordingly, the young actor seemed poised to capitalize on his success, but when "Phantom" hit the theaters, it divided audiences and critics at best and spawned outright vitriol at worst. Besides the controversial CGI character Jar Jar Binks, Lloyd's performance as Anakin, fairly or not, earned the lion's share of scathing reviews to the point where the real-life actor would later describe how bullied and belittled he had felt at just age 11, both in the public eye as well as in his private life. Burned by the "Phantom" backlash and bristling at being reduced to a pop culture punchline, Lloyd effectively retired from acting after playing the son of James Caviezel and Mary McCormack in the racing drama "Madison" (2005).
By Jonathan Riggs