10/08/2013 AT 10:45 AM ET
Dan Lloyd can walk down the street in his Kentucky town these days, and no one says boo.
“I lead a pretty normal life now,” Lloyd tells New York’s Daily News. “People don’t recognize me when I go out in public.”
That’s a big change from 1980, when Lloyd’s adorably terrified face became known to millions after he played Danny Torrance, the son of Jack Nicholson, in director Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining.
The Danny Torrance character is now back in Stephen King’s new novel, Doctor Sleep, a sequel to The Shining – leading many to wonder whatever happened to Lloyd.
And the truth is, the Illinois native left Hollywood behind and returned to the Midwest, where he’s now a married father of six and a biology teacher at a community college outside Louisville, Ky.
Lloyd auditioned for other acting roles “until I was in high school, and I stopped at about 14 with almost no success,” he says now. “I’m glad I was in The Shining. It was not a bad experience for me. It just wasn’t something that panned out, and I decided to go back to being a regular kid.”
He adds: “A Hollywood life probably wouldn’t have been for me, anyway. I’m proud to come from the Midwest, and that’s where I’m comfortable at.”
Still, he remembers his time zipping around on his tricycle at the Overlook Hotel fondly. “I was 5 years old,” he says. “To be able to ride your bike inside was this great thing.”
Lloyd first saw The Shining when he was 16, and perhaps not surprisingly, he didn’t find it very scary. “I saw it behind the scenes,” he says. “I know it might be kind of ironic, but I like funny films and documentaries.”
Though he’s been out of the acting game for three decades, Lloyd could see himself making a brief comeback – if Doctor Sleep is ever made into a movie.
“I would be up for a cameo, for sure,” he says. “That would be fun.”