Today he’s perhaps best remembered as the father of Oscar winner Jeff Bridges, and actor Beau Bridges, but Father Lloyd Bridges had quite a long and varied career.
Here he above (above) in one of his most successful incarnations, as ex-Navy frogman Mike Nelson in the highly successful tv syndication series, Sea Hunt, which ran for four seasons beginning back in 1958. Bridges worked like crazy over his long career — he died in 1998 at age 85 — covering some 220 credits including a host of television and more than 150 films.
Born Lloyd Vernet Bridges Jr. in 1913, he was a strapping, good looking California boy who in the 1930’s managed to land as a contract player at Columbia Pictures. He said later that he lacked the “maturity” of a leading man. I looked too broad in the shoulders.
As a result, he found himself a series of also-ran titles such as Two Latins from Manhattan and even a Three Stooges short. It was tough sledding.
After World War II stint in the U.S. Coast Guard, Bridges worked for several studios and independent productions. We especially like him as a member of the GI ensemble team in 20th Century Fox’s 1945 World War II classic, A Walk in the Sun.
We especially like Bridges playing against type as the Barbara Payton manhandling bad guy in 1949’s Trapped, a nasty little film noir directed by Richard Fleischer. If you haven’t caught this one, do so.
Later in his career, Bridges reinvented himself as essentially a tv actor. He even had his own anthology series on CBS, in the early 1960’s, The Lloyd Bridges Show. (His vast body of tv work netted him two Emmy nominations.)
He proved he could spoof himself in the air disaster sploofs, Airplane! in 1980 and Airplane II: The Sequel two years later.
In short, Lloyd Bridges proved to be one of Hollywood’s most genial and versatile actors.