LLOYD BRIDGES


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Lloyd Bridges was born in San Leandro, California in 1913, and few well-known Hollywood stars have taken so long to make it to the top level of stardom! Bridges grew up in California and went to college there, but moved to New York after getting married. He had appeared in two movies uncredited in 1936 at the age of 23, but he was in New York working on the Broadway stage until 1941, when he signed a contract with Columbia Pictures at age 28, and moved back to California. Columbia put him in minor or uncredited roles in dozens of movies over the next four years. By 1945, after some 60 movies, he was still only fifth billed in A Place in the Sun, and that was one of his best roles to that time! It seemed likely his better roles would only come in much lesser movies, and that whenever he appeared in a major movie, he would have a pretty minor role, like as the cowardly deputy Harvey Pell, in High Noon. In the early 1950s, Bridges was caught up in the Hollywood blacklist (for having once been a member of a group with "Communist ties") and that caused Bridges to start doing more and more TV work, and fewer movies. But ultimately, that worked out quite well for him, for in 1958 he finally achieved the stardom that had eluded him for over 20 years in movies, when he starred in TV's 'Sea Hunt', at the age of 45. After Sea Hunt, Bridges mostly just did TV for quite a few years (and supposedly he was Gene Roddenberry's first choice for Captain Kirk!), but in 1980 he returned to movies in a big way when he showed a previously unknown ability to play comedy in "Airplane" and he reprised that role in the sequel and was in the "Hot Shots" movies. Bridges remained married to that same woman he married in 1938, Dorothy Dean Bridges, all his life, and of course they are the parents of Jeff and Beau Bridges, both of whom have had almost as unconventional Hollywood careers as their father! In 1997, the year before he died, Bridges made two memorable appearances on the Seinfeld TV show, as 'Izzy Mandelbaum'. He passed away in 1998 at the age of 85.
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