Prolific actor Lloyd Bridges was born on January 15, 1913 in San Leandro, California. He enjoyed performing in theater while he was studying political science at UCLA. He was encouraged to continue acting after he graduated, and he joined a touring company of "The Taming of the Shrew." He was spotted in this and was given a seven-year contract with Columbia.

Bridges managed to make 30 film appearances in 1941 and 1942 alone, but his first real breakthrough came when he was in the war drama "Home of the Brave" in 1949. After this came "Rocketship X-M," "The White Tower," and then his well-remembered performance as a deputy opposite Gary Cooper in "High Noon." When Bridges landed the role of Mike Nelson in the popular TV series "Sea Hunt," which ran from 1957 to 1961, his popularity soared. Bridges was also considered for the role of Captain Kirk on Star Trek in 1966.

Bridges continued to act in a number of both great and not-so-great films during the 70s, though it would be in the popular 80s Abrahams-Zucker spoof "Airplane!" that he would gain even more attention from movie-goers. He found a love for parodies and continued to appear in these films, including "Airplane II," "Hot Shots" and "Hot Shots, Part Deux."

Bridges was married to Dorothy Simpson for over 50 years, and he is the father of actors Beau and Jeff Bridges. He died on March 10, 1998.

Some of his film credits include:

"The Blue and the Gray
"Abilene Town
"East of Eden
"The Fifth Musketeer
"Force of Evil
"Mutual Respect"
"The Rainmaker"
"Leona Helmsley: The Queen of Mean
"Honey, I Blew Up the Kid
"Harmon of Michigan
"The Limping Man
"Meeting Daddy
"The Happy Ending
"Running Wild
"Silent Night, Lonely Night
"A Walk in the Sun"
"Winter People
"Joe Versus the Volcano

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Lloyd Bridges was also one of the few actors to survive the Hollywood blacklist.

Already known as a liberal from his participation in Los Angeles' Actors Lab (a theater company which staged original plays that addressed issues of racism and discrimination) in the 1940s, Bridge's participation in High Noon landed him in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee. He ended up being "gray listed"-- though he cooperated as a witness, and the FBI cleared him of any "unamerican" activities, Bridges saw his career tailspin from an average dozen film roles a year to 4 films in 1953 and by 1956 only 2.

Then came Sea Hunt. Ivan Tors hired him for the lead, but networks balked-- partly because of Bridges's political status (and partly because they thought the series too limited to have broad appeal). Only when Tors put the show directly into syndication, where it became a hit, did Bridges career take off again.

Sources: Lloyd Bridges. Interview. "The Making of High Noon" Narr. Leonard Maltin, High Noon - 40th Anniversary Deluxe Collector's Edition,1992.
Obituary for Lloyd Bridges, The Internet Obituary Network,

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