Lloyd Bridges (Lloyd Vernet Bridges)

Lloyd Bridges

Lloyd Bridges

He is remembered for his role as ‘Mike Nelson’ on the television adventure series “Sea Hunt” that ran from 1958 to 1961 and was popular in syndication for many years afterwards. Born Lloyd Vernet Bridges, Jr, his father was involved in the California hotel business and had once owned a movie theater. After graduating from Petaluma High School in Petaluma, California in 1931, he attended the University of California at Los Angeles, California where he studied political science. While there, his interests turned to acting and he appeared in a college production called “March Hare” with his future wife, Dorothy Simpson, who he married in 1938 and remained with her until his death. In 1936 he appeared in his first movie “Freshman Love,” in an uncredited role, followed by uncredited roles in “Dancing Feet” (1936) and “Lost Horizon.” In 1939 he made his Broadway debut in a production of William Shakespeare’s “Othello” and in 1941 he joined the stock company at Columbia Pictures, where he played small roles in features and short subjects, as well as classics such as “Sahara” (1943), “A Walk In The Sun,” (1945), “Little Big Horn” (1951), and “High Noon,” (1952). In the 1950s he was briefly blacklisted after he admitted to the House Un-American Activities Committee that he had once been a member of the Actors’ Lab, a group with links to the Communist Party. He resumed working after being cleared by the FBI, finding his greatest success in television. In 1956 he gained attention for his emotional performance on live anthology program “The Alcoa Hour,” in an episode titled “Tragedy in a Temporary Town.” During the performance, he inadvertently used profanity while ad-libbing. Although the slip of the tongue generated hundreds of complaints, the episode won a Robert E. Sherwood Television Award, and he received an Emmy Award nomination for the role. After his success with television’s “Sea Hunt,” he starred in the eponymous CBS anthology series “The Lloyd Bridges Show” (1962 to 1963), which included appearances by his sons future actors Beau and Jeff Bridges. Additionally, he was a regular cast member in the Rod Serling CBS western television series “The Loner” (1965 to 1966), and in the two NBC failures “San Francisco International Airport” (1970 to 1971) and a Police Story spin-off “Joe Forrester” (1975 to 1976). Later, he appeared in the television soap opera “Paper Dolls” (1984) and “Capital News” (1990), both for ABC, and again with CBS’s “Harts of the West” (1993 to 1994). He played significant roles in several television mini-series, including “Benjamin Franklin” (1974), Alex Haley’s “Roots” (1977), “The Blue and the Gray” (1982), “Dress Gray” (1986), and “North and South” Book II” (1986). In 1978 he portrayed ‘Commander Cain’ in the original “Battlestar Galactica” television series, in the two-part episode “The Living Legend.” By the end of his career, he had reinvented himself and demonstrated a gifted comedic talent in such parody films as “Airplane!” (1980), “Hot Shots!” (1991), “Hot Shots! Part Deux” (1993), and “Mafia!” (1998), which was dedicated to him. He died of natural causes at the age of 85. During his career, he appeared in over 150 feature films and short subjects that spanned over 6 decades.


  • January, 15, 1913
  • San Leandro, California


  • March, 10, 1998
  • Los Angeles, California

Cause of Death

  • Natural causes



    • Cremated, Ashes given to family

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