A Tribute to Lloyd Bridges
Buy Lloyd Bridges Prints
He was probably best known for his undersea adventures on TV, but Lloyd Bridges also appeared in over 180 other theatrical films, TV movies, and TV series over the course of his career.
Born in Northern California in 1913, Bridges began acting while a student at UCLA. He actually began his professional career on Broadway, and while he appeared in two films in 1936, didn’t begin making movies in earnest until 1941.
Fifty of his appearances during the early days were bit parts in B-movies, westerns and comedy shorts between 1941 and 1944. However, he also showed up uncredited in some pretty good movies, including Here Comes Mr. Jordan, Sahara, and The Talk of the Town. Eventually his patience and durability were rewarded with lead roles inShe’s a Soldier Too (1944) and the Universal serial, Secret Agent X-9 (1945). He later appeared in larger roles in A Walk in the Sun (1945), Canyon Passage (1946),Unconquered (1947), the underrated Home of the Brave (1949), and The Sound of Fury(1950), the latter as an insane killer, perhaps his best overall performance. Presaging his later TV career, he starred in 16 Fathoms Deep (1948), but the better-known Lon Chaney, Jr. got higher billing. He did get star billing in Rocketship X-M (1950), an early sci-fi effort notable for its serious themes and downbeat ending.
Probably his most high profile supporting role during this period was as the traitorous deputy in High Noon (1952). A few years later he appeared as one of Katharine Hepburn’s brothers in The Rainmaker (1956).
Bridges was a member of the progressive Actors Lab in the 1930s, a membership which returned to haunt him 20 years later during the anti-communist witch hunts of the 1950s. He testified and was allowed to resume his career, which in 1958 led him to television and a smash hit with Sea Hunt (1958). The weekly underwater drama became the most popular syndicated show in the history of television. Later attempts at network TV shows were not as successful, however.
In the 1980s he launched what was in reality a second movie career, this time as a comic supporting actor in films such as Airplane (1980) and a sequel, Joe Versus the Volcano (1990), and Hot Shots (1991) and its sequel. He also appeared in many TV movies and mini-series, including Roots (1977), East of Eden (1981), and The Blue and the Gray (1982), and showed up in numerous guest roles on weekly TV shows, most notably Seinfeld, as the unforgettable Izzy Mandelbaum.
Bridges was the scion of a three-generation acting family. His wife of 50 years, Dorothy, was also an actress, and he always credited her with his successful career. His two sons, Beau and Jeff, are well-known and have appeared with him many times. He has four grandchildren who have also appeared in films, most notably Beau’s son Jordan Bridges.
Lloyd Bridges died on March 10, 1998 of natural causes at the age of 85.
Lloyd Bridges Tributes/Pages
- All-Movie Guide
- Dive Global
- Internet Movie Database
- TVParty.com “Sea Hunt” Page
- Wildest Westerns Magazine
Selected Reviews of Lloyd Bridges’s Best Films
- High Noon (1952) – Review by Tim Dirks from The Greatest Films.
- High Noon – Review by Dragan Antulov.
- High Noon – Review by Colin Jacobson from DVD MovieGuide.
- Hot Shots! (1991) – Review by Hal Hinson of “The Washington Post.”
- The Sound of Fury (1950) – Reader comments from the Internet Movie Database.
Where To Find Or See Lloyd Bridges Films
Lloyd Bridges Photos/Art On The Web
Lloyd Bridges Movie Posters On The Web