Lloyd Bridges Biography

Lloyd Vernet Bridges Jr., a highly successful American actor, made a significant impact in film, stage, and television. With a career spanning over 150 movies and numerous TV series, he became a renowned performer. Despite initially pursuing a career in law, Lloyd’s passion for acting led him to achieve great success. He gained immense popularity through his role in ‘Sea Hunt’, America’s most successful syndicated series. Known for his captivating performances in both land and underwater adventures, Lloyd Bridges further solidified his fan base with his comedic roles in movies like ‘Hot Shots’ and ‘Airplane’. Throughout his life, he remained a devoted family man, enjoying a blissful 60-year marriage until his passing from natural causes. As the father of notable actors Jeff Bridges and Beau Bridges, Lloyd Bridges will always be remembered as one of the finest talents in American cinema.

Quick Facts

  • Also Known As: Lloyd Vernet Bridges Jr.
  • Died At Age: 85
  • Family:
    • Spouse/Ex-: Dorothy Simpson (1938–1998; his death)
    • Father: Lloyd Vernet Bridges Sr.
    • Mother: Harriet Evelyn (Brown) Bridges
    • Children: Beau Bridges and Jeff Bridges
  • Born Country: United States
  • Actors
  • American Men
  • Height: 6’0″ (183 cm), 6’0″ Males
  • Died on: March 10, 1998
  • Place of death: Los Angeles, California, United States
  • Ancestry: British American
  • Cause of Death: Natural Causes
  • U.S. State: California
  • More Facts
  • Education: University Of California, Los Angeles

Childhood & Early Life

Lloyd Vernet Bridges Jr. was born on January 15, 1913 in San Leandro, California, USA, to Harriet Evelyn and Lloyd Vernet Bridges Sr. Lloyd’s father owned a movie theatre, and also had a hotel business. He went to Petaluma High School in 1930 and later studied political science at UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles). He was also a member Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. While his father wanted him to be a lawyer, Lloyd developed an interest in acting and theatre. He did his first play while he was in UCLA, and got hooked to the idea of becoming an actor. After graduation, he moved to East to pursue a career in theatre. He began with directing and starring (as lago) in the production of Shakespeare’s ‘Othello’ on Broadway. Along with theatre, he also worked as a drama teacher with his wife, Dorothy, at the Cherry Lawn School in Darien, Connecticut, until he was spotted by Columbia pictures and signed by them in 1941.

Early Career

After being signed by Columbia pictures on a contract basis, Lloyd continued his struggle by doing B grade movies for over a decade. However, he occasionally made appearances in comparatively better movies, such as ‘Sahar’ (1943). Thereafter, he appeared in a critically acclaimed and hit film ‘The Home of the Brave’ (1949). He also played one of his most remembered roles of Deputy Marshall, ‘Harvy Pell’ alongside Gary Cooper in 1992 movies, ‘High Noon’. During the World War II, Lloyd left Columbia pictures to enlist in the United States Coast Guard. Years later, he even became a member of US Coast Guard Auxillary, 11th District (California). As a result of his commitment and support, he was also made him an honorary commodore in the Auxillary. He made various public announcements for the Auxillay, and later, his sons, Beau and Jeff, also served the Coast Guard and Coast Guard Reserve. Thereafter, he returned to acting, but the course of his career didn’t run smooth in 1950. He got blacklisted by the FBI due to Hollywood’s infamous ‘Red Purge’ due to his association with ‘Actor’s Lab’- a theatre group which had connections with communist parties. He struggled for a while, but eventually, got his named cleared from the FBI’s list and returned back to his regular acting career. His struggle gave way to a massive television success, which it seemed like was just waiting for his return to acting.


In 1958, he made a great mark on television, when he portrayed the role of Mike Nelson, the main character in ‘Sea Hunt’, a television series that ran on syndication for three years. He also co-authored a book, ‘Mask and Flippers’, about skin-diving. In 1956, he won an Emmy Award nomination for his emotional and breakthrough performance on live anthology program called ‘The Ancoa Hour’, which also gained a lot of publicity due to Bridges’ ad-libbing. Even though, his tongue slip was criticised by the audience, the episode managed to receive Robert E. Sherwood Television Award. From 1962-63, he starred in ‘The Jeff Bridges Show’ on ABC, where his sons also made an appearance. He appeared on ‘The Loner’, a series which lasted from 1964 to 65, and then pulled out due to the violent content of the show. He became a favourite of new generation when he played spoofy characters in movies likes ‘Airplane’ (1980) and ‘Hot Shots’ (1990). The characters played by him connected well with the audience, and he got a lot of recognition for them roles. He made numerous appearances on shows like ‘Paper Dolls’ (1984), ‘Capital News’ (1990) and ‘Harts of the West’ (1993-94). He became a frequent guest star on television series for almost forty years. He also appeared in shows like ‘How the West Was Won’, ‘Roots’, ‘The Blue and the Gray’ etc. In 1998, he received another Emmy Award nomination for pulling off the role of hyper-competitive Izzy Madelbaum in ‘Sienfeld’.

Awards & Achievements

In 1975, he was nominated for Golden Apple Award for ‘Male Star of the Year’. In 1957, he got his first Emmy Award nomination for ‘Outstanding Single Performance by an Actor’ for ‘The Acoa Hour’ (1955). In 1994, he was inducted in the Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. In 1996, he won the Golden Boot Award. In 1997, he got nominated at the Online Film and Television Association for Best Actor in a Comedy Series (Sienfeld). In 1998, he was nominated for another Emmy Award for ‘Outstanding Guest Star in a Comedy Series’ for ‘Sienfeld’ (1989).

Personal Life & Legacy

He met his wife of 60 years, Dorothy Bridges, at the UCLA. They were classmates at the university. Dorothy also did a romantic play with him called ‘March Hares’. They got married in New York City in 1938. They had four children; Beau Bridges (1941), Jeff Bridges (1949), Lucinda Lui Bridges (19530, and another son, Garrett Myles Bridges (1948), who died of Infant Death Syndrome. In 1992, he went through an open-heart surgery to remove the blockages from his coronary arteries, before he returned to acting to make his memorable appearance in ‘Sienfeld’. In 1998, Lloyd became the head of a mission for a humanitarian organization, CARE and also worked for the protection of environment. On March 10, 1998, at the age of 85, he died at his Los Angeles home. His sons, Beau and Jeff Bridges are well-known actors in Hollywood. Even his grandson, Jordan Bridges, stars in TNT crime drama, ‘Rizzoli & Isles’.

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