The son of actor Lloyd Bridges, Beau Bridges (born Lloyd Vernet Bridges III) was actually named for his father; the nickname "Beau" was borrowed from Ashley Wilkes' son in Gone With the Wind. Beau received good billing for his secondary juvenile role in The Red Pony in 1949, although he was primarily seen in bit parts during the late '40s. This suited him fine; not all that interested in films, young Bridges had aspirations of being a basketball star. Despite being only 5'9", he played on the U.C.L.A. basketball team and at the University of Hawaii. But realizing that his height would always hold him back in professional sports, Bridges returned to acting via a small role on his father's TV series Sea Hunt. He made his stage debut in 1966's Where's Daddy and continued appearing in leading film roles throughout the 1960s and '70s, easing into character leads. Bridges directed two feature films, The Wild Pair (1987) and Seven Hours to Judgment (1988), in addition to the TV special The Thanksgiving Promise, in which virtually the entire Bridges clan (including his mother Dorothy) was cast. Bridges received Emmy and the Golden Globe awards for his portrayal of the title character in the 1992 TV movie Without Warning: The James Brady Story (1991), and won awards for his participation in the gloriously-titled made-for-cable The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom (1993). He would continue to appear prominently both on the big and small screens over the coming decades, on shows like The Agency and Stargate: Atlantis and in films like The Good German and The Ballad of Jack and Rose.
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by Hal Erickson biography