Solidly built American actor Craig T. Nelson started out as a comedy writer and performer, doing radio and nightspot gigs in the Los Angeles area. Success was not immediately forthcoming, and Nelson took a four-year sabbatical from show business, moving with his family to a remote cabin in Northern California. In 1979, he made his first film, ...And Justice For All, written by his onetime partner Barry Levinson.
While subsequent roles in Poltergeist and Silkwood followed, Nelson would find true stardom on television. For eight seasons beginning in 1989, he starred as college athletics instuctor Hayden Fox on the top-ranked ABC sitcom Coach. Appearing alongside supporting players Jerry Van Dyke and Shelly Fabares, Nelson received an Emmy for his work on the show in 1992.
After Coach, Nelson showed up in a few small roles in feature films and television mini-series before returning to series work in 2000, leading the cast of CBS's D.C.-based cop-drama The District. While enjoying the success of that show, Nelson found time for his first high-profile feature film role in over a decade, providing the voice of the head of a family of superheroes in the 2004 Disney/Pixar animated film The Incredibles. In 2005 he played the patriarch of the dysfunctional clan in The Family Stone, and followed that up two years later as skating coach in the comedy Blades of Glory. He was Ryan Reynolds disapproving dad in the hit comedy The Proposal in 2009. He was cast as the head of the Braverman clan in NBC's relaunch of Parenthood in 2010, and appeared in the inspirational Soul Surfer in 2011.