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Craig T. Nelson
Craig Theodore Nelson
April 4, 1944
Spokane, Washington, U.S.
|Alma mater||University of Arizona|
|Occupation||Actor, stand-up comedian|
Craig Theodore Nelson (born April 4, 1944) is an American actor and former stand-up comedian. He is known for his roles as Hayden Fox in the sitcom Coach (for which he won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series), Deputy Ward Wilson in the 1980 film Stir Crazy, Steve Freeling in the 1982 film Poltergeist, Peter Dellaplane in Action Jackson, and Chief Howard Hyde in Turner & Hooch (1989), the warden in My Name is Earl, and Mr. Incredible in the 2004 film The Incredibles and its 2018 sequel. He also starred as Zeek Braverman in the television series Parenthood.
Nelson was born Craig Theodore Nelson in Spokane, Washington, on April 4, 1944. He was the son of Vera Margaret (née Spindler; 1906–1971), a dancer, and Armand Gilbert Nelson (1900–1964), a businessman.
After high school, Nelson studied at Central Washington University. After flunking out, Nelson went to Yakima Valley College where he was inspired to study acting by his drama teacher, Mr. Brady. From Yakima, he went on to study drama at the University of Arizona on a scholarship.
In 1969, Nelson dropped out of school and moved to Hollywood to pursue an acting career. When he first moved to California, he took up a job as a security guard at a soap factory until finding work as a comedy writer.
Nelson began his show business career as a stand-up comedian. He was an early member of The Groundlings comedy troupe. Nelson, Barry Levinson, and Rudy De Luca formed their own comedy team and were regular performers at The Comedy Store. In 1973, Nelson left the comedy world, explaining "the standup comedy life was pretty unfulfilling for me" and he settled in Montgomery Creek, California where there was no electricity and no running water; "it was contentment, The Waltons", he said. Nelson had different jobs during that time including janitor, plumber, carpenter, surveyor, and high school teacher. He returned to acting five years later.
He was featured as a prosecuting attorney who opposes Al Pacino in the 1979 film ...And Justice for All, co-written by Levinson. In 1983, Nelson appeared in Silkwood, directed by Mike Nichols and starring Meryl Streep, as the high school football coach of Tom Cruise in the drama All the Right Moves and as one of the stars of director Sam Peckinpah's final film, The Osterman Weekend.
He has appeared in many other motion pictures (most notably the Poltergeist series) and had featured roles in five television shows (Coach, Call to Glory, The District, My Name Is Earl, and Parenthood). Coach ran from 1989 to 1997, with Nelson starring as college football coach Hayden Fox.
He provided the voice of Bob Parr (also known as Mr. Incredible) in the computer-animated superhero film, The Incredibles, and returned to the role for its sequel, Incredibles 2. Nelson also reprised the role again in the video games Kinect Rush: A Disney-Pixar Adventure and in the Disney Infinity video game series, except for the video game and The Incredibles: Rise of the Underminer, where he was replaced by actor Richard McGonagle.
During the early 1990s, he made a guest appearance in the music video for country singer Garth Brooks's song "We Shall Be Free."
His latest films include 2009's The Proposal as Ryan Reynolds' skeptical father, 2010's The Company Men as a greedy CEO, and 2018‘s Book Club. From 2010 to 2015, he starred in the television show Parenthood as Ezekiel "Zeek" Braverman, the family patriarch. His production company is Family Tree Productions.
Nelson stated in an interview with Glenn Beck that he had been on welfare and collected food stamps. In that same interview, he railed at taxes, government, and the lack of fiscal responsibility in society. He also stated that he was thinking about no longer paying taxes because he disapproved of public funds rescuing those struggling. "What happened to society? I go into business, I don’t make it, I go bankrupt. I’ve been on food stamps and welfare, did anybody help me out? No. No. They gave me hope, they gave me encouragement, and they gave me a vision."
Nelson has three children from his previous marriage to Robin McCarthy. His second wife Doria Cook-Nelson is a freelance writer, president of a martial arts association, karate instructor, tai chi teacher and a former film and television actress who had a featured role in the movie musical Mame.
Nelson is a motorsports fan and an avid racer. He first participated in the 1991 Toyota Celebrity Long Beach Grand Prix and finished ninth. In 1992, he founded Screaming Eagles Racing with John Christie and entered and drove a Toyota-engined Spice SE90 in the IMSA 1994 WSC, a Lexus-engined Spice SE90 in 1995 and a Ford-engined Riley & Scott MkIII in the 1996 and 1997 championships.
|1971||The Return of Count Yorga||Sgt. O'Connor|
|1973||Scream Blacula Scream||Sarge|
|1974||Flesh Gordon||The Monster (voice)||Uncredited|
|1979||...And Justice for All||Frank Bowers|
|1980||Stir Crazy||Deputy Ward Wilson|
|1980||The Formula||Geologist #2|
|1980||Where the Buffalo Roam||Cop on Stand|
|1980||Private Benjamin||Capt. William Woodbridge|
|1983||Man, Woman and Child||Bernie Ackerman|
|1983||All the Right Moves||Coach Burt Nickerson|
|1983||The Osterman Weekend||Bernard Osterman|
|1984||The Killing Fields||Major Reeves|
|1986||Poltergeist II: The Other Side||Steve Freeling|
|1987||Rachel River||Marlyn Huutula|
|1988||Action Jackson||Peter Dellaplane|
|1988||Me and Him||Peter Aramis|
|1989||Born on the Fourth of July||Marine Officer|
|1989||Red Riding Hood||Sir Godfrey / Percival|
|1989||Turner & Hooch||Chief Howard Hyde|
|1989||Troop Beverly Hills||Fred Nefler|
|1996||Ghosts of Mississippi||Ed Peters|
|1996||I'm Not Rappaport||The Cowboy|
|1997||The Devil's Advocate||Alexander Cullen|
|1997||Wag the Dog||Senator John Neal||Uncredited|
|2000||The Skulls||Litten Mandrake|
|2001||All Over Again||Cole Twain|
|2004||The Incredibles||Bob Parr / Mr. Incredible (voice)|
|2005||The Family Stone||Kelly Stone|
|2007||Blades of Glory||Coach Darren Goddard|
|2009||The Proposal||Joe Paxton|
|2010||The Company Men||James Salinger|
|2011||Soul Surfer||Dr. David Rovinsky|
|2015||Get Hard||Martin Barrow|
|2018||Book Club||Bruce Jutsum|
|2018||Incredibles 2||Bob Parr / Mr. Incredible (voice)|
|1973||The Mary Tyler Moore Show||Charlie the mechanic||Episode: "Mary Richards and the Incredible Plant Lady"|
|1978||Charlie's Angels||Stone||Episode: "Angels on the Run"|
|1978||Wonder Woman||Sam||Episode: "The Deadly Sting"|
|1979||How the West Was Won||Tugger||Episode: "The Rustler"|
|1979||Diary of a Teenage Hitchhiker||Driver||Television movie|
|1980||The Promise of Love||Major Landau||Television movie|
|1980||The White Shadow||Father Phil||Episode: "A Christmas Story"|
|1981||Inmates: A Love Story||Daniels||Television movie|
|1981||WKRP in Cincinnati||Charlie Bathgate||Episode: "Out to Lunch"|
|1981||Murder in Texas||Jack Ramsey||Television movie|
|1981–1982||Private Benjamin||Capt. Braddock / Col. Hogan||recurring role; 3 episodes|
|1982||Paper Dolls||Michael Caswell||Television movie|
|1982||Chicago Story||Kenneth A. Dutton||13 episodes|
|1984–1985||Call to Glory||Col. Raynor Sarnac||23 episodes|
|1986||Alex: The Life of a Child||Frank Deford||Television movie|
|1986||The Ted Kennedy Jr. Story||Senator Edward Kennedy||Television movie|
|1989||Murderers Among Us: The Simon Wiesenthal Story||Major Bill Harcourt||Television movie|
|1989–1997||Coach||Coach Hayden Fox||series regular; 198 episodes|
|1990||Drug Wars: The Camarena Story||Harley Steinmetz||Television miniseries|
|1990||Extreme Close-Up||Philip||Television movie|
|1991||The Josephine Baker Story||Walter Winchell||Television movie|
|1993||The Switch||Russ Fine||Television movie|
|1993||The Fire Next Time||Drew Morgan||Television miniseries|
|1994||Ride with the Wind||Frank Shelby||Television movie|
|1994||Probable Cause||Lieutenant Louis Whitmire||Television movie|
|1994||The Lies Boys Tell||Larry||Television movie|
|1996||If These Walls Could Talk||Jim Harris||Television movie ("1996" segment)|
|1998||Creature||Dr. Simon Chase||Television miniseries|
|1999||To Serve and Protect||Tom Carr||Television miniseries|
|2000||The Huntress||Ralph Thorson||Episode: "Pilot"|
|2000||Dirty Pictures||Simon Leis||Television movie|
|2000–2004||The District||Chief Jack Mannion||series regular; 89 episodes|
|2001||Yes, Dear||TV Actor||Episode: "Jimmy's Jimmy", Uncredited|
|2002||The Agency||Chief Jack Mannion||Episode: "Doublecrossover"|
|2007||My Name Is Earl||Warden Jerry Hazelwood||4 episodes|
|2008–2009||CSI: NY||Robert Dunbrook||3 episodes|
|2009||Monk||Judge Ethan Rickover||2 episodes|
|2010–2015||Parenthood||Ezekiel "Zeke" Braverman||series regular; 91 episodes|
|2013||Hawaii Five-0||Tyler Cain||Episode: "He welo 'oihana"|
|2015||Grace and Frankie||Guy||5 episodes|
|2017||Raised by Wolves||Paul "Grampy" Kosinski||Television movie|
|2019–present||Young Sheldon||Dale Ballard||recurring role|
|2004||The Incredibles||Bob Parr / Mr. Incredible (archive footage)|
|2012||Kinect Rush: A Disney-Pixar Adventure||Bob Parr / Mr. Incredible|
|2014||Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes|
|2015||Disney Infinity 3.0|
|1983–1984||Friends||Harold (Okie) Peterson|
|1998||Ah, Wilderness!||Nat Miller|
Awards and nominations
- Harris, Will (September 26, 2013). "Craig T. Nelson on comedy, chemistry, and more". The A.V. Club. Retrieved January 29, 2019.
I've never, ever been Craig Richard Nelson. Ever! My birth certificate says Craig Theodore.
- Biography.com Editors (April 2, 2014) [First published April 2, 2014]. "Craig T. Nelson". The Biography.com website. A&E Television Networks. Archived from the original on February 27, 2019. Retrieved January 26, 2019.
- "Distinguished Lewis and Clark High School alumni". Spokane Public Schools. Retrieved January 27, 2019.
- Armstrong, Liahna (September 25, 2014). "Former Wildcat Craig T. Nelson coming to local film festival". Daily Record. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
- Holcomb, Kim (August 28, 2018) [First published May 2, 2018]. "Northwest native Craig T. Nelson made his way to Hollywood by way of Yakima". KING-TV. Retrieved January 26, 2019.
- Boss, Kit (August 30, 1992). "Craig T. Nelson's Life In The Fast Lane". The Seattle Times. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
- "History: In the Beginning". The Groundlings. Archived from the original on August 6, 2013. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
- Logan, Joe (January 8, 1990). "Craig T. Nelson's Slow Path To Stardom The Star Of Abc's "Coach\" Twice Flunked Out Of College. For A While, He Was A Father On Welfare. Now His Film Credits Include \"silkwood\" And \"poltergeist," And Tonight He's In An Nbc Mini-series". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved December 13, 2013.
- Boss, Kit (August 30, 1992). "Craig T. Nelson's Life In The Fast Lane". The Seattle Times. Retrieved December 13, 2013.
- "D23 Expo: Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios: The Upcoming Films". July 14, 2017. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
- Navarro, Alex (November 3, 2004). "The Incredibles Review". GameSpot. Archived from the original on May 7, 2017. Retrieved May 7, 2017.
- Eng, Joyce (December 3, 2008). "Craig T. Nelson to Guest on CSI: NY". tvguide.com. Retrieved December 5, 2008.
- Wethington, Jessica; Wethington, Jessica (June 7, 2001). "Emmy performers: Craig T. Nelson". Variety. Retrieved October 19, 2020.
- "Glenn Beck And Craig T. Nelson Talk About Not Paying Taxes Ever Again, For Some Reason". Huffington Post. May 29, 2009.
- Knutzen, Eirik (October 1, 2000). "Craig T. Nelson Is D.c.'s Top Cop". The Morning Call. Retrieved December 13, 2013.
- Avalanche Software. Disney Infinity 3.0. Scene: Closing credits, 5:39 in, Featuring the Voice Talents of.
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