Lloyd Vernet Bridges, Jr. (January 15, 1913 – March 10, 1998) was an American actor who starred in a number of television series and appeared in more than 150 feature films. Bridges is best known for his role of Mike Nelson in Sea Hunt, which was the top American TV series in 1958. He is the father of Beau Bridges and Jeff Bridges.
Bridges was born in San Leandro, California, the son of Harriet Evelyn (née Brown) and Lloyd Vernet Bridges, Sr., who was involved in the California hotel business and once owned a movie theater. Bridges graduated from Petaluma High School in 1931. He studied political science at UCLA, where he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. He met his future wife there, Dorothy Bridges (née Simpson); they married in 1938 in New York City.
Bridges made his Broadway debut in 1939 in a production of Shakespeare's Othello. In 1941, he joined the stock company at Columbia Pictures, where he played small roles in features and short subjects. (In Here Comes Mr. Jordan Bridges is the pilot of the plane in the "heaven" scene.) He left Columbia to enlist in the U.S. Coast Guard. Following World War II, he returned to film acting. He was blacklisted briefly in the 1950s after he admitted to the House Un-American Activities Committee that he had once been a member of the Actors' Lab, a group with links to the Communist Party. He resumed working after being cleared by the FBI, finding his greatest success in television.