Mar 3, 2014

The Fabulous Bridges Boys

Lloyd Bridges (1913-1998),  known to the first generation of Boomers as the hunky, often-shirtless star of Sea Hunt (1958-61), and to the second as Izzy Mandelbaum, the octogenarian personal trainer on Seinfeld, had four children.  Garrett died as an infant, and Cindy has been in only a few projects, but Boomer and Beau have had successful show biz careers of their own.

Born in 1949, Boomer was a favorite of gay Boomers, with a huge number of buddy-bonding movies.
1. With small-town high schooler Timothy Bottoms in  The Last Picture Show (1971) 
2. With boxer Stacey Keach in  Fat City (1972).
3. With racer Gary Busey in The Last American Hero (1973)
4. With bank robber Clint Eastwood in Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1973)
5.With bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger in Stay Hungry (1976)


He was also known for on-screen nudity, displaying his wares in Tron (1982) and Starman (1984)

Jeff specializes in quirky small-town types who listen to country-western music and drink beer in honky tonks.  I haven't seen any of his recent movies, except for The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989), where he buddy-bonded with his brother, and The Big Lebowski (1998), which is about bowling.

I hear that Crazy Heart (2009), about a washed-up country-western singer, has a gay character.







Jeff's older brother Beau, born in 1941, wasn't quite as popular among Boomers, although he began acting as a child, and had a starring role on Ensign O'Toole while still in his teens.

I first saw him as one of the muscular teenagers who grows into a giant (and in the process sheds his clothes) in the anti-hippie sci-fi movie Village of the Giants (1965) (with Tommy Kirk and Johnny Crawford as the "square" teens who save the day).

In 1967 he starred in The Incident, about two thugs (Martin Sheen, Tony Musanti) who terrorize the passengers on a subway car.  It's notable for having one of the first gay characters in the movies.




He specialized in serious dramas, often playing quirky small-town types, sometimes in gay-positive productions, such as Sordid Lives (2000).  Occasional gay characters, most recently in The Masters of Sex (2011-2013), about sex researchers Masters and Johnson.

Several of his children are actors.  Jordan, born in 1973, is best known for Drive Me Crazy (1999).