Childhood & Early Life
Judd Nelson was the only son of the three children born to Merle and Leonard Nelson. While his mother served as the court mediator and former member of the Maine state legislature, his father worked as a corporate lawyer.
Academically proficient, he attended the St Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire. Later on, he enrolled at the Waynflete School in Portland, Maine. Completing his studies, he gained admission at the Haverford College in Pennsylvania but left after sophomore year.
Eventually, he moved to Manhattan in 1980 to take up an acting course with Stella Adler Conservatory.
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In 1984, he made his debut as an actor in the film, ‘Making the Grade’. For the movie, he played the role of a street smart Eddie Keaton.
The following year marked as an ice-breaker for this budding actor, who was cast in John Hughes’s movie, ‘The Breakfast Club’. In the movie, he portrayed the role of a tough teenager. The movie was a major hit and gave him a star status.
Same year, he was seen in a couple of other movies as well including ‘Fandango’ and Joel Schumacher’s ‘St Elmo’s Fire’. The latter movie cemented his position as a talented actor, for his perfect portrayal of the character of a political aide.
In 1986, he indulged in varied kind of works. He gave a voiceover for the character of Rodimus Prime in ‘The Transformers: The Movie’, acted along with co-star Ally Sheedy in ‘Blue City’, served as a narrator for Bill Couturie's war documentary ‘Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam’, and starred in the ABC Afterschool Special ‘Shattered If Your Kid's On Drugs’.
Same year, he made his television debut with ‘Moonlighting’. He appeared as a police officer opposite Cybill Shepherd and Bruce Williams in the Camille episode.
Year 1987 witnessed the release of the hit miniseries, ‘Billionaires Boys Club’ a courtroom thriller based on actual events. His perfect portrayal of the character in the same earned him Golden Globe Award nomination
He wrapped up the decade on a strong note with impressive performances in William Lustig thriller, ‘Relentless’, Adam Rifkin’s road drama, ‘Never on Tuesday’ and Tommy Chong’s ‘Far Out Man’
The year 1990 saw him play a full-fledged role in the World War II drama ‘Hiroshima: Out of the Ashes’. The film was based on the horrifying incidents that took place in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and their after effects.
From 1991 to 1993, he appeared in a couple of movies, such as ‘The Dark Backward’, ‘New Jack City’, ‘Primary Motive’ and ‘Entangled’. While the former two were based on the genre of comedy, the latter were thriller flicks. Additionally, he also appeared in a single episode of the popular HBO TV series ‘Tales from the Crypt’.
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In 1994, he starred in four movies of varying genres. While the first was a comedy ‘Airheads’, the subsequent film was a psychological thriller ‘Flinch’. He then was cast in the thriller ‘Blindfold: Acts of Obsession’. From mere acting, he extended his artistic endeavours and served as the writer, producer and actor in the thriller, ‘Every Breath’
In 1996, he was cast in a significant role in the NBC television sitcom; ‘Suddenly Susan’. The series was a major hit and lasted for four seasons.
Following this, he starred in the commercially unsuccessful film, ‘Steel’ and the urban gangster thriller, ‘Light It Up’. He ended the decade with a biopic on the life of Alan Freed, entitled, ‘Mr Rock & Roll: The Alan Freed Story’.
In 2000, he starred in the psychological thriller, ‘Cabin by the Lake’. Additionally, he also made an appearance in the TV series, ‘The Outer Limit’. Following year, he revamped his role for the sequel, ‘Return to Cabin by the Lake’.
He starred in numerous television series during the decade including, ‘CSI: Crime Scene Investigation’, ‘CSI: NY’, ‘Las Vegas’, ‘Eleventh Hour’, ‘Psych’ and recurring role in the series, ‘Two and a Half Men’. He was also seen reprising his role of John Bender in an episode of ‘Family Guy’
In 2009, he reprised his role of Rodimus Prime in the film ‘Transformers Animated’. Furthermore, he appeared in the movie, ‘The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day’.
In 2012, he played the role of Headmaster Nash in the live-action feature film ‘Bad Kids Go to Hell’. The same year, he co-wrote and starred in the film, ‘The Spin Room: Super Tuesday’. He gave a voice-over for the films, ‘Ben 10, 000’ and ‘Ben 10 Omniverse’
Other than films, he ventured into the arena of books and came up with four releases with Kindle in 2013 titled ‘The Power of Speech’, ‘Nine of Diamonds’, ‘The Gig’ and ‘Water Music’.