Judd Nelson Biography

(American actor)

Birthday: November 28, 1959 (Sagittarius)

Born In: Portland, Maine, United States

Born in a generation where heroes were credited with fame, Judd Nelson altered the belief with his antihero and bad guy image. Nelson secured the love of the audience for playing the character of a baddie or villain in the films. Raised in a privileged Jewish family, Nelson originally did not intend to take up acting as a profession. He instead enrolled at the prestigious Haverford College to attain a degree in philosophy. However, destiny had other plans in store for him. He was bitten by the acting bug when he accompanied his friend who was auditioning for a role. Though Nelson got his first break with the film, ‘Making the Grade’, he gained star status in the subsequent ventures, ‘The Breakfast Club’ and ‘St. Elmo’s Fire’. For the next two decades, he appeared in films of varying genres such as comedy, drama, thriller, psychological suspense movies, and so on. He is best noted for his antihero flicks, his intense stare, and his dark smoldering personality adding a sense of credibility to his characters. Other than films, he has been featured in numerous television series. Lately, he has even authored books. To know more about his life and works, read through the following lines.

Quick Facts

Age: 64 Years, 64 Year Old Males


father: Leonard Nelson

mother: Merle Nelson

siblings: Eve Nelson, Julie Nelson Forsyth

Born Country: United States

Jewish Actors School Dropouts

Height: 5'10" (178 cm), 5'10" Males

U.S. State: Maine

More Facts

education: Haverford College

Childhood & Early Life

Judd Nelson was the only son of 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 Haverford College in Pennsylvania but left after his 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 street-smart Eddie Keaton.

The following year marked 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 star status.

The 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 kinds 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’.

The 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.

The 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 earned him a Golden Globe Award nomination.

He wrapped up the decade on a strong note with impressive performances in William Lustig's 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 aftereffects.

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 endeavors 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’. The 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 roles in the series, ‘Two and a Half Men’. He was also seen reprising his role as 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’. That same year, he also starred in the films, ‘Last Chance Holiday,’ and ‘Down and Dangerous.’

He was next seen in films and television shows such as ‘Nurse 3D,’ ‘Bigfoot Wars,’ ‘Private Number,’ ‘Stagecoach: The Texas Jack Story,’ ‘Transformers: Titans Return,’ and ‘From Straight A's to XXX.’

In 2018, he played the role of ‘Ryan Hunt’ in the American biographical crime drama film ‘Billionaire Boys Club’ directed by James Cox. The film was largely panned by critics and was a commercial failure. That same year, he was also seen in the drama film ‘1/1’ both written and directed by Jeremy Phillips. The film received mostly positive reviews and currently holds a 6.2 out of 10 rating on IMDb.

He continued to star in films such as ‘Dead Water,’ ‘Santa Fake,’ ‘Electric Jesus,’ ‘Dauntless: The Battle of Midway,’ and ‘Girl in the Basement.’ In 2022, he portrayed ‘Marcus Rainsford’ in the American thriller film ‘The Most Dangerous Game.’ It was a remake of the 1932 film of the same name which in turn was based on Richard Connell’s 1924 short story.

Personal Life & Legacy

He was reportedly in a relationship and temporarily engaged to Shannen Doherty.

Judd Nelson Movies

1. Rock 'n' Roll Hotel (1983)


2. The Breakfast Club (1985)

  (Comedy, Drama)

3. The Freediver (2004)

  (Action, Adventure)

4. 1/1 (2018)


5. Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)


6. Fandango (1985)

  (Drama, Comedy)

7. New Jack City (1991)

  (Thriller, Drama, Action, Crime)

8. St. Elmo's Fire (1985)

  (Romance, Drama)

9. The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day (2009)

  (Crime, Action, Thriller)

10. From the Hip (1987)

  (Mystery, Crime, Drama, Comedy)

See the events in life of Judd Nelson in Chronological Order

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