Craig T. Nelson
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|Craig T. Nelson|
Nelson at the Paleyfest 2013
|Born||Craig Theodore Nelson
April 4, 1944
Spokane, Washington, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Doria Cook (1987–present)
Robin Nelson (div. 1978)
Craig Theodore Nelson (born April 4, 1944) is an American actor. He is best known for his Emmy-winning role as Hayden Fox on the TV series Coach, Deputy Ward Wilson in the 1980 film Stir Crazy, Steven Freeling in the 1982 film Poltergeist, the Warden in My Name is Earl, and Mr. Incredible in the 2004 film The Incredibles. He currently stars in the TV series Parenthood.
Nelson was born in Spokane, Washington, the son of Vera Margaret (née Spindler), a dancer, and businessman Armand Gilbert Nelson. Nelson has a brown belt in karate. In high school, Nelson was the quarterback of the football team and also played baseball. He attended Central Washington University studying criminology as he wanted to work for the CIA. He dropped out and went to Yakima Valley Community College to study English literature, but he dropped out again. He eventually received a drama scholarship to the University of Arizona. Nelson did summer stock theatre in Cripple Creek, Colorado. He then moved to the west, where he worked as a security guard at a soap factory in the day and took acting classes at night.
Nelson began his show business career as a 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 Mount Shasta 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 teacher. He returned to acting five years later.
He has appeared in numerous 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.
During the early 1990s, he made a guest appearance in the music video for country singer Garth Brooks's song "We Shall Be Free". Nelson made a three-episode guest appearance on CSI: NY as a "nemesis" to Gary Sinise’s Taylor.
His most recent films include 2009's The Proposal as Ryan Reynolds' skeptical father and 2010's The Company Men as a greedy CEO. Since 2010, he has starred in the television show Parenthood as Zeek Braverman, the family patriarch.
Nelson discussed in an interview with Glenn Beck that he had been on welfare and collected food stamps. "I've been on food stamps and welfare, did anybody help me out? No. No." 
Nelson has three children from previous marriage to Robin McCarthy: Tiffany, Chris and Noah. Chris is a science fiction writer. Noah is also a writer; he wrote for The District and CSI: NY. He was married to actress Ashley Jones in 2003. The couple divorced in 2009.
His second wife Doria Cook Nelson is a freelance writer, president of a martial arts association, karate instructor and tai chi teacher.
Nelson is a motorsports fan and an avid racer. He first participated in the 1991 Toyota Celebrity Long Beach Grand Prix and finished third. In 1994, Craig 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||The Mary Tyler Moore Show||Charlie||Episode: "Mary Richards and the Incredible Plant Lady"|
|1974||Flesh Gordon||The Monster||Uncredited|
|1979||...And Justice for All||Frank Bowers|
|1980||Stir Crazy||Deputy Ward Wilson|
|1980||Where the Buffalo Roam||Cop on Stand|
|1980||Private Benjamin||Capt. William Woodbridge|
|1980||The White Shadow||Father Phil||Episode: "A Christmas Story"|
|1982||Chicago Story||Kenneth A. Dutton||13 episodes|
|1983||All the Right Moves||Nickerson|
|1983||The Osterman Weekend||Bernard Osterman|
|1984–1985||Call to Glory||Col. Raynor Sarnac||23 episodes|
|1984||The Killing Fields||Major Reeves|
|1986||Alex: The Life of a Child|
|1986||Poltergeist II: The Other Side||Steven Freeling|
|1986||The Ted Kennedy Jr. Story||Senator Edward Kennedy||Television movie|
|1989||Red Riding Hood||Sir Godfrey/Percival|
|1988||Action Jackson||Peter Dellaplane|
|1989||Born on the Fourth of July||Marine Officer|
|1989–1997||Coach||Coach Hayden Fox||199 episodes
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy (1992–95)
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series (1990–91)
|1989||Turner & Hooch||Chief Howard Hyde|
|1989||Troop Beverly Hills||Fred Nefler|
|1991||The Josephine Baker Story||Walter Winchell||Television movie|
|1993||The Fire Next Time||Drew Morgan||Television movie|
|1994||Ride with the Wind||Frank Shelby||Television movie|
|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|
|1998||Creature||Dr. Simon Chase||Television movie|
|2000||The Skulls||Litten Mandrake|
|2000||Dirty Pictures||Simon Leis||Television movie|
|2001||All Over Again||Cole Twain|
|2000–2004||The District||Chief Jack Mannion||89 episodes
Nominated—Prism Award for Best Actor in a Drama Series
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama
|2004||The Incredibles||Bob Parr/Mr. Incredible|
|2005||The Family Stone||Kelly Stone||Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture|
|2007||Blades of Glory||Coach|
|2007||My Name Is Earl||Warden Jerry Hazelwood||4 episodes|
|2009||The Proposal||Joe Paxton|
|2008–2009||CSI: NY||Robert Dunbrook||3 episodes|
|2009||Monk||Judge Ethan Rickover||2 episodes|
|2010–present||Parenthood||Zeek Braverman||Main Cast
Prism Award for Best Actor in a Drama Series
|2010||The Company Men||James Salinger|
|2011||Soul Surfer||Dr. Robinsky|
|2013||Hawaii Five-0||Tyler Cain||'He welo 'oihana'|
- Harris, Will (2013-09-26). "Craig T. Nelson on comedy, chemistry, and more". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2013-09-06. "I’ve never, ever been Craig Richard Nelson. Ever! My birth certificate says Craig Theodore."
- Craig T. Nelson - Biography
- 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.
- "History: In the Beginning". The Groundlings. Retrieved 2013-09-26.
- Boss, Kit (August 30, 1992). "Craig T. Nelson's Life In The Fast Lane". The Seattle Times. Retrieved December 13, 2013.
- http://www.tvguide.com/News/Craig-Nelson-Guest-1000515.aspx Craig T. Nelson to Guest on CSI: NY" TV Guide. December 3, 2008. Retrieved on December 5, 2008.
- Knutzen, Eirik (October 1, 2000). "Craig T. Nelson Is D.c.'s Top Cop". The Morning Call. Retrieved December 13, 2013.
- Getlen, Larry (September 23, 2010). "Life Lessons". AARP. Retrieved December 13, 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Craig T. Nelson.|
- Craig T. Nelson at the Internet Movie Database
- Craig T. Nelson at the Internet Broadway Database
- Craig T. Nelson at Internet Off-Broadway Database