Judd Nelson (Actor) as John Bender - The Breakfast Club
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Updated: 1/23/15

Name: Judd Nelson

Born: November 28, 1959, Portland, Maine

Claim To Fame: Known as one of the members of the 1980s "brat pack, starring in such films as Joel Schumacher's St. Elmo's Fire and John Hughes' The Breakfast Club.

Family Life: His parents are Merle (nee Royte), a court mediator and former member of the Maine state legislature, and Leonard Nelson, a corporate lawyer who was the first Jewish president of the Portland Symphony Orchestra. He has two sisters, Eve and Julie.

Info: Nelson was bitten with the acting bug during college, and headed to New York City to study with actress Stella Adler. He first appeared in the 1984 comedy Making the Grade, and co-starred alongside a young Kevin Costner in the movie Fandango.

His breakthrough role was in the 1985 brat-pack film The Breakfast Club as the rebellious John Bender, and a role in St. Elmo's Fire quickly followed. However, his career took a nosedive when several of his following films performed poorly at the box office.

In 1996, though, he found success with a starring role on the NBC television sitcom Suddenly Susan, and he stayed on for four seasons.

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Trivia: Majored in philosophy at the prestigious Haverford College in Pennsylvania, he left the school during his sophomore year.

Appeared in John Parr's "St. Elmo's Fire (Man In Motion)" music video.

One of the nine original members of the 1980s "brat pack", along with Andrew McCarthy, Mare Winningham, Anthony Michael Hall, Demi Moore, Rob Lowe, Molly Ringwald, Emilio Estevez and Ally Sheedy.

Once engaged to Shannen Doherty.

When he left "Suddenly Susan" (1996), he was replaced by his The Transformers: The Movie (1986) castmate Eric Idle.

Favorite baseball team is the Boston Red Sox.

Loves to play golf, read and ride his motorbike.

Loves to write.

Didn't wash his hair for the entire shoot of The Breakfast Club.

Nominated for a Golden Globe for his role in Billionaire Boys Club.

Received the 2005 - Silver Bucket of Excellence Award from the MTV Movie Awards.

Nominated twice for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor - for Blue City (1986) and From the Hip (1987).

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Where Are They Now: Nelson continues to act, mainly in TV roles and lower-budget films. He has most recently appeared in the TV series Empire as Baretti, and on the TV series Ben 10: Omniverse. In 2013, he appeared on the series Nikita.

Some of his recent film appearances include a role in the undead office comedy Netherbeast Incorporated by director Dean Matthew Ronalds, and next month he can be seen in The Day the Earth Stopped, a spoof of Fox's big budget The Day The Earth Stood Still remake.

He co-wrote and starred in the short film The Spin Room: Super Tuesday (2012). In 2013 he authored four books released on Kindle: "The Power of Speech", "Nine of Diamonds", "The Gig" and "Water Music".

Write To Judd Nelson:
Judd Nelson
Shelter Entertainment
9454 Wilshire Blvd #715
Beverly Hills, CA 90212


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