Craig T. Nelson biography

Book Club

Craig T. Nelson

Date of Birth: April 4, 1944

Craig T. Nelson was born in Spokane, Washington, to parents Armand and Vera Nelson, who were involved in show business as a musician and a dancer, respectively. Craig studied criminology in college, intending a career in the CIA, but eventually dropped out to pursue acting with little initial success.

He began his career in stand-up, performing alongside directors Barry Levinson and Rudy De Luca in the early 1970s as part of The Groundlings comedy troupe. Craig later left the group, believing comedy was not fulfilling enough, and took a five-year break from his attempts to make a name for himself in show business.

At this time, Craig and his wife Robin had two children (Tiffany and Christopher), and his lack of success was putting a financial strain on the family. He held several different jobs, including janitor, plumber, and carpenter, but by 1977 his family was on welfare and receiving food stamps. Following his divorce in 1978, Craig moved to Hollywood and returned to the world of acting.

His big break would come in his debut role as prosecuting attorney Frank Bowers in pal Levinson’s drama ...And Justice for All (1979). This small role was enough to kickstart his acting career. Next, he starred in the classic horror film Poltergeist (1982), which was both a critical and box office success and established Craig as a notable actor in Hollywood.

He appeared as Tom Cruise's football coach in the film All the Right Moves (1983), and a year later starred on the television series, Call to Glory, as Air Force Colonel Raynor Sarnac. His part in All the Right Moves would land Craig the titular role in the television series Coach, which ran for eight seasons and earned him an Emmy in 1992 for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series.

Since the end of Coach in 1997, Craig has seen critical success in other roles. He starred as Police Chief Jack Mannion in the television drama The District from 2000 to 2004. He also lent his voice to Disney’s highly acclaimed animated film, The Incredibles (2004), as family patriarch and reluctantly retired superhero, Bob Parr. He reprised his role in the sequel, Incredibles 2 (2018).

After passing up a part on the hit television series Modern Family, Craig accepted a role as Zeek Braverman in the series Parenthood, which ran from 2010 to 2015. Most recently, he's been seen on the big screen in the comedy Book Club (2018), playing Mary Steenburgen's husband. ~Caitlyn Clancey

Craig T. Nelson Filmography


Book Club

Genre:  Comedy
Running Time:  104 min.
Release Date: May 18, 2018
DVD: August 28, 2018
Blu-ray: August 28, 2018
Digital: August 21, 2018

Current rating: Rating: 3.91
based on 400 votes and 161 reviews
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Cast: Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, Mary Steenburgen, Craig T. Nelson, Andy Garcia, Don Johnson

Inspiration: E.L. James