Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Where Are They Now ... Judd Nelson

Do you ever find yourself watching an old movie on TV and see an actor or actress come on screen that you haven't seen in a long time? Wonder what they're up to nowadays? Are they still in the movie business? Are they working at your local Burger King? Are they six feet under?
These are questions I stay up late at night thinking about. (Well, I could in theory...) But I felt it would be good, if only for my own curiosity, to follow up on these burning questions.
So therefore, I will attempt on a semi-weekly basis to provide a brief career rundown of an actor or actress who has seemingly dropped off the face of the earth, and give an update on the latest news I can find about the poor schlemiels. Some of these people you may have never heard of in the first place, while others you'll exclaim, "Yeah, whatever did happen to that poor SOB?" Hopefully, I'll be able to offer some answers.
And then maybe, just maybe, we can all sleep a little better at night.
If you've got an actor/actress you're curious about, drop a line on this site and I'll see if I can't fit them into a future edition of "Where Are They Now."
Without further adieu, the first name out of the bag is Judd Nelson. For those of you who were fans of the John Hughes films in the 1980s, I'm sure you'll remember his role as Bender in "The Breakfast Club." Most any fan of that film could quote tons of dialogue, much of it coming from his character. He also had the fortune (at the time, it seemed like good) to be one of the stars of "St. Elmo's Fire," which pays tribute to the passion of the highly popular "Sesame Street" character. (I could be wrong on that. I've actually never watched the whole thing, nor been able to sit through a John Parr song. But that's another subject.)
At any rate, as a member of the creative media-derived group, "The Brat Pack," Nelson was able to get into lots of parties, date a lot of attractive and thought-challenged women and start trendy drug habits. However, the big film roles didn't really follow on the heels of his 1985 success. Unless you consider providing the voice of Rodimus Prime in "Transformers: The Movie" as a big film role.
He did get a couple of decent acting jobs in subsequent years, starring in 1987's TV-movie "Billionaire Boys Club" and 1991's "New Jack City," portraying a cop only slightly more believable than Chris Rock in "Lethal Weapon 4."
In 1996-99, he was on the cast of the Brooke Shields TV vehicle "Suddenly Susan," which I'm not sure should be listed as a career highlight. At any rate, little seen movies have followed since then, mostly direct-to-DVD/video or ones for TV. But the intrepid 45-year-old actor soldiers on, with movies such as "Lethal Eviction," "Black Hole," and "Three Wise Guys" all current or future releases for 2005. He is an avid golfer and a big fan of the Boston sports scene, although he lives in L.A.
And in recognition of the 20th anniversary of "The Breakfast Club," Nelson was expected to join fellow cast members Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, Ally Sheedy and Paul Gleason on stage at the MTV Movie Awards in June. (What, Emilio Estevez was too busy?) However, he never showed on stage, yet was reportedly at pre-show festivities. Did anybody think to check above the theater's ceiling? He might have been crawling around up there, causing a ruckus.
So now you know ...
– MC

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