Lloyd Bridges was the athletic actor who made skin diving popular in his underwater 1950s television series "Sea Hunt."
He made more than 100 motion pictures, and his most memorable roles were in supporting parts. He played a soldier in a 1949 film about racial prejudice in the Army, "Home of the Brave"; a deputy refusing to aid Gary Cooper's sheriff in the 1952 classic "High Noon"; and the gruff, hard-drinking controller in the 1980 spoof "Airplane!" and its 1982 sequel.
In his later years, Bridges frequently acted with sons Beau and Jeff (whom he first put before the camera in "Sea Hunt") in films and television productions.
On stage since the late 1930s, Bridges became a household face and name as Mike Nelson, ex-Navy frogman and freelance underwater investigator in television's "Sea Hunt." The innovative series, filmed largely in a tank at the now-defunct Marineland of the Pacific on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, ran from 1957 to 1961 and appeared in syndication through the 1960s.
Although he was an avid lifelong tennis player and swimmer and played basketball, baseball and football in his high school and college years, Bridges admitted that he had never tried skin diving until he landed the part.
He made his professional stage debut in Berkeley as Lucentio in "The Taming of the Shrew," and in 1937 made his Broadway debut in a bit part in Shakespeare's "Othello."
On Broadway, he appeared in such plays as "Night Must Fall," "Stage Door," "Death Takes a Holiday," "A Doll's House" and "One Sunday Afternoon."
Spotted by a Columbia Pictures talent scout, Bridges moved to Hollywood and made his screen debut in 1941 in "The Lone Wolf Takes a Chance."