Craig Richard Nelson
Craig Richard Nelson (not to be confused with Craig T. Nelson) is a character actor who jumped from Broadway into two substantial film roles at the start of his on-screen career. In 1973, he was cast as law student Willis Bell in the drama "The Paper Chase," for which John Houseman--as bow-tied law professor Charles Kingsfield Jr.--received an Oscar. That same year, Nelson had a supporting role in the ABC Movie of the Week, the sports drama "Blood Sport," starring Larry Hagman and Gary Busey. Following a few smaller parts, Nelson hit something of an early career peak, landing roles in three successive Robert Altman films: in 1977, he played Dr. Maas in the drama "3 Women" (with Shelly Duvall and Sissy Spacek), followed by a smaller role in the comedy "A Wedding" (with Carol Burnett and Geraldine Chaplin, among others) in 1978, and then a role as Redstone in the Paul Newman-starring sci-fi mystery, "Quintet." After that heightened period, however, Nelson's film work quickly dissipated, though he did have a small supporting part in the revenge-against-bullies classic "My Bodyguard" in 1980. On TV, Nelson had 25 years of steady if not particularly trenchant work, appearing on single episodes of everything from the sitcom "What's Happening!!" to the legal drama "L.A. Law" to the mystery "Murder, She Wrote." In 1982, he appeared on three episodes of the Sarah Jessica Parker-starring sitcom "Square Pegs," also directing an episode the following year.