James Broderick was an actor with a great deal of range, equally at home in gritty dramas and heartwarming sitcoms. Originally enrolled at the University of New Hampshire as a pre-med student, Broderick was bitten by the acting bug after being cast in a production of George Bernard Shaw's "Arms And The Man." His performance was so unexpectedly good that the director introduced him to stage actor Arthur Kennedy, who helped him get a number of theatrical roles in New York City. Broderick's television career began in 1950, and he appeared in a number of variety programs throughout the decade. In 1959, he was cast as idealistic young police officer Ernie Brenner in the CBS drama "Brenner,"which ran for three seasons. As he aged, Broderick started getting picked for edgier material, including a role in counterculture classic "Alice's Restaurant" and the classic heist movie "Dog Day Afternoon." His most famous role came as the patriarch on 1976 sitcom "Family," which took a more nuanced view of the American family than the broad comedy that dominated the airwaves. "Family" lasted for four seasons and earned Broderick an Emmy nomination. He worked up until his death from cancer in 1982, but left behind an enduring legacy in the form of his son, actor Matthew Broderick.