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James Bridges

James Bridges
Born (1936-02-03)February 3, 1936
Paris, Arkansas, U.S.
Died June 6, 1993(1993-06-06) (aged 57)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation Director, producer, writer
Partner(s) Jack Larson (1958-1993)

James Bridges (February 3, 1936 – June 6, 1993) was an American screenwriter, film director, producer and actor.


  • Biography 1
  • Personal life 2
  • Death and legacy 3
  • Filmography 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


Bridges was born February 3, 1936 in Paris, Arkansas. He got his start as a writer for Alfred Hitchcock Presents after catching the attention of Norman Lloyd, a producer for the series.[1] One of his episodes, An Unlocked Window, earned him a 1966 Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for Best Episode in a TV Series.

Bridges went on to write and direct a number of notable films, including The Baby Maker, The Paper Chase, September 30, 1955, The China Syndrome, Urban Cowboy, Mike's Murder, Perfect, and Bright Lights, Big City. Bridges was a mentor to actress Debra Winger.

Personal life

From 1958 to 1993, his life partner was actor Jack Larson, best known for his portrayal of Jimmy Olsen in the TV series Adventures of Superman.

Death and legacy

In 1990, Bridges was diagnosed with intestinal cancer. He died of kidney failure and was pronounced dead at the UCLA Medical Center on June 6, 1993. He was 57 years old. He was buried at Oakwood Cemetery in his hometown of Paris, Arkansas. Bridges was survived by his partner Jack Larson, his mother Celestine Wiggins and his sister Mary Ann Wiggins.[2][3][4]

The James Bridges Theater at University of California, Los Angeles was named in his honor in November 1999. Bridges was a faculty member there early in his career.


Year Title Stars Credited as Notes
Director Writer Producer
1966 The Appaloosa Marlon Brando, Anjanette Comer, John Saxon Yes Bridges co-wrote the screenplay with Roland Kibbee. Based on the 1963 novel by Robert MacLeod.[5] Directed by Sidney J. Furie.
1970 Colossus: The Forbin Project Eric Braeden, Susan Clark, Gordon Pinsent Yes Based on, Colossus, the 1966 novel by D.F. Jones. Directed by Joseph Sargent.
1970 The Baby Maker Barbara Hershey, Collin Wilcox, Sam Groom Yes Yes Written and directed by Bridges. Jack Larson, Bridges life partner, was a producer on this film.
1972 Limbo Kate Jackson, Katherine Justice, Stuart Margolin Yes Bridges co-wrote the screenplay with Joan Micklin Silver, the writer of the original story. Directed by Mark Robson.
1973 The Paper Chase Timothy Bottoms, Lindsay Wagner, John Houseman Yes Yes Based on a novel by John Jay Osborn, Jr.
1977 September 30, 1955 Richard Thomas, Susan Tyrrell, Deborah Benson Yes Yes Written and directed by Bridges.
1979 The China Syndrome Jane Fonda, Jack Lemmon, Michael Douglas Yes Yes Bridges shares writing credit with Mike Gray and T.S. Cook.
1980 Urban Cowboy John Travolta, Debra Winger, Scott Glenn Yes Yes Bridges co-wrote the screenplay with Aaron Latham, the writer of the article that the story is based on.
1984 Mike's Murder Debra Winger, Mark Keyloun, Darrell Larson Yes Yes Written and directed by Bridges. Jack Larson was the associate producer on this film.
1985 Perfect John Travolta, Jamie Lee Curtis, Ramey Ellis Yes Yes Yes Bridges co-wrote the screenplay with Aaron Latham, the writer of the original story. Jack Larson, was Bridges co-producer on this film.
1986 Palimos ng pag-ibig Vilma Santos, Dina Bonnevie, Edu Manzano Yes Filipino film based on Bridges' 1970 film, The Baby Maker. Adapted from Brigges' original story by Nerissa Cabral. Directed by Eddie Garcia. This film was later adapted into a 2007 Filipino television series of the same name.
1988 Bright Lights, Big City Michael J. Fox, Kiefer Sutherland, Phoebe Cates Yes Novel and screenplay by Jay McInerney. Jack Larson was the associate producer on this film.
1990 White Hunter Black Heart Clint Eastwood, Jeff Fahey, Charlotte Cornwell Yes Bridges wrote the screenplay with Burt Kennedy and Peter Viertel, the writer of the original novel. Directed by Clint Eastwood.
Year Title Stars Credited as Notes
Director Writer Producer
1963 The Great Adventure
(TV Series)
Ruby Dee, Brock Peters, Ossie Davis Yes One Episode:
1963- 1965 The Alfred Hitchcock Hour
(TV Series)
Alfred Hitchcock and various. Yes Sixteen Episodes:
1969 The Flim-Flam Man
(TV Movie)
Forrest Tucker, Don Scardino, James Gregory Yes Directed by Alan Rafkin.
1972 When Michael Calls
(TV Movie)
Ben Gazzara, Elizabeth Ashley, Michael Douglas Yes Based on the 1967 novel by John Farris and directed by Philip Leacock.
1973 Carola
(TV Movie)
Michael Sacks, Leslie Caron, Douglas Anderson Yes Adapted from Jean Renoir's play of the same name. Directed by Norman Lloyd.
1985 Alfred Hitchcock Presents
(TV Series)
Annette O'Toole, Bruce Davison, Owen Bush Yes Written and directed by Fred Walton, based on Bridges' teleplay of the same name for The Alfred Hitchcock Hour.
One Episode:
  • Pilot (Segment: An Unlocked Window)
1978- 1986 The Paper Chase
(TV Series)
John Houseman, James Stephens, Tom Fitzsimmons Yes Based on the 1970 novel by John Jay Osborn, Jr. Bridges is credited as creator on all 58 episodes and wrote two episodes:
  • The Paper Chase
  • The Seating Chart
2007 SineSerye
(TV Series)
Kristine Hermosa, Diether Ocampo, Rica Peralejo Yes Based on the 1986 film, which was adapted by Nerissa Cabral from Bridges' 1970 film, The Baby Maker.
One Episode:
  • Palimos ng pag-ibig
As an Actor
Year Title Director Writer Role Notes
1957 Invasion of the Saucer Men Edward L. Cahn Robert J. Gurney Jr., Al Martin Bobby Based on Paul W. Fairman's 1955 short story, The Cosmic Frame.
1957 Johnny Trouble John H. Auer Charles O'Neil, David Lord Ike Based on the story, Prodigal's Mother, by Ben Ames Williams and starring Ethel Barrymore. Bridges met his life partner, Jack Larson, when they were both acting in this film.[1][6]
1957- 1958 Dragnet
(TV Series)
Jack Webb Michael Cramoy Unnamed Created by and starring Jack Webb.
Two episodes:
  • The Big License Plates
  • The Big Hype
1958 Mackenzie's Raiders
(TV Series)
Walter Doniger Barney Slater Private Lewis The series is based on the book, The Mackenzie Raid, by Russell Reeder.
One episode:
  • Mackenzie's Raiders
1958 Flight
(TV Series)
Jean Yarbrough Laurence Heath Unnamed One episode:
  • Experiment Oxygen
1958 Shirley Temple's Storybook
(TV Series)
Paul Bogart Norman Lessing Unnamed Based on the 1820 short story by Washington Irving.
One episode:
  • The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
1958 Joy Ride Edward Bernds Christopher Knopf Dirk Based on a story by J.B. Gilford.
1964 Tarzan And Jane Regained... Sort Of Andy Warhol Uncredited Lord of the forest A comedy starring Irving Blum, Brooke Hayward and Bridges. Naomi Levine plays Jane and Taylor Mead plays Tarzan. Warhol is also in the film.
1968 Faces John Cassavetes John Cassavetes Extra A drama starring John Marley, Gena Rowlands and Lynn Carlin.


  1. ^ a b "Los Angeles Times: July 06, 2011". Retrieved 28 August 2015. 
  2. ^ "New York Times obituary - June 8, 1993". Retrieved 29 August 2015. 
  3. ^ "Enyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture". Retrieved 29 August 2015. 
  4. ^ "Variety obituary - June 7, 1993". Retrieved 29 August 2015. 
  5. ^ "1963 book". Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  6. ^ Larson, Jack (12 August 2011). DP/30: Jack Larson & James Bridges - A Hollywood Partnership (1 of 3). Interview with David Poland. DP/30: The Oral History Of Hollywood. Retrieved 28 August 2015. 

External links

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