Judd Asher Nelson (born November 28, 1959) is an American actor. He is best known for being a member of the "Brat Pack" in the mid-1980s; and for his roles as John Bender in The Breakfast Club, Alec Newbary in St. Elmo's Fire, and Jack Richmond in Suddenly Susan.

Early life

Nelson was born in Portland, Maine, the son of Jewish-American parents Merle (née Royte), a court mediator and former member of the Maine state legislature, and Leonard Nelson, a corporate lawyer who was the first Jewish president of the Portland Symphony Orchestra.[1][2][3] He has two sisters, Eve and Julie. He went to school at St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire and Waynflete School in Portland, Maine, and studied at Haverford College in Pennsylvania, leaving during his sophomore year. He subsequently moved to Manhattan to study acting with Stella Adler.


Nelson was one of the 1980s "Brat Pack", starring in such films as Joel Schumacher's St. Elmo's Fire and John Hughes' The Breakfast Club (in which he played rebel John Bender), as well as providing the voice of Hot Rod/Rodimus in The Transformers: The Movie. He also starred in a film titled Making the Grade and co-starred alongside a young Kevin Costner in the road-trip movie Fandango. He also started work on a musical entitled Rob Hanley: Sutton Trust Warrior, but a lack of funding meant the project was ceased in preproduction.[citation needed]

Following his role in The Breakfast Club, Nelson's career failed to take off, as several of his films performed poorly at the box office, including Blue City (co-starring Breakfast Club alumna Ally Sheedy) and From the Hip, both of which garnered him Razzie nominations. His career lost momentum for a time, and in the 1990s he appeared in Flinch (1994) co-starring Gina Gershon. He was also in urban-themed dramas such as New Jack City and Light It Up. However, in 1996 he received a starring role on the NBC television sitcom Suddenly Susan, which saw success for a four-season run. Nelson made a cameo appearance in the 2001 film Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back; the film's writer/director, Kevin Smith, had been a long-time fan of Nelson and the "Brat Pack" movies. Throughout the late 1990s and 2000s, Nelson mostly appeared in television roles such as NBC's Las Vegas and lower-budget films, although he also acted on stage.

Nelson also appeared in the television show CSI: Crime Scene Investigation as a friend of a murder victim and Eleventh Hour on November 20, 2008 as a psychologist researching soldiers returning from Iraq who suffer from Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He plays the host in The Real Fear Factor, a spoof on Fear Factor, in National Lampoon's TV: The Movie. In 2009, Nelson appeared in the sequel The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day.[4]

More recently, he portrayed Father Charley Lock on Brookwood Sleazebags, a pilot he did for HBO. Nelson also reprised his role of Rodimus Prime from the 1986 Transformers movie for the newest Transformers television series, Transformers Animated.

Nelson appeared at the 2010 Academy Awards to pay tribute to late film director John Hughes along with other cast members of Hughes' films.[5]


Year Title Role Notes
1982 Rock 'n' Roll Hotel Rocker Johnny
1984 Making the Grade Eddie Keaton
1985 The Breakfast Club John Bender MTV Silver Bucket of Excellence (2005)
St. Elmo's Fire Alec Newbary
Fandango Phil Hicks, Groover
1986 The Transformers: The Movie Hot Rod/Rodimus Prime voice
Blue City Billy Turner
From the Hip Robin 'Stormy' Weathers
1987 Billionaire Boys Club Joe Hunt
1989 Relentless Arthur 'Buck' Taylor
1990 Hiroshima: Out of the Ashes Pete Dunham TV film
1991 New Jack City Nick Peretti
The Dark Backward Marty Malt
1992 Primary Motive Andrew Blumenthal
1993 Conflict of Interest Gideon
Entangled David
1994 Every Breath Jimmy
Hail Caesar Prisoner One
Airheads Jimmie Wing
Flinch Harry Mirapolsky
Blindfold: Acts of Obsession Dr. Jannings TV film
Caroline at Midnight Phil Gallo
1995 Circumstances Unknown Paul Kinsey TV film
Blackwater Trail Matt
1996 For a Few Lousy Dollars Hitman
1997 Steel Nathaniel Burke
1999 Mr. Rock 'n' Roll: The Alan Freed Story Alan Freed TV film
Light It Up Ken Knowles
2000 Endsville Rufus The Buck-Toothed Sluggard
Falcon Down Harold Peters
Cabin by the Lake Stanley TV film
The Spiral Staircase Phillip Warren TV film
The New Adventures of Spin and Marty: Suspect Behavior Jack Hulka TV film
2001 Strange Frequency Martin Potter TV film
Lost Voyage Aaron Roberts TV film
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back Sheriff
Return to Cabin by the Lake Stanley TV film
Dark Asylum Quitz
The Cure for Boredom Max
2002 Cybermutt Alex TV film
Deceived Jack Jones
Santa Jr. Darryl Bedford TV film
2003 White Rush Brian Nathanson
2004 The Freediver Ziad
2005 Lethal Eviction Shep
The Lost Angel Father Brian
Three Wise Guys George TV film
2006 Black Hole Eric TV film
2007 Netherbeast Incorporated Steven P.D. Landry
Nevermore Jonathon Usher
The Kidnapping Glen TV film
2008 The Caretaker Ella's dad[6]
Infected Malcolm Burgess TV film
The Day the Earth Stopped Charlie
2009 Dirty Politics Billy
Transformers Animated Rodimus Prime voice; one episode
A Single Woman Jewish reporter completed
Little Hercules in 3-D Kevin completed
The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day Concezio Yakavetta
2010 Psych Dr. Reidman guest star (episode Death is In the Air)
Endure Emory Lane post-production
Brookwood Sleazebags Father Charley Lock post-production


  1. Peck, Abraham J.; Jean M. Peck (2007). Maine's Jewish Heritage. Arcadia Publishing. p. 108. ISBN 0738549657.  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help)
  2. Film
  3. Bartlett, Will (1996-01-09). "LILLIAN D. ROYTE STRONG BELIEVER IN PUBLIC SERVICE". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved 2008-03-27. 
  5. "John Hughes Tribute, Oscars". The Oscars Official Website. Retrieved August 9, 2010. 
  6. The Caretaker Takin' Care of the Killin' Teens Business

External links

  1. REDIRECT Template:IMDb name
  1. REDIRECT Template:AllRovi person
bg:Джъд Нелсънnl:Judd Nelsonno:Judd Nelson

pl:Judd Nelsonfi:Judd Nelson sv:Judd Nelson

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