Craig T. Nelson is an American actor known for his supporting roles in movies like Poltergeist, The Devil's Advocate and The Skulls and for his role as Chief Jack Mannion in the television series The District, appearing in 48 episodes from 2000-2004.
He also starred as Zeek Braverman, the gregarious patriarch of the Braverman family who has tried his hand at almost everything, in the comedy-drama television series Parenthood.
He is probably best known to Americans for his eponymous role in the series Coach, appearing in 199 episodes from 1989-1997.
Nelson starred as Jack Mannion on The District, a drama that was inspired by the experiences of real-life police crime fighter Jack Maple. The District aired for four seasons, 2000-2004. Nelson also served as co-executive producer and directed episodes.
In 1997, he completed his eighth and final season on Coach, starring as Hayden Fox. He directed numerous episodes and received three Emmy nominations: 1990, 1991 and 1992 for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, which led to a win for the 1991-1992 season.
He has also been honoured by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association with four Golden Globe nominations.
Upon completion of his successful series Coach, Nelson had a chance to vary his projects, including making his Broadway debut as Nat Miller in Eugene O'Neill's Ah, Wilderness! at the Vivian Beaumont Theater/Lincoln Center in the spring of 1998. The show played to rave reviews during its limited run.
Nelson was born in Spokane, Washington, on April 4. He has always been interested in music, playing drums and guitar through high school and college. He attended the University of Arizona and studied at the Oxford Theater in L.A.
He began his career as a writer/performer on the Lohman and Barkley Show, and his talent as a writer garnered him a Los Angeles Emmy Award for the show. Nelson's writing credits include The Alan King Special and The Tim Conway Show.
Nelson's guest-star appearances include: series finale of Monk, a three-episode arc on CSI:NY, four episodes of My Name is Earl, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and Private Benjamin. He starred in the critically acclaimed series Call To Glory and directed its final episode.
His television movies include Showtime's award-winning Dirty Pictures, NBC's Take Me Home Again with Kirk Douglas, Rage, Toast of Manhattan, Alex: The Life of a Child, The Switch, and The Fire Next Time and HBO's The Josephine Baker Story.
His mini-series credits include: NBC's To Serve and Protect and Creature. He co-hosted with Paula Zahn on the television special The Ultimate Driving Challenge.
When one adds writing, directing, and producing to his list of credits, it's no mystery as to why he formed Family Tree Productions to develop and produce motion picture and television projects.
A special project for Nelson was the television movie Ride with the Wind. The story revolves around a young boy, and it is one of hope, discovery and recovery. It was scripted by Nelson, who also served as executive producer under the banner of his Family Tree Productions, in association with Hearst Entertainment.
In 2004 audiences got to hear a new side of the man. He voiced Bob Paar, or as he was known in his superhero days, Mr. Incredible, in the Oscar-winning Walt Disney Picture/Pixar Animation Studios The Incredibles. The film is a DVD bestseller.
Nelson's feature film credits include The Proposal with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds; Blades of Glory with Will Ferrell; The Family Stone with Sarah Jessica Parker and Diane Keaton; The Skulls; All Over Again; Devil's Advocate, in which he co-starred with Al Pacino and Keanu Reeves; Ghosts of Mississippi with Whoopi Goldberg, directed by Rob Reiner; I'm Not Rappaport, co-starring Walter Matthau and Ossie Davis; Poltergeist I and Poltergeist II - The Other Side (he contributed to the screenplay); Action Jackson; The Killing Fields; Silkwood; and The Osterman Weekend.
He became enthralled with the art of auto racing as a participant in the 1991 Toyota Pro Celebrity Grand Prix. He came in third and was hooked. He formed Screaming Eagles Racing Enterprise in the spring of 1992 and not only owned the team, but drove as well.
The team competed in the American City Racing League and the International Motor Sports Association's World Sports Car series. Nelson raced in the Porsche Super Cup Series, May 1994, Monte Carlo, Monaco. The team was disbanded in 1998.
The following year he was a guest driver, in a Corvette, in the 100 BF Goodrich Tires Trans Am Series Race at Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, and in the Tenneco Detroit Grand Prix.
Besides his love of show business, music and auto racing, Nelson's passion for golf is also well documented. He was a champion amateur golfer in high school and has been known to shoot in the low 70s. In the December 2007 issue of Golf Digest, he was ranked 4th out of 100 TV and film stars.
Nelson has three children, seven grandchildren and a great grandchild. He has been married to actress Doria Cook-Nelson since 1987.