Judd Nelson is an American actor, who is possibly best known for his appearances in the films “The Breakfast Club” and “St. Elmo’s Fire.”

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Age, Early Life, and Education Background

Judd Asher Nelson hails from Portland, Maine, and was born under the Sagittarius zodiac sign on 28 November 1959, which makes him 63 years old as of 2024. His father, Leonard Nelson, was a corporate attorney, whereas his mother Merle Nelson was a court mediator, politician, and a former Maine House of Representatives member. Judd was raised in a tight-knit Ashkenazi Jewish family, and his dad was the first Jewish leader of The Portland Symphony Orchestra, established as the Amateur Strand Symphony Orchestra in the early ‘20s. Nelson was brought up alongside his two sisters, Julie and Eve Nelson.

Nelson attended a local elementary school before joining St. Paul’s School, situated in Concord, New Hampshire, but later transferred to Waynflete School, in his hometown of Portland. “The Breakfast Club” star matriculated to the Pennsylvania-based Haverford College, but dropped out in his second year. Subsequently, he moved to Manhattan, where began taking acting classes under the late acclaimed acting coach and actress, Stella Adler.

Facts and Hobbies

Nelson is one of the original members of The Brat Pack, which comprised of nine youthful actors who often appeared together in coming-of-age teen films of the ‘80s. The group was created by the late American TV journalist, David Bloom, and some of its most notable members included Emilio Estevez, Andrew McCarthy, Anthony Michael Hall, and Demi Moore. Its unofficial members included Tom Cruise and Robert Downey Jr. Some of the Brat Pack’s notable films include “The Outsiders,” “Sixteen Candles,” and “Class.”

The actor is physically active, and likes spending his spare time playing golf. He’s a huge fan of baseball, whose favorite team is the Boston Red Sox.

The Maine native also enjoys riding motorbikes, and is very good at it.

Judd also enjoys reading, and writing columns.

Moreover, he’s an animal lover, who previously had a Staffordshire Bull Terrier pet named Tallulah Bighead.

Career Beginnings: 1980s

Nelson rose to stardom for his starring role as John Bender in the 1985 teen comedy-drama movie “The Breakfast Club.” The John Huges-directed film was a critical and commercial success, and had a box office collection of around $50 million against a budget of $1 million. It also starred Molly Ringwald, Emilio Estevez and Ally Sheedy. Nelson appeared in two more films including the Kevin Reynolds-directed comedy “Fandango” before he landed the voicing role of Hot Rod in the 1986 animated sci-fi action movie “The Transformers: The Movie.” Before the ‘90s, Nelson appeared in various other projects including the William Dafoe, Matt Dillion, and Robert De Niro co-starred war documentary, “Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam”, and the ABC series “ABC Afterschool Special.”


Judd began the ‘90s with the starring role of Pete Dunham in the TV film “Hiroshima: Out of the Ashes,” which is based on the story of the August 1945 bombing of Hiroshima by the United States. He later shared the screen with the likes of Wesley Snipes and Ice-T in the 1991 urban gangster movie “New Jack City,” which was directed by Mario V. Peebles. Nelson wrapped up the ‘90s with an appearance in another urban gangster film, “Light It Up,” which was released in 1999.

2000 – Present

In 2001, Judd made a cameo appearance in the detective comedy-drama “Psych,” which was written and directed by the long-time fan of the Brat Pack group, Kevin Smith, and in which he portrays a psychologist working with servicemen suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 2002 saw Nelson co-star with Lauren Holly, George Wallace and Nick Stabile in the American Christmas comedy movie “Santa Jr.,” in which a public defender, Susan Flynn (portrayed by Holly) attempts to help Saint Nick’s child (played by Stabile) after he is suspected of stealing Christmas presents.

In the 2010s, Nelson appeared in various episodes of Danny Strong and Lee Daniels’ musical drama series “Empire,” the acclaimed action thriller, “Nikita,” and the animated TV series “Ben 10: Omniverse.” In 2013, he wrote the books “The Power of Speech,” “Water Music,” “The Gig,” and “Nine Diamonds,” which were released on the online e-book store, Kindle. Recently in 2021, Nelson starred in the Lifetime movie “Girl in the Basement” which was based on the 2008 Fritzl case of an Austrian woman named Elisabeth Fritzl, who was repeatedly raped and assaulted by her father (Fritzl), who held her captive in a concealed family home cellar for over 24 years.

Awards and Nominations

In 2005, Nelson scooped an MTV Movie + TV Silver Bucket of Excellence Award for his performance in “The Breakfast Club.” In 1987 and 1988, he was nominated for two Razzie Awards in the categories of Worst Actor for his performances in “For the Hip” and “Blue City.” His performance in “Billionaire Boys Club” saw him receive a Golden Globe Award nomination.

Personal Life

Nelson dated Loree Rodkin from 1985 to 1988. During the filming of the 1994 film, “Blindfold: Acts of Obsession,” Nelson had a brief affair with his co-star, Shannen Doherty, a Memphis, Tennessee, native who is also known for her appearances in the Western series “Little House on the Prairie”, the NBC drama series “Our House,” and the romantic comedy film “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.” The actress was still in an abusive relationship with Dean Factor, who is the heir to the beauty and make-up firm, Max Factor, when she began dating Judd Nelson in 1994. She was subsequently married to the American singer-songwriter, comedian, and actor, Ashley Hamilton (1993-1994), the poker player, Rick Salomon (2002-2003), and the American photographer Kurt Iswarienko (2011-2023).

From 2003 to 2005, Nelson dated the actress, Sheila Lussier. He also had a brief affair with the adult film actress named Tabitha Stevens. Moreover, he has briefly dated several other women including the American actress, TV host, model and DJ Samantha Phillips, the American TV personality and author, Faye Resnick, and the American model and actress Tracy Dali.

Height, Weight, and Physical Appearance

Nelson is of White ethnicity, has a set of hazel eyes and light brown hair. He weighs approximately 175lbs (79kgs) and is 5ft 10ins (1.78m) tall.

Net Worth

Nelson’s long and successful career in the showbiz industry has made him popular and rich. His net worth is approximately $8 million, as of 2023.

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