Jimmy Bridges
Born(1936-02-03)February 3, 1936
Little Rock, Arkansas
DiedJune 6, 1993(1993-06-06) (aged 57)
Los Angeles, California
PartnerJack Larson (1958—1993) (Bridges' death)

James Bridges (February 3, 1936 – June 6, 1993) was an American screenwriter, film director, producer, and actor. He is a two-time Oscar nominee: once for Best Original Screenplay for The China Syndrome and once for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Paper Chase.

Life and career

Bridges was born February 3, 1936, in Little Rock, Arkansas and grew up in Paris, Arkansas.[1] His mother was Celestine Wiggins, his sister was Mary Ann Wiggins, and his life partner from 1958 until his death was actor, librettist, screenwriter, and producer Jack Larson. Bridges got his start as a writer for Alfred Hitchcock Presents after catching the attention of Norman Lloyd, a producer for the series.[2] 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.


In 1990, Bridges was diagnosed with intestinal cancer. He died of kidney failure at the UCLA Medical Center on June 6, 1993, at 57 years old. He was buried at Oakwood Cemetery in his hometown of Paris, Arkansas.[1][3][4]

The James Bridges Theater at University of California, Los Angeles was named in his honor in November 1999.[5] 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.[6] It was 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, it was directed by Joseph Sargent.
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. It was 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. John Houseman won Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
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 on which the story is based.
1984 Mike's Murder Debra Winger, Mark Keyloun, Darrell Larson Yes 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, it was adapted from Bridges' 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 the 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. It was 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 et al. Yes Sixteen episodes:
  • "A Tangled Web" - based on the 1956 novel by Nicholas Blake
  • "The Star Juror" - novel by Francis Didelot
  • "Death and the Joyful Woman" - 1961 novel by Edith Pargeter
  • "Dear Uncle George" - co-written with Richard Levinson and William Link, writers of original story
  • "Run for Doom" - novel by Henry Kane
  • "The Cadaver" - original story by Robert Arthur
  • "The Jar" - 1944 short story by Ray Bradbury
  • "Murder Case" - co-written with Richard Levinson and William Link, story by Max Marquis
  • "Beast in View" - 1955 novel by Margaret Millar
  • "The Gentleman Caller" - short story by Veronica Parker Johns
  • "Bed of Roses" - original story by Emily Neff
  • "Return of Verge Likens" - short story by Davis Grubb
  • "Where the Woodbine Twineth" - short story by Davis Grubb
  • "An Unlocked Window" - original story by Ethel Lina White
  • "Death Scene" - original story by Helen Nielsen
  • "Power of Attorney" - original story by Selwyn Jepson
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 ("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, it stars Ethel Barrymore. Bridges met Jack Larson when they were both acting in this film.[2][7]
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 "New York Times obituary". The New York Times. June 8, 1993. Retrieved August 29, 2015.
  2. ^ a b King, Susan (July 6, 2011). "Adventures with Bridges". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on April 14, 2012. Retrieved April 3, 2021.
  3. ^ "Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture". encyclopediaofarkansas.net. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  4. ^ "Variety obituary". variety.com. June 7, 1993. Retrieved August 29, 2015.
  5. ^ "James Bridges Theater". UCLA School of Theater, Film & Television. Retrieved April 3, 2021.
  6. ^ "1963 book". goodreads.com. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
  7. ^ Larson, Jack (12 August 2011). "DP/30: Jack Larson & James Bridges - A Hollywood Partnership (1 of 3)". DP/30: The Oral History Of Hollywood (Interview). Interviewed by David Poland. Archived from the original on 2021-12-14. Retrieved 28 August 2015.