Skip to content

See Former Teen Idol Judd Nelson Now at 62

Find out where you might have spotted the Brat Packer recently.

In the '80s, the Brat Pack was all the rage, with the group of young actors starring in hit films including The Outsiders, Sixteen Candles, and Pretty in Pink. One actor who starred in two of the biggest movies associated with the Brat Pack is Judd Nelson, who played John Bender in The Breakfast Club and Alec Newberry in St. Elmo's Fire. And while you might not hear about him as much today, the former teen idol is still acting and has appeared on some popular TV series in recent years. He's also keeping his private life very private, however—you won't catch him posting throwback pictures on social media.

So read on to learn more about Nelson's career today and to find out whether he's in touch with any of his former co-stars.

RELATED: See Former Teen Idol Rick Springfield Now at 72.

He's still acting in TV and movies.

Judd Nelson at the premiere of "Young Guns" in 1988
Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

In addition to The Breakfast Club and St. Elmo's Fire, Nelson is also known for roles in Billionaire Boys Club, New Jack City, and the sitcom Suddenly Susan. In recent years, he's also appeared in the series Two and a Half Men, Nikita, and Empire. In 2021, he starred in the Lifetime movie Girl in the Basement, and in 2020, he was in the film Iceland Is Best, playing a poetry teacher.

"It was very peculiar," Nelson told Metro in 2021 of now playing the inspirational adult instead of the rebellious teen. "I had that same thought when I first walked into the gym during the film. I was like, 'Oh, wow, I'm the older guy now. How did that happen?' You blink, you have one drink, and look what happens."

He's also worked in theater.

Judd Nelson at the premiere of "David Crosby: Remember My Name" in 2019
DFree / Shutterstock

In 2019, Nelson performed in the play Love Letters alongside Twin Peaks star Sheryl Lee. He had previously acted in the same play in 1991.

"Any time an actor gets good material, I feel compelled to say yes," he told Star News Online."Great pieces are few and far between. Love Letters starts out so simple and easy, then it gets deeper and darker and very bittersweet at the end. Just a wonderful piece." Asked if he prefers doing a play or acting in a movie, he responded, "Play. It's a shame, though. It takes that much more effort, and you get that much less money."

He keeps his private life to himself.

Judd Nelson at the premiere of "Two Ways Home" in 2019
Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

You won't find much on the internet about Nelson's personal life, and he doesn't use social media. "I'm not interested in seeing photographs of what somebody is eating for dinner," he told The JC in 2021. "I'm just not. I mean that's great that they like their dinner, but I'm not going to post pictures of what I'm eating!"

RELATED: For more celebrity news delivered right to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

He isn't as tight with the Brat Pack as he used to be.

Judd Nelson at the premiere of "1/1" in 2018
Amanda Edwards/Getty Images

In his interview with Metro, Nelson shared that he isn't that close with his '80s co-stars these days, but would like to see them more often.

"Every once in a while I'll see one of them," he said. "And I miss all of them. I mean, I've not seen Rob Lowe since before he had children. They're grown up now. That's a long time. I've seen Anthony Michael Hall, who played Brian in The Breakfast Club. Every so often, I have contact with Emilio Estévez and I really miss him. He's a smart, very funny guy."

He continued, "And I see people occasionally but Hollywood… is it like a family? Not really! It's a family of only children pretending they have similar mothers! You work furiously and fast and closely with everyone. Then suddenly, it's over."

RELATED: See '70s Teen Idol Robby Benson Now at 66.

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
Filed Under