Legends of Diving Articles

 

Sea Hunt Turns 50 and is Celebrated at LegendsFest

 


Alec Peirce sent us this famous photo of Lloyd Bridges as Mike Nelson. In the background you can see the glass bottom boats of Silver Springs, Florida where many of the underwater scenes were shot.

Mike Nelson, the legendary star of Sea Hunt, will be celebrated this summer at the International Legends of Diving. And to help celebrate, Alec Peirce of Scuba 2000 has offered a special prize in honor of Mike Nelson.

 

The Portage Quarry legend who is most knowledgeable about Lloyd Bridges as Nelson will give away a prize for the most original of Mike Nelson's dive gear worn in the movies.

 

There were 155 Sea Hunt episodes released starting with "Sixty Feet Below", on January 4, 1958. Before "Sixty Feet Below" appeared on the west coast one month later the second episode had already appeared on television sets in

the east. The first two pilots were shot in color but released in black and white. Color was in its fourth year on the television medium and considered a flop at the time.

 

The four seasons of Sea Hunt were produced with budgets of $40,000 per episode. That was compared with the budgets of Zorro at $82,000 and $200,000 per episode for the Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour, which ran on CBS from 1957 to 1960. Color would add another $5,000 per episode that would be attached to an already tight budget. The remaining 153 episodes were shot in black and white.

 

Portage Quarry dive legend Zale Parry also appeared with Mike Nelson in the Sea Hunt series. Besides her diving expertise, Zale's

artistic talents are manifold from acting to photography to writing. An accomplished underwater photographer herself, in 1957, Zale  co-founded the International Underwater Film Festival that ran for 17 years. In 1960, she became the first elected woman president of the U/W Photographic Society. From the 1950s through the 1990s, Zale remained in demand as an actress and underwater stuntwoman for all the Hollywood studios (she never had to audition for a part). Her credits include, Kingdom of the Sea, Sea Hunt, GE Theatre, Wagon Train, Peter Gunn, and more. She also made
Zale Parry and Lloyd Bridges on the set filming an episode of Sea Hunt.

over two dozen "wet" and "dry" television commercials and appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated several times.

The last of the 155 episodes aired September 23, 1961, “Round Up”. Young upstart actor Jack Nicholson delivers a line to Mike Nelson, "How many times I gotta tell you" There ain't no bomb!". It was the last mission of Mike Nelson to save lives with his underwater heroics.

Lloyd Vernet Bridges Jr.

Date of Birth:15 January 1913, San Leandro, California
Date of Death:10 March 1998, Los Angeles, California
Spouse: Dorothy Dean Bridges (1938 married)
Father of Beau, Jeff, and Cindy Bridges

Help us Bring The Sea Hunt Episodes to Life

MGM now owns the rights and the originals of the Sea Hunt series. The 35 mm originals could be put to DVD or HD disks with a little urging from the public. Contact Sony / MGM Home Videos with your comments. Ask that your requests be sent to Amy Zwagerman, the Director of Library Marketing.

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