NBC’s new drama “Parenthood” won me over in the very first episode, and one of its appeals is its aggressive family patriarch, Zeek Braverman, played by Craig T. Nelson. Nelson, whose character has four adult children while he has three in real life, is an anomaly in Hollywood — he has been married to the same woman, Doria Cook-Nelson, for more than two decades.
Like Braverman, Nelson, 65, is also a grandfather — he has seven grandchildren. While his family is rather low-profile, Nelson’s son Noah, a writer, was married to actress Ashley Jones (Bold and the Beautiful, True Blood) from 2003 to 2009.
The Zeek Braveman character, having some similarities to Nelson’s long-time Coach persona, is a sports-minded, guy’s guy who raised his children to feel like “everything in life is a war.” This according to son Adam Braverman, played by Peter Krause. Zeek’s response? Life “is a war.”
In real life Nelson seems to be a bit more of a softy — and is a child protection advocate. The family man is on the National Child Abuse Prevention Advisory Board of Parents Anonymous, the nation’s oldest child abuse prevention organization.
Next we’ll take a look at Krause, who plays a father whose son may be facing a diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome. The part is based on the character played by Steve Martin in the “Parenthood” movie on which the series is based, although there are marked differences in storyline.