Craig Richard Nelson (born September 17, 1947) is an American theater, film and television actor.
Nelson was born in Salt Lake City, Utah and studied acting at the University of Utah and New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. After graduation he was cast in the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Two Gentlemen of Verona.
A casting director saw him in that show and cast him in the Oscar-winning film The Paper Chase as a mean-spirited law student. This led to a long career in film and television, including three Robert Altman films, A Wedding, 3 Women, and Quintet and a role in the coming-of-age comedy My Bodyguard, as well as a reoccurring role as drama teacher Mr. Spacek on the 1980s television show Square Pegs.