Hollywood star Beau Bridges has attacked the proliferation of firearms in the United States while praising former White House press secretary James Brady for his battle to impose greater government gun controls.
“Intelligent, courageous and fearless, with a ready wit, Jim Brady was a force for peace and common sense,” wrote Bridges in a commentary for The Washington Post. “His spirit will endure through his wife, his children and the millions of people he touched.”
[ad]Brady, who died Monday at the age of 73, was shot in the head during the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan in 1981. But he survived and went on to take a leadership role in the fight against the spread of handguns and semi-automatic assault weapons.
Ten years after the shooting, Bridges signed up to portray Brady in the TV movie “Without Warning: The James Brady Story,” a role for which he won an Emmy.
Bridges, who currently stars in the CBS sitcom “The Millers” and Showtime’s “Masters of Sex,” first met Brady during research for his role while attending a briefing by then White House press secretary Marlin Fitzwater, serving President George H.W. Bush.
“Before he fielded his first question, there was an interruption,” wrote the 72-year-old actor. “All members of the press corps rose to their feet as James Brady himself wheeled into the room. That’s how I met the inspiring man they call ‘Bear.’
“In the following months, I spent many hours with Jim, his wife, Sarah, and their son, Scott. This was a very positive, upbeat household, even with all the challenges they faced as Jim continued his long recovery.