Ed Begley Jr. feels blessed to enjoy 50+ year Hollywood career

HOLLYWOOD -- Ed Begley Jr. started acting as a teenager and he hasn't stopped since. Now, at 70, he's having a blast as one of the stars of the ABC sitcom, "Bless This Mess." In the series, Begley Jr. plays Rudy, a guy who just happens to live on a Nebraska farm that doesn't belong to him.

Luckily, the characters who left the city to live on this farm--played by Dax Shepard and Lake Bell--have just kind of accepted him as part of the package. For Begley, it's a dream role.

"What people are surprised to hear is how much it's like me," said Begley. "Let's be honest here. I'm playing a disoriented old man in his bathrobe, sequestered to a small area of the property. It sounds like my home life! He's kind of an underdog. He's a guy who loses his farm and the guy might have some PTSD from serving in Vietnam. There's some serious stuff going on with Rudy but he's fairly upbeat about things."

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So is Begley, who loves the budding romance going on with his co-star Pam Grier's character, Constance.

"For me, it's a treat to work with Pam Grier. I mean, I've been in love with her from afar for decades," said Begley. "Now I get to work with her up close and personal and be in love with her all over again. She's just a dream to work with and so funny in the show."

Begley had been acting professionally for 15 years when he finally got what he calls his "big break," a leading role on the '80s medical drama, "St. Elsewhere." All these years and so many roles later, and he still has that same spark for his profession.

"To be still working 52 years after I got into Screen Actors Guild, I'm just grateful every single day," said Begley. "I'm still having a ball."

"Bless This Mess" airs on ABC Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m.
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