Bridget Hanley Dies: ‘Here Come The Brides’ Star, Prolific TV Actress Was 80

Bridget Hanley in 'Here Comes the Brides' Everett Collection

Bridget Hanley, star of the late ’60s TV western Here Come The Brides, died Wednesday. The 80-year-old actress had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and was living at the Motion Picture and Television Fund Wasserman Campus in Woodland Hills, according to the local paper in Edmunds, Washington, where she grew up.

Hanley played the female lead, Candy Pruitt, on ABC’s Brides from 1968-1970. Her character was the love interest of Jeremy Bolt — teen heartthrob Bobby Sherman. Bolt’s brother on the show was played by David Soul, who would soon find fame on Starsky & Hutch. The show was loosely based on Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.

The actress married E. W. Swackhamer, Jr. a producer and director on Here Come the Brides, in 1969. They were together until he died in 1994.

Hanley worked throughout the ’70s and ’80s on some of the biggest shows on TV, mostly in guest-starring roles. The long list of shows she appeared on included The Odd Couple; Love, American Style; Welcome Back, Kotter; Emergency!; CHiPs; Mama’s Family; Riptide; Jake and the Fatman; Simon & Simon; Murder, She Wrote; and Columbo.

She played the role of Wanda Reilly Taylor opposite Barbara Eden on Harper Valley P.T.A. from 1981-1982.

According to the bio on her web site, Hanley was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on February 3, 1941. When her father, former Northwestern All-American football player Lee Hanley, joined the Marine Corps, he, her mother Doris “Dorie” Hanley (née Nihlroos) and sister Jo moved to Cherry Point, North Carolina. From there, the family decamped to Edmonds, outside of Seattle, where she spent most of her childhood and later earned a B.A. in drama from the University of Washington.

She was soon guesting in such series as Hank, Gidget, Farmer’s Daughter and also appeared in an ABC pilot, Pirates of Flounder Bay before signing with Screen Gems in 1966. Hanley appeared in most of that studio’s series while under contract there, as well as co-starring with Fred Gwynne in the NBC pilot, Guess What I Did Today?

Hanley is survived by two daughters, Bronwyn and Megan.

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