‘Here Comes the Brides’ and Classic TV Actor Bridget Hanley Dies at 80

by Evan Reier
Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)

Another member of the golden age of Westerns has left us. Bridget Hanley has passed away at the age of 80.

The Edmonds Beacon first reported the news on Friday, saying that she had passed on December 15. Hanley had been living in the Motion Picture Country Home in Woodland Hills, California. Before her passing, the longtime actress had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

Bridget Hanley was born on February 3, 1941. Born to her father Lee and mother Doris, she quickly moved to North Carolina as her dad joined the Marine Corps. Another quick move saw the Hanley family end up in Edmonds, Washington.

After growing up in Edmonds, Hanley attended the University of Washington to get a degree in drama. That was the kickstart to her eventual acting career.

The role that Bridget Hanley is most recognized for her is her part in Here Comes the Brides as Candy Pruitt. Pruitt was the primary romance for main character Jeremy Bolt. However, Hanley actually found love in real-life on set of the show.

The premise of the program circled around Seattle’s boom in the 1800s, and told an unconventional story about life in the western United States after the end of the civil war.

Hanley met and then ended up marrying E. W. Swackhamer, Jr., a producer and director on Here Comes the Brides. The pair were wed in 1969, while filming of the show was still going on. According to Deadline, they remained together until his passing in 1994.

Here Comes the Brides, and Bridget Hanley’s run on the show, went from 1968 to 1970 for a total of two seasons and 52 episodes.

Other Work You Saw Bridget Hanley In

After her time on Here Comes the Brides, Bridget Hanley had an extensive career popping up in a variety of classic TV shows.

As Here Comes the Brides was ending, she guest-starred on The Odd Couple in 1970 before appearing a handful of times on Love, American Style.

She then crossed paths with John Travolta and the rest of the the Welcome Back, Kotter cast in 1975, a year before her appearance on Emergency!

The last regular role of Hanley’s career came at the start of the 1980s. Portraying Wanda Reilly Taylor, Hanley appeared on Harper Valley P.T.A. 30 times before the show’s eventual end.

Hanley kept her TV acting career going all the way until the mid-1990s, when she appeared on Kung Fu: The Legend Continues.