Famous for his role in the 1973 soap opera "The Young and the Restless," star Eric Braeden has had a wholesome life. He has a successful career, a loving family, and grandchildren he loves to show off.
In the show, Eric Braeden played the obnoxious villain, Victor Newman. Even though he was reluctant to accept the role initially, his character has gained him prime-time television and film stardom.
Braeden was born in Kiel, Germany, during the Second World War to a father that was a member of the Nazi party. As a teen, Braeden, born Hans Gudegast, excelled at sports, showing his prowess in track-and-field events.
Left: German-born actor Eric Braeden stars as Victor Newman in the long-running American TV soap 'The Young and the Restless', circa 1990. | Photo Getty Images. Right: Braesen with his son Christian and granddaughter. Photo: Twitter.com/EBraeden
After high school, the actor immigrated to the U.S and worked in Texas and Montana as a lumber millhand, a cowhand, and a translator. However, his love for athletics won him a scholarship to Montana State University, where he met Bob McKinnon.
Together, they made a film, "The Riverbusters," about how they successfully attempted to ride a boat from the source to the mouth of the Salmon River and back. He traveled to Los Angeles and tried finding distributors for the documentary, to no avail.
Eric Braeden pictured at the Premiere Of STX Films' "Den Of Thieves" held at Regal LA Live Stadium 14, 2018, California. | Photo: Getty Images
Interestingly, he discovered that his good looks and English accent made him a valuable potential actor. He played several minor roles before landing a major one playing Captain Hans Dietrich's antagonist in "The Rat Patrol."
A PROUD FAMILY MAN
Today, the "Titanic" actor is considered one of Hollywood's most iconic actors, with 120 television series and feature films under his belt. He's also won many accolades, including the People's Choice and Emmy Awards.
Christian Gudegast, Dale Gudegast and actor Eric Braeden pose as Braeden is honored with the 2,342th Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on July 20, 2007 | Photo: Getty Images
But away from his booming career, Braeden, 80, is a family man. His marriage is one of Hollywood's longest-running ones, lasting over five decades. The actor married college sweetheart Dale Russell Gudegast in 1966 and has been together ever since.
The "Holiday in the Sun" actress and her actor husband welcomed their only son, Christian Gudegast, in 1970. He carries his father's last birth name. Christian was born in Los Angeles. Growing up with an iconic actor for a father, he developed a love for the craft early.
He spent his childhood sneaking into movie theatres and roaming the streets. He studied film, graduating from UCLA Film School in 1992, and won an award for Best Student Film with his thesis film "Shadow Box."
After graduating, he kickstarted his career as a rap music video director and began garnering success after selling his first script, "Black Ocean," to Oliver Stone. Today, Christian is a renowned screenwriter and a father of three daughters.
A PROUD GRANDPA
A far cry from his despicable character Victor Newman, Braeden is a doting and proud father and grandfather. The actor, who has taken the world by storm for decades, enjoys celebrating his grandchildren's milestones and showing them off on Social media.
In one post on his Twitter, "The Young and the Restless" star posted a photo of the three girls standing on the porch and staring at the camera. Accompanying the beautiful image was the caption: "The three granddaughters!"
In another, Braeden bragged about how his eldest granddaughter was a senior in high school and how she'd won another equestrian jumping tournament. He stated that the tree did not fall far from the tree, alluding to his athletic days.