When it comes to taking personal responsibility for the environment, few individuals can match the record of actor and activist Ed Begley, Jr. Known for turning up at Hollywood events on his bicycle, he has served as chairman of the Environmental Media Association and the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy. He serves on the boards of many organizations, including the Thoreau Institute and the Midnight Mission, His work has earned awards from numerous environmental groups including the California League of Conservation Voters, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Coalition for Clean Air, Heal the Bay, the Santa Monica Baykeeper and the Cesar E. Chavez Foundation. He co-starred for three seasons in the hit Planet Green television series Living with Ed, a look at the day-to-day realities of “living green” with his wife Rachelle Carson, who's not quite as enthusiastic about a rain barrel as he. His first book, Living Like Ed, hit the streets nationally in February 2008, and the second book, Ed Begley's Guide to Sustainable Living came out in August of 2009.
Inspired by the works of his Academy Award-winning father, Begley became an actor. He first came to audiences’ attention for his portrayal of Dr. Victor Ehrlich on the long-running hit television series St. Elsewhere. Since then, Begley has moved easily between feature films, television and theatre projects. He has appeared in A Mighty Wind, Best In Show and For Your Consideration. Recent feature film credits include Woody Allen's Whatever Works with Larry David, as well as Pineapple Express with Seth Rogan. Begley has also appeared in Batman Forever, The Accidental Tourist and The Inlaws. In 2008, Begley appeared in the HBO feature Recount starring Kevin Spacey, as well as the Emmy-nominated Lifetime movie, Georgia O'Keefe, with Jeremy Irons and Joan Allen in 2009. He also starred in HBO’s Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight with Christopher Plummer, Danny Glover & Frank Langella and the HBO series Family Tree written & directed by Christopher Guest
On television, Begley has had recurring roles on Six Feet Under and Arrested Development. He has also guest starred on such series as The West Wing, The Practice, and Boston Legal. Most recently, Begley was featured in Gary Unmarried, The New Adventures Of Old Christine, and Party Down. Begley also worked as a guest star on two network series – NBCs Outlaw and Fox’s The Good Guys. He recently reprised his role on the long running CBS series CSI Miami, and is appearing in another episode arc of the hit TNT series Rizolli and Isles. He was involved in several online projects in 2013 including the new Arrested Development and several comedies for Funny or Die.
Begley lives in Studio City, CA in a small, energy efficient home with his wife and co-star Rachelle Carson and their daughter Hayden. He is currently constructing a new LEED Platinum home that will be a showcase of energy efficiency and sustainable living.
Growing up on the salt-stained decks of his famous grandfather’s ships, Calypso and Alcyone, Fabien Cousteau was destined to follow in the family footsteps of exploring and tirelessly working to protect our planet’s immense and endangered marine habitats.
Diving since age four, Cousteau was irrevocably imprinted with an unwavering appreciation for the wonder, beauty, and importance of our aquatic ecosystems to sustaining life on this big blue planet of ours. From his vast experience in the field, coupled with a degree in environmental economics from Boston University, he has refined a public policy platform grounded by his strong belief that environmental discipline can be the basis for innovative solutions that strike a balance between regional and global environmental problems and the realities of market economies.
A perfect example of this juxtaposition of “restrained enthusiasm” can be found in much of the so-called eco-tourism industry. Great White sharks in South Africa are now revered and appreciated largely due to the fact that the indigenous population has found greater economic interest in preserving these magnificent fish rather than slaughtering them for diminishing returns.
Not until more (if not all) of humanity becomes enlightened to the undeniable fact that our health and well-being as a species is directly linked to our stewardship of the marine ecosystems that cover 73% of our planet, we will continue to over consume, pollute, and destroy the natural systems we depend upon for sustainable life.
It is with this thought that Cousteau set out to show what could be done in the business world. He successfully spearheaded new product development and business models for environmental sustainability. Having proven his skills in business, he returned to the deep-rooted family passion for exploration. He joined his father, Jean-Michel, and Deep Ocean Odyssey, as the third generation to carry on the tradition of adventure and exploration in the deep ocean; originally pioneered by his grandfather more than half a century ago.
Recently he co-launched Natural Entertainment, which is working on numerous projects related to exploration and environmental awareness through television and other media. He is also the editor-in-chief of the Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Ocean, released in February 2011.
In 2006, Cousteau once again partnered with his father, Jean Michel Cousteau, and sister Celine to complete a three year multi hour series for PBS called Ocean Adventures. Topics explored ranged from the Grey whale migration of the west coast of the Americas to the magical coral spawning of the Caribbean to diving with squadrons of goliath groupers to the ghost ships of the Great Lakes. Additional hours cover exotic places such as the Amazon, Samoa,
Christmas Island, Papua New Guinea, the Arctic and many other wonders of nature. The most recent expeditions covering the topics of Belugas, Orcas and man started airing on PBS in April of 2009.
Cousteau keeps his personal life similarly involved in projects like his new initiative to actively involve the public in undersea restoration initiatives coupled with government protection of the restored areas. Deeply concerned about the well-being of future generations, he is on the board of the New York Harbor School where he volunteers his time to empower youth about the water world. Being part of the Water Innovation Alliance, Cousteau brings attention about water issues to business executives in order for them to make better, more informed decisions. He also partners with outside initiatives such as Save Bimini in an effort to impassion people into changing the tide of current events that threaten to blindly destroy the environmental wealth of our future generations. His most recent, and perhaps most ambitious, endeavor is creating a new foundation committed to educating the public on the alarming need to restore our marine habitats. The Plant-a-Fish Initiative will spearhead public education programs as well as guiding large environmentally sensitive corporations with a genuine commitment to making the world a healthier place for mankind.
An active writer, he is currently working on a children’s book trilogy. Cousteau has been seen on network television, the Oprah Winfrey Show, and as a regular guest/contributor to NBC’s Today Show.
Cousteau shares his time between France and the United States (New York City) and when not conducting fieldwork he is riding the planet on a wind surfer, mountain bike or piloting a plane. His passion for vintage motorcycles sometimes takes him to the quiet of his garage where his cell phone does not work and he can dive into the zen of breathing life into these “basket cases.”