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A Character Who Guarded His Privacy

March 30, 2001|AMANDA RORABACK

"Nash Bridges" creator-producer Carlton Cuse has a friend with epilepsy. So when Cuse wanted to add a new character to the CBS action-drama, he loosely based troubled cop Antwon Babcock on his friend.

"We wanted to have a character with a flaw without going down conventional roads," says Cuse, and "epilepsy seemed like something that was real and authentic."

Babcock, played by Cress Williams, joined the series in September as a cop with a chip on his shoulder and a history of transfers. The character was designed to exhibit deep-seated fears of rejection and prejudice if his condition was discovered, something Cuse had seen in his friend.

"I figured he had been living with the epilepsy for quite some time," Williams said of his character. "As a result, he wanted to keep his condition to himself and became a private person."

Although there will be references to Babcock's epilepsy, don't expect to see him regularly crippled by convulsions. As Cuse says, "that wouldn't be real."

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