Jeff Bridges sported a full head of long hair plus a beard and took life casually. His hair was an integral part of his image, and he was instantly recognizable because of it. Now at 71 it has gone, shaved off as he begins treatment for the cancer lymphoma. He has also got a new puppy! Lucky puppy!
Here at Fact Verse we are big fans of Jeff Bridges and have compiled this video as a token of our appreciation of his life and career. At the end of the video we are going to detail news of the treatment he has begun. We really hope it will prove successful, and Jeff will soon be back to his old entertaining self.
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Jeff Bridges’ early life and movie career
Jeff Bridges was born in Los Angeles, California just a stones-throw from Hollywood. His father was movie actor Lloyd Bridges, and he has an actor brother Beau Bridges. His mother was an actress too, so acting is clearly in his genes.
Dad Lloyd obviously thought that it’s never too soon to start a career. Jeff was just a baby when he appeared in the 1951 movie “The Company She Keeps”. He and his brother appeared in episodes of their father’s TV show “Sea Hunt” and in “The Lloyd Bridges Show” for CBS. Jeff was barely out of nappies and he already had a section for his CV.
At age 20 he appeared in a 1969 “Lassie” episode, and then landed a leading role in a made-for-TV movie called “In Search of America”. Also in 1971 he appeared in the film “The Last Picture Show” and came away with a Best Supporting Actor Oscar Nomination.
So began one of the longest and most productive movie careers in Hollywood. Over the next 50 years Jeff Bridges appeared in over 60 movies, picking up 7 Oscar nominations, and winning one – Best Actor as Otis Blake in “Crazy Heart”. That is a truly impressive filmography!
The roles that Jeff accepted were wide and varied. In 1973 in “The Last American Hero” he played a NASCAR driver by the name of Junior Jackson. The following year he starred with Clint Eastwood as Lightfoot in “Thunderbolt and Lightfoot” picking up a second Best Supporting Actor nomination. The internationally successful remake of “King Kong” came next.
Science Fiction movies appealed to Jeff, and he appeared in “Tron” in 1982 as a video game programmer. His first nomination for a Best Actor Oscar came in 1986 for his role as an alien being in “Starman”. His versatility as an actor was proved by his appearances in a romantic comedy – “Kiss Me Goodbye” in 1982 – a thriller – “Against All Odds in 1984 – and a crime drama – “Jagged Edge” in 1985.
Although already a critics favorite he cemented his reputation by his performance in the 1993 movie “Fearless”. Some critics state it is his best performance in a film. His popularity with both fans and critics did not carry his next movie to financial success. “Blown Away” also starred Forest Whitaker and Tommy Lee Jones, two other Hollywood heavyweights. Jeff’s father Lloyd featured in the film too. The film cost $50 million to make but struggled to earn $30 million.
Most actors dream of the one iconic role by which they will be remembered. Jeff Bridges has a swathe of critically acclaimed roles from which to choose. The one that most agree is the iconic one is as The Dude in “The Big Lebowski.”
The new millennium began much as the old one had ended, with Jeff garnering another Oscar nomination. This was for the film “The Contender”. In 2005 he teamed up with Terry Gilliam for the second time to appear in “Tideland”. He had already worked with Gilliam on “The Fisher King” in 1991.
In 2008 Jeff Bridges became a part of the Marvel Movie Universe when he took the part of Obadiah Stane in “Ironman”. He showed his commitment to the character by shaving his head!
Jeff’s Best Actor Oscar came in 2009 for his role in “Crazy Heart”. He was also executive producer for the film. 2010 brought him another Oscar nomination for his role in the remake of “True Grit” in which he took on John Wayne’s original role of Rooster Cogburn. He lost out to Colin Firth, whom he had beaten to the award the previous year.
Colin Firth came back into Jeff Bridges’ life in 2017 when they appeared together in the commercially successful “Kingsman: The Golden Circle”. This film followed up on “Kingsman: The Secret Service” of 2014.
2016 had seen Jeff’s last nomination for an Oscar for his role in “Hell or High Water”. Other films followed in 2017 and 2018, including “Only the Brave” and “Bad Times at the El Royale.” Jeff Bridges last film role to date was as a narrator for the documentary feature “Living in the Future’s Past”.
Although his film-making career was busy as well as successful, Jeff still found time to pursue his love of music. He had played piano as a child, and later played guitar too. In 1980 he appeared with Kris Kristofferson in the film “Heaven’s Gate” and played guitar with him during their downtime.
In 1982 he worked on the animated feature “The Last Unicorn” voicing Prince Lir. The role demanded he sing on two songs. One of these was a duet with Mia Farrow. In 2000 Jeff took the major of step of releasing his first studio album “Be Here Soon”.
Since its release in 1998 “The Big Lebowski” fans have organized annual get-togethers called Lebowski Fest. Jeff has attended a few of these and in the 2005 Fest in Los Angeles not only attended but also sang the Bob Dylan song “The Man in Me” that is the theme for the film.
In 2011 released a second album “Jeff Bridges” and a third in 2015. This third album was a departure from his usual music. It features spoken word and ambient sounds reflecting Jeff’s interest in meditation and Zen Buddhism. All the proceeds from this venture support No Kid Hungry which is Jeff’s favored charity.
Jeff Bridges has appeared regularly on television over the years. Apart from his childhood work with his father, and “Lassie”, he has appeared in individual episodes of several shows. These include “The Most Deadly Game”, “Great Performances”, and “Faerie Tale Theatre.”
Four made-for-television films must be added to his repertoire. These are “Silent Night, Lonely Night”, “In Search of America”, “Hidden in America”, and “A Dog Year”. He has also hosted “Saturday Night Live” on two occasions. Later this year he will be playing David Chase in “The Old Man”.
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Jeff Bridges is a keen photographer. He first got the bug at high school, and began to take film set photographs while filming “Starman” in 1984. Over the years since he has published some of these images online. In 2003 he produced a book of his photographs called “Pictures: Photographs by Jeff Bridges.” 16 years passed before he published a follow-up entitled “Jeff Bridges: Pictures Volume Two.” The International Center for Photography based in New York honored Jeff with their Infinity Award in 2013.
Jeff is also an author, having collaborated with Bernie Glassman to produce a book devoted to Zen Buddhism entitled “The Dude and Zen Buddhism.”
Work as a narrator also features on Jeff’s record. A documentary was produced in 2002 called “Lost in La Mancha” that was devoted to the making of Terry Gilliam’s re-imagined version of “Don Quixote.” The documentary was released as a separate film. The Gilliam film was “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote” and eventually saw the light of day in 2018 after a string of difficulties that meant it had taken 29 years from inception to final release. The documentary bore little resemblance to the story of the making of what became the final film.
Other narrator roles saw Jeff work on “Lewis & Clark: Great Journey West for National Geographic, “Heroes of Rock and Roll” for ABC and “Raising the Mammoth” Discovery Channel. He also did voice-over work on several advertisements.
In 2010 Jeff hosted “Saturday Night Live” for the second time and set a record as the longest time between hosting duties. His previous appearance had been in 1983. The 27 year gap stole the record from Sigourney Weaver’s 24 year gap.
Personal Life and Philanthropy
Jeff Bridges is married to Susan and they have three daughters and one grandchild. They married in 1977 and thus have enjoyed 43 years of wedded bliss.
Jeff is especially concerned about hunger in children. He supports the charity No Kid Hungry. In 2015 he was a high-profile supporter of President Barack Obama when he launched his End Childhood Hunger initiative. He also supports action to reverse climate change and the destruction of the Amazon rain forest.
The diagnosis of cancer
In October 2020 Jeff Bridges announced that he had been diagnosed with cancer. He was quite forthright in his language, admitting that the situation was serious and that lymphoma was a dangerous disease. He confirmed that he had begun treatment and that his doctor’s had assured him that the prognosis was encouraging.
He promised in his announcement that he would keep his fans updated on the progress of his treatment. Jeff also thanked his friends and his family for all the support they have given him since the diagnosis was made.
In typical fashion Jeff ended his announcement not thinking of himself, but of the future of America. He told his followers to go vote.
What is lymphoma?
Basically, lymphoma is a cancer that strikes at the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is part of the immune system that our bodies use to fight infections. Lymphoma, however, is not just one type of cancer. There are many variations, usually divided into two groups.
One of these types is Hodgkin Lymphoma normally affects the lymph nodes but can also affect the spleen, liver or bone marrow. About 20% of lymphomas are of the Hodgkin type.
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma affects those blood cells that are known as lymphocytes. When the affected cells lump together they form a tumor. This is the most common type of lymphoma and it can spread quite quickly and affect the whole body.
Jeff Bridges has not disclosed which type of lymphoma he is afflicted with. He has also not announced which treatment he is receiving. Chemotherapy is one of the most common treatments. Treatment can vary depending on the stage the cancer has reached and the type of lymphoma diagnosed.
Jeff has kept to his promise to update his fans on the progress of his treatment. On 6 January he underwent a CAT scan to trace the progress of his treatment and was immensely encouraged to see that his tumor had actually shrunk. This news has encouraged him to hope that the continuing treatment will see even further progress.
He added a picture of himself with his head shaved and his mustache and beard no longer embellishing his face. On his lap he holds his new puppy.
Again, Jeff ended his message with concern for the future of America. He expressed deep sadness at the events in and around the Capitol in Washington.
After such a long and successful professional career in show-business it is worrying to see Jeff Bridges laid low by cancer. He is in good cheer, though, and optimistic about his recovery. Here at Facts Verse we all wish him well and send our prayers and good wishes.
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