Jeffrey Leon Bridges (born December 4, 1949) is an American actor. Known for his versatility, he has received various accolades throughout his career spanning over seven decades, including an Academy Award and two Golden Globe Awards. Critic Pauline Kael wrote that Bridges "may be the most natural and least self-conscious screen actor that has ever lived."
Bridges comes from a prominent acting family and appeared on the television series Sea Hunt (1958-1960) alongside his father, Lloyd Bridges, and brother, Beau Bridges. He received the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance as an alcoholic singer in the 2009 film Crazy Heart. +more Other Oscar-nominated roles include The Last Picture Show (1971), Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974), Starman (1984), The Contender (2000), True Grit (2010), and Hell or High Water (2016). Bridges has also starred in other roles such as The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989), The Fisher King (1991), The Big Lebowski (1998) and Bad Times at the El Royale (2018), along with the commercially successful films King Kong (1976), Tron (1982), Iron Man (2008), and Tron: Legacy (2010). In 2022, he returned to television for a role as a former CIA operative in The Old Man.
Bridges was born on December 4, 1949, in Los Angeles, the son of actor Lloyd Bridges (1913-1998) and actress and writer Dorothy Bridges (née Simpson; 1915-2009). He is one of four children: older brother Beau Bridges (born 1941), who is also an actor; a younger sister Lucinda; and a brother named Garrett, who died of sudden infant death syndrome in 1948. +more His maternal grandfather was an immigrant from Liverpool, England.
Bridges and his siblings were raised in the Holmby Hills section of Los Angeles. He shared a close relationship with his brother Beau, who acted as a surrogate father when their father was working. +more He graduated from University High School in 1967. At age 17 he toured with his father in a stage production of Anniversary Waltz, and then moved to New York City, where he studied acting at the Herbert Berghof Studio. He also served in the United States Coast Guard Reserve as a boatswain's mate from 1967 to 1975 in San Luis Obispo, California, with a terminal rating of Boatswain's Mate Second Class.
Bridges made his first screen appearance in The Company She Keeps (1951); the film was released shortly after his first birthday. In his youth, Bridges and brother Beau made occasional appearances on their father's show Sea Hunt (1958-1961) and the CBS anthology series The Lloyd Bridges Show (1962-1963). +more In 1969, he played Job Corps crew member Cal Baker in the Lassie TV series episode entitled "Success Story". In 1971, he played the lead role Mike in the TV movie In Search of America. His first major role came in the 1971 film The Last Picture Show, for which he garnered a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. He next co-starred in the 1972 gritty boxing film Fat City, directed by John Huston. In 1973, he starred as Junior Jackson in The Last American Hero, a film based on the true story of NASCAR driver Junior Johnson. He was again nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his performance opposite Clint Eastwood in the 1974 film Thunderbolt and Lightfoot. In 1976, he starred as the protagonist Jack Prescott in the first remake of King Kong, opposite Jessica Lange. This film was a commercial success, earning $90 million worldwide, more than triple its $23 million budget, and also winning an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.
In 1982, Bridges starred in one of his better-known roles in the science fiction film Tron, in which he played Kevin Flynn, a video game programmer. That same year, he starred in Kiss Me Goodbye, an American romantic comedy film directed by Robert Mulligan, with Sally Field. +more In 1984, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for playing an alien in Starman. He also performed in the thriller Against All Odds (1984) and the crime drama Jagged Edge (1985).
His role in Fearless (1993) is thought by some critics to be one of his best performances. One critic dubbed it a masterpiece; Pauline Kael wrote that he "may be the most natural and least self-conscious screen actor that has ever lived". +more In 1994, he starred as Lt. Jimmy Dove in the action film Blown Away, opposite Tommy Lee Jones and Forest Whitaker. His real-life father Lloyd Bridges was also featured in the film, playing the uncle of Bridges' character. The film was not a financial success, managing to recoup $30 million of its $50 million budget at the box office, with its release a few weeks after another explosive-themed film, Speed. On July 11, 1994, Bridges received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contributions to the motion picture industry. The star is located at 7065 Hollywood Boulevard. In 1998, he starred as what is arguably his most iconic role, The Dude, in the Coen brothers' film The Big Lebowski.
In 2000, he received his fourth Academy Award nomination, for his role in The Contender. He also starred in the 2005 Terry Gilliam film Tideland, his second with the director (the first being 1991's The Fisher King alongside Robin Williams). +more He shaved his trademark mane of hair to play the role of Obadiah Stane in the 2008 Marvel comic book adaptation Iron Man. In July 2008, at the San Diego Comic-Con International, he appeared in a teaser, reprising his 1982 fan favorite role of Kevin Flynn for Tron: Legacy, shot as concept footage for director Joseph Kosinski; this developed into a full 3D feature release in 2010.
Bridges is one of the youngest actors ever to be nominated for an Academy Award (1972, age 22, Best Supporting Actor, The Last Picture Show), and one of the oldest ever to win (winning the Best Actor in 2010 at age 60 for Crazy Heart). Crazy Heart also won him the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Drama and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role.
Bridges received his sixth Academy Award nomination for his role in True Grit, a collaboration with the Coen brothers in which he starred alongside Matt Damon, Josh Brolin, Barry Pepper, and Hailee Steinfeld. Both the film and Bridges' performance as Rooster Cogburn, were critically praised. +more Bridges lost to Colin Firth, whom he had beaten for the Oscar in the same category the previous year. In 2016, Bridges appeared in the film Hell or High Water, for which he received his seventh Academy Award nomination. For his contribution to films, he was presented with the Cecil B. DeMille Award in 2019.
Referring to his career as an actor and his passion for music, Bridges says, "I dug what an actor did, but it took me a while to feel it, to truly appreciate the craft and the preparation. Plus, I was still playing music a lot, and I guess I had a hard time choosing: was I an actor or a musician, or could I be both?"
Bridges studied piano at a young age, strongly encouraged by his mother. While working on the 1980 film Heaven's Gate, he often played guitar with his co-star, singer-songwriter Kris Kristofferson, between takes. +more His character in Crazy Heart, Bad Blake, was later based partly on Kristofferson. In 1982, he voiced the character of Prince Lír in the animated film The Last Unicorn, and in that role sang on two songs, including a duet with Mia Farrow. He released his debut album Be Here Soon on January 1, 2000. In 2005, Bridges, known as "The Dude" in the film The Big Lebowski, showed up at a Lebowski Fest in Los Angeles singing and playing the film's theme song written by Bob Dylan, "Man in Me".
On January 15, 2010, Bridges performed the song "I Don't Know" from Crazy Heart on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien. In the film The Contender, in which he co-starred, Bridges recorded a version of Johnny Cash's standard "Ring of Fire" with Kim Carnes that played over the pivotal opening credits. +more In February 2010, he was among the nearly 80 musicians to sing on the charity-single remake of We Are the World. On October 24, 2010, Bridges appeared at Neil Young's annual Bridge School Benefit concert and played a set with singer-songwriter Neko Case.
On April 19, 2011, Country Music Television announced that Bridges had signed a recording contract with Blue Note Records/EMI Music Group. He worked with producer T Bone Burnett and released his second album, Jeff Bridges, on August 16, 2011. +more On November 5, 2011, Bridges played Austin City Limits in support of this album.
In 2015, he sang on the album Strangers Again, performing a duet with Judy Collins of the song "Make Our Garden Grow" from Candide by Leonard Bernstein. The same year, he released an ambient/spoken-word album entitled Sleeping Tapes. +more All proceeds from the album go directly to Bridges' charity No Kid Hungry.
Bridges plays many guitars, including the Gretsch Chet Atkins Country Gentlemen Model G6122-19. In 2020 Bridges partnered with Breedlove Guitars to release his signature Oregon Concerto Bourbon CE with "All In This Together" scrawled across the fretboard.
In 2013, Bridges wrote The Dude and the Zen Master with Bernie Glassman. Bridges found himself at a party with Glassman and Ram Dass and their conversation led to discussing the parallels between "The Dude" from The Big Lebowski and Zen Buddhism. +more The book was formed from what has been described as a "transcript of a five-day 'hang' on a Montana ranch. ".
Bridges has been an amateur photographer since high school. He began taking photographs on film sets during Starman at the suggestion of co-star Karen Allen in 1984, with his favorite camera, a Widelux F8 that his wife bought him. +more He published many of these photographs online and in a 2003 book entitled Pictures: Photographs by Jeff Bridges. In 2013, he received an Infinity Award for his photos from the International Center of Photography in New York. A follow-up book, Jeff Bridges: Pictures Volume Two, was published in 2019.
Bridges narrated the documentary Lost in La Mancha (2002), about the making of a Terry Gilliam retelling of Don Quixote, tentatively titled The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, which would have starred Johnny Depp as Sancho Panza and Jean Rochefort as the quixotic hero. Bridges also narrated the documentaries National Geographic's Lewis & Clark: Great Journey West (2002, IMAX), Discovery Channel's Raising the Mammoth (2000), and ABC's Heroes of Rock and Roll (1979). +more He voiced the character Big Z in the animated picture Surf's Up. He also hosted VH1's Top 100 Greatest Albums of Rock and Roll series in 2001. In 2016, he narrated the documentary Dream Big: Engineering Our World.
On December 18, 2010, Bridges hosted NBC's Saturday Night Live; he had hosted the show before in 1983 with his brother, Beau. With the December 18, 2010, episode Bridges beat Sigourney Weaver's record for longest gap between hosting appearances on SNL (Weaver had a 24-year gap between her first time hosting in 1986 and her second time hosting in 2010, while Bridges had a 27-year gap between his first appearance in 1983 and his most recent one, also in 2010).
Bridges married Susan Geston in 1977. They met while filming Rancho Deluxe, on a ranch where Geston was working as a waitress. +more They have three daughters: Isabelle Annie (born August 6, 1981), Jessica Lily "Jessie" (born June 14, 1983), Haley Roselouise (born October 17, 1985), and granddaughter Grace (born March 31, 2011) from Isabelle.
Bridges has studied Buddhism and has described himself as "A Buddhistly bent guy. " On most days, he meditates for half an hour before beginning work on a film set. +more He has learned Transcendental Meditation.
On October 19, 2020, Bridges announced that he had been diagnosed with lymphoma and has gone through chemotherapy. On September 12, 2021, he announced his cancer was in remission: "My cancer is in remission - the 9×12 [inch; ] mass has shrunk down to the size of a marble". +more Bridges also announced he contracted COVID-19 while in treatment and noted it was a difficult experience which he said made cancer "look like a piece of cake. " He said he is now fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
In 1984, Bridges and other entertainment industry leaders founded the End Hunger Network aimed at encouraging, stimulating and supporting action to end childhood hunger. He supported President Obama's initiative to End Childhood Hunger by 2015. +more In November 2010, Bridges became spokesman for the No Kid Hungry campaign of the organization Share our Strength. Its goal is to present and undertake a state-by-state strategy to end childhood hunger in the United States by 2015. Bridges also supports environmental causes and organizations such as the Amazon Conservation Team.
Awards and nominations
|1951||The Company She Keeps||Infant||Uncredited|
|1970||Halls of Anger||Douglas "Doug"|
|1971||The Last Picture Show||Duane Jackson||Nominated - Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor|
|1971||The Yin and the Yang of Mr. +more Go||Nero Finnighan|
|1972||Fat City||Ernie Munger|
|1972||Bad Company||Jake Rumsey|
|1973||Lolly-Madonna XXX||Zack Feather|
|1973||The Last American Hero||Elroy Jackson Jr.|
|1973||The Iceman Cometh||Don Parritt|
|1974||Thunderbolt and Lightfoot||Lightfoot||Nominated - Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor|
|1975||Rancho Deluxe||Jack McKee|
|1975||Hearts of the West||Lewis Tater|
|1976||Stay Hungry||Craig Blake|
|1976||King Kong||Jack Prescott|
|1978||Somebody Killed Her Husband||Jerry Green|
|1979||Winter Kills||Nick Kegan|
|1979||The American Success Company||Harry Flowers|
|1980||Heaven's Gate||John L. Bridges|
|1981||Cutter's Way||Richard Bone|
|1982||Tron||Kevin Flynn / CLU|
|1982||Kiss Me Goodbye||Dr. Rupert Baines|
|1982||The Last Unicorn||Prince Lír (voice)|
|1984||Against All Odds||Terry Brogan|
|1984||Starman||Scott Hayden / Starman||Nominated - Academy Award for Best Actor|
|1985||Jagged Edge||Jack Forrester|
|1986||8 Million Ways to Die||Matthew "Matt" Scudder|
|1986||The Morning After||Turner Kendall|
|1988||Tucker: The Man and His Dream||Preston Tucker|
|1989||See You in the Morning||Larry Livingstone|
|1989||The Fabulous Baker Boys||Jack Baker|
|1991||The Fisher King||Jack Lucas|
|1992||American Heart||Jack Kelson||Also producer|
|1993||The Vanishing||Barney Cousins|
|1994||Blown Away||Jimmy Dove / Liam McGivney|
|1995||Wild Bill||James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok|
|1996||White Squall||Captain Christopher "Skipper" Sheldon|
|1996||The Mirror Has Two Faces||Gregory Larkin|
|1998||The Big Lebowski||Jeffrey "The Dude" Lebowski|
|1999||Arlington Road||Michael Faraday|
|1999||The Muse||Jack Warrick|
|2000||The Contender||President Jackson Evans||Nominated - Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor|
|2001||Scenes of the Crime||Jimmy Berg|
|2001||K-PAX||Dr. Mark Powell|
|2002||Lost in La Mancha||Narrator (voice)||Documentary|
|2003||Masked and Anonymous||Tom Friend|
|2003||Seabiscuit||Charles S. Howard|
|2004||The Door in the Floor||Ted Cole|
|2006||Stick It||Burt Vickerman|
|2007||Surf's Up||Ezekiel 'Big Z' Topanga / Geek (voice)|
|2008||Iron Man||Obadiah Stane / Iron Monger|
|2008||How to Lose Friends & Alienate People||Clayton Harding|
|2009||The Open Road||Kyle|
|2009||Crazy Heart||Otis "Bad" Blake||Also executive producer; Academy Award for Best Actor|
|2009||The Men Who Stare at Goats (film)||Bill Django|
|2010||Tron: Legacy||Kevin Flynn / CLU 2|
|2010||True Grit||Reuben J. "Rooster" Cogburn||Nominated - Academy Award for Best Actor|
|2011||Tron: The Next Day||Kevin Flynn / CLU 2||Short film|
|2012||A Place at the Table||Narrator (voice)||Documentary|
|2013||R. I. P. D.||Roycephus "Roy" Pulsipher|
|2013||Pablo||Narrator (voice) / Professor|
|2014||The Giver||The Giver||Also producer|
|2014||Seventh Son||Master Gregory|
|2015||The Little Prince||The Aviator (voice)|
|2016||Hell or High Water||Marcus Hamilton||Nominated - Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor|
|2017||Dream Big: Engineering Our World||Narrator (voice)||Documentary|
|2017||The Only Living Boy in New York||W. F. Gerald||Also executive producer|
|2017||Kingsman: The Golden Circle||Champagne "Champ"|
|2017||Only the Brave||Duane Steinbrink|
|2018||Bad Times at the El Royale||Father Daniel Flynn / Donald "Dock" O'Reilly|
|2018||Living in the Future's Past||Narrator (voice)||Documentary; also producer|
|2019||Spider-Man: Far From Home||Obadiah Stane / Iron Monger||Archival footage from Iron Man|
|1958-1960||Sea Hunt||Davey Crane / Jimmy / Boy / Kelly Bailey||4 episodes|
|1962-1963||The Lloyd Bridges Show||Various characters||3 episodes|
|1965||The Loner||Bud Windom||Episode: "The Ordeal of Bud Windom"|
|1969||+moreI. _(TV_series)'>The F. B. I.||Terry Shelton||Episode: "Boomerang"|
|1969||Lassie||Cal Baker||Episode: "Success Story"|
|1969||Silent Night, Lonely Night||John Young||Television film|
|1970||The Don Knotts Show||Himself||1 episode|
|1970||The Most Deadly Game||Hawk||Episode: "Nightbirds"|
|1971||In Search of America||Mike Olson||Television film|
|1981||Great Performances||Michael Loomis||Episode: "The Girls in Their Summer Dresses and Other Stories"|
|1983||Faerie Tale Theatre||Claude / Prince||Episode: "Rapunzel"|
|1983, 2010||Saturday Night Live||Himself / Host||Episode: "Beau Bridges and Jeff Bridges/Randy Newman" Episode: "Jeff Bridges/Eminem and Lil Wayne"|
|1996||Hidden in America||Vincent||Television film; also executive producer|
|2000||Raising the Mammoth||Narrator||Discovery Channel Special|
|2002||Reading Rainbow||Narrator||Episode: "The Tin Forest"|
|2008||A Dog Year||Jon Katz||Television film|
|2022||The Old Man||Dan Chase||Series regular|
|Title||Details||Peak chart positions||Sales|
|US Country||US||US Folk||US Rock|
|Be Here Soon||Release date: January 1, 2000 * Label: Ramp Records * Formats: CD||-||-||-||-|
|Jeff Bridges||Release date: August 16, 2011 * Label: Blue Note Records * Formats: CD, music download||10||25||2||5||US: 345,000|
|Sleeping Tapes||Release date: January 28, 2015 * Label: Squarespace * Formats: CD, music download||-||-||-||-|
|"-" denotes releases that did not chart||"-" denotes releases that did not chart||"-" denotes releases that did not chart||"-" denotes releases that did not chart||"-" denotes releases that did not chart||"-" denotes releases that did not chart||"-" denotes releases that did not chart|
|2011||"What a Little Bit of Love Can Do"||Jeff Bridges|
|2011||"What a Little Bit of Love Can Do"||Alan Kozlowski|