Jeff Bridges' Life and Career in Photos – PEOPLE

Born on Dec. 4, 1949, and raised in Los Angeles, it didn’t take Jeff Bridges very long to become a star. In fact, he made his first screen appearance before his 1st birthday, in The Company She Keeps. During childhood, he made cameos on television alongside his father, actor Lloyd Bridges.
“Whenever there was a part in his movies for a kid, or his TV shows, he would always put us up for it,” Bridges explained in 2015 on Oprah’s Master Class.
After a young Bridges graduated from high school, he moved to New York City to study acting and establish himself on big and small screens. Making his start, Bridges nabbed small parts on shows like Lassie in 1969 and Disney's The Most Deadly Game (pictured) in 1970.
But Bridges' biggest break came in 1971, when he played Duane Jackson in the 1971 film The Last Picture Show. The role earned him his first Academy Award nomination at just 22 years old.
A few years after his first Oscar nod, Bridges scored another nomination for best supporting actor in the crime-comedy Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, which was released in 1974. In his role as the young lawbreaker Lightfoot, Bridges acted opposite Clint Eastwood as Thunderbolt and George Kennedy, who played the titular duo’s nemesis.
In 1975, Bridges played the lead role in the cowboy comedy Hearts of the West. He shared the screen with Andy Griffith, Blythe Danner and Alan Arkin.
Bridges and Jessica Lange took on the monstrous primate King Kong in the 1976 remake of the iconic film.
Bridges met Susan Geston while he was working on the 1975 film Rancho Deluxe. They tied the knot in 1977 and have remained totally enamored with each other ever since.
Susan noted that the key to their bond is the basic affection they’ve always shared. “We love each other, but we really like each other. I was 21 when we met. We were kids. And we still feel like kids,” she said in an interview for her husband’s PEOPLE cover story in June 2022.
Speaking to PEOPLE in 2022, Bridges shared the natural ease of his romance with Susan: “We don’t have to do much,” he said. “Just being in the same vicinity feels wonderful.”
Together, Susan and Jeff Bridges have three daughters. They welcomed Isabelle in 1981, Jessica in 1983 and Haley in 1985. Their eldest two joined Mom, Dad and their paternal grandmother, Dorothy Bridges, at the 2003 premiere of the actor's movie Seabiscuit.
Like father, like son! Lloyd Bridges showed his support at the Hollywood premiere of his son's film Starman in 1984. Jeff's starring performance earned him an Oscar nomination for best actor.
In 2014, the younger Bridges opened up to PEOPLE about his late father’s influence on him as an entertainer. “He taught me the basics of acting, but what I really got from him was the joy he experienced while working,” said Jeff, whose mother, Dorothy, was also in show business.
Jeff and Susan Bridges attended the 49th Annual Golden Globe Awards in 1991, where he was nominated for his performance in The Fisher King. The actor ultimately lost out to his costar in the movie, Robin Williams.
Lloyd Bridges might have played his son's uncle in the 1994 war thriller Blown Away, but looking back, Jeff remembers that his dad was no less a role model during production.
“I remember when he came on the set, in a genuine way he was just joyful – it was contagious. It would go through the community,” he told PEOPLE in 2014, remember his father, who died in 1998. “With joy comes relaxation about the way things are, and with that comes getting out of your own way. And you end up with some good work.”
Bridges was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1994, and his dad was there to beam with pride beside him.
In 1996, Bridges starred alongside Barbra Streisand in the rom-com The Mirror Has Two Faces.
One of Bridges' most memorable roles is certainly his part in 1998's The Big Lebowski, in which he starred as Jeffrey "The Dude" Lebowski alongside a star-studded cast, including John Goodman, who played the Dude's bowling partner Walter.
Over the years the movie has become a cult classic with significant influence in pop culture and beyond. Among other ways the film has taken on a life of its own, The Big Lebowski inspired a religion called “Dudeism” (or “The Church of the Latter-Day Dude”), had an entire festival devoted to it in 2002 and was even once referenced in a Texas Supreme Court.
Ever since he was in high school, Bridges has had a knack for photography. He brought his flair for photos to the sets of several of his films, including The Big Lebowski, a fact which John Goodman fondly recalled two decades later.
The multi-talented star turned his passion into pages in 2003, when he published Pictures by Jeff Bridges, a book full of images from his ongoing side project.
After earning five Oscar nominations since his first in 1972, Bridges won his first Academy Award at age 60 for his leading role in Crazy Heart. In the 2009 drama, he played country singer Otis "Bad" Blake, who hoped to turn his life around after meeting a young journalist portrayed by Maggie Gyllenhaal (who was also nominated for her performance).
Since his big win, Bridges has been nominated for two more Oscars, for his performances in 2010's True Grit and the 2016 western Hell or High Water.
Music is another one of Bridges' passions that he has pursued in tandem with his acting career. He sang two songs while voicing Prince Lír in the 1982 animated film The Last Unicorn, and in 2000 he released a debut album called Be Here Soon. He also covered Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire" for the Crazy Heart soundtrack.
In 2011, Bridges was signed by Blue Note Records/EMI Music Group and released a self-titled album that August. That month, he also performed as the musical guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
In 2017, Bridges received an Oscar nomination for his role as Marcus Hamilton in Hell or High Water, and attended the ceremony with his wife by his side.
Bridges was honored with the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 2019 Golden Globes, making him a two-time winner at the ceremony. He won an acting award in 2010, for Crazy Heart.
In 2019, the jack-of-all-trades released a second edition of photos called Jeff Bridges: Pictures Vol. 2.
In October 2020, Bridges revealed to the world that he had been diagnosed with lymphoma. The actor and his wife told PEOPLE that after he received the diagnosis, he immediately started chemotherapy.
Luckily, the treatment worked and his tumor began to shrink, but after a month of chemo, Bridges tested positive for COVID-19. Since vaccines weren’t yet available, the virus put him in serious danger.
"I had no defenses. That's what chemo does — it strips you of all your immune system. I had nothing to fight it," he said, speaking to PEOPLE in 2022. "COVID made my cancer look like nothing."
Luckily, with the encouragement of his doctors and the support of his loved ones, Bridges was kept off a ventilator and survived the virus’ attack. Later that year, he shared that his cancer was in remission.
The actor received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 28th annual Critics Choice Awards on Jan. 15, 2023, presented to him by his costar from 1998’s The Big Lebowski, John Goodman.
In his speech, Bridges shared that he was wearing his late father's cuff links since the award show fell on his dad's birthday.
“I wouldn’t be up here without my dad,” said Bridges. “No, he’s the reason that I’m up here. I can remember him loving showbiz so much, loving acting so much, and as a kid I said, ‘You know, Dad, I’m not sure I wanna be an actor.’ He goes, ‘What are you talkin’ about?’ I said, ‘I wanna do painting maybe, music.’ He said, ‘Jeff, don’t be ridiculous. Being an actor, they’re gonna call on you to do all of those things you’re interested in. And besides that, you’re gonna get to tell all these wonderful stories from all these different perspectives of people that are alive. This is a wonderful profession.’ ”
"He's so right," The Old Man actor continued. "I'm so glad I listened to the old man!"
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