The legendary actor was born on this day in 1949
The Big Jeff Bridges turns 71 today
Jeffrey Leon Bridges was born on December 4, 1949, in Los Angeles, California to a Hollywood family. His father was famed actor Lloyd Bridges, and his mother, Dorothy, was also an actress, which paved the way for both his and big brother Beau’s early careers. Bridges made his first big-screen appearance as an infant in “The Company She Keeps” (1951). His mother and brother also made uncredited appearances in the film. He then appeared in his father’s television series “Sea Hunt” for several episodes, as well as “The Lloyd Bridges Show”. At the age of 16, he wrote a song which was used in the 1969 film “John and Mary”. While still a teenager, he also sold two compositions to music producer Quincy Jones. Upon his graduation from University High School, Bridges followed in his brother Beau’s footsteps and enlisted in the Coast Guard Reserves with the help of his father’s Sea Hunt connections. He then headed to New York, where he studied acting at the famed Herbert Berghof Studio. Bridges appeared in the film “Halls of Anger” in 1970, followed by a role in “The Yin and Yang of Mr. Go” that same year. The young actor first earned widespread acclaim in 1971, when he starred in Peter Bogdanovich’s critically acclaimed “The Last Picture Show”. His role as Duane Jackson, one of two best friends coming of age in a sleepy Texas town, earned Bridges his first Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. It also led to more serious roles in films such as “Fat City” (1972) and “The Last American Hero” (1973). Bridges went on to have an illustrious acting career, appearing in popular films such as “Heaven’s Gate” (1980) and “TRON” (1982), and receiving Oscar nominations for “Thunderbolt and Lightfoot” (1974) and “Starman” (1984). He later starred in The “Fisher King” (1991), with Robin Williams, and “The Mirror Has Two Faces” (1996), alongside Barbra Streisand. In 1998, Bridges starred Coen brothers’ cult hit, “The Big Lebowski”. In the film, Bridges plays Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski, a hippie bowler who goes on a strange, drug-induced journey in order to have his favorite rug replaced. Bridges’s supporting role in The Contender (2000) was well received, earning the actor Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations. In 2010, he received his fifth Oscar nomination and first win, this time for his role in the previous year’s romantic drama Crazy Heart. He starred in “TRON Legacy” and “True Grit” in 2010, earning another Oscar nomination for the latter. Bridges returned to the big screen in the neo-western heist-crime drama “Hell or High Water” (2016), for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe and Academy Award for his supporting role.
By Ken Warren, 2017/18
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