Jeff Bridges biography
Jeff Bridges is an American actor who was born on December 4, 1949, in Los Angeles, California. Born to famed actor Lloyd Bridges, Bridges began his acting career as an infant, with parts in both TV and film. He broke through in The Last Picture Show (1971), which garnered him an Academy Award nomination. Bridges appeared in popular films such as Heaven's Gate (1980), TRON (1982) and The Big Lebowski (1998). He received Oscar nominations for Starman (1984) and Tucker (1988), and won the award for Crazy Heart (2009).
Actor. Born Jeffrey Leon Bridges on December 4, 1949, in Los Angeles, California. Bridges was born into a Hollywood family-his father was famed actor Lloyd Bridges, and their mother, Dorothy, was also an actress-which paved the way for both his and his brother Beau's early acting careers. Jeff made his first big-screen appearance in The Company She Keeps (1951), when he was less than a year old. His mother and brother also made uncredited appearances in the film. He then appeared in his father's television series Sea Hunt (1958) for several episodes, as well as The Lloyd Bridges Show.
Often a discipline problem at school, Jeff's parents sent him to a military academy his freshman year of high school in order to teach him discipline, and take his mind off of girls. Bridges hated every minute of military school, and returned to a public high school to finish out his education. Despite the attempt to make him focus on his studies, Bridges' academics tended to take a backseat to his creative efforts. 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 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. He appeared in the film Halls of Anger in 1970, followed by a role in The Yin and Yang of Mr. Go that same year.
But the young actor's truly broke into show business in 1971, when he starred in Peter Bogdonavitch's critically acclaimed The Last Picture Show. His role as Duane Jackson, one of two best friends coming to age in a sleepy Texas town, earned Bridges an 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). But during this time in his career, Bridges wasn't focused on acclaim or stardom.
He was more interested in his experimentation with drugs, spirituality, and his relationships with actress such as Cybil Shepard and Valerie Perrine.
It wasn't until he signed on to the 1973 drama The Icecman Cometh, that Bridges seriously considered making a life of acting. After Bridges turned the film down, he was shamed into doing the picture by friend and director Lamont Johnson. "So I said to myself, maybe I'll do a little experiment," Bridges later recalled. "I hear that if you're a pro you're supposed to do it even if you don't feel like it." Bridges signed on to the film, which rekindled his interest in acting.
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 Starman (1984), and Tucker (1988). Later films include The Fisher King (1991) starring Robin Williams, and The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996), featuring Barbra Streisand.
In 1998, Bridges experienced a resurgence in popularity with the 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. The film was not an instant commercial success, but fans were drawn to the comic one-liners and quirky characters. The movie spawned an annual Lebowski Fest in Louisville, Kentucky, which started in 2002 and has continued for more than eight years.
Bridges' 2001 supporting role in The Contender, was also well-received. His performance earned him both a Golden Globe and Academy Award nomination. In 2009, the actor received his fifth Oscar nomination and first Oscar win; this time, for his role in the romantic drama Crazy Heart (2009). His other projects have included roles in the TRON sequel, TRON Legacy and a role in the movie True Grit.
Bridges has been married since 1977 to Susan Geston. The couple have three daughters: Isabelle, Jessica, and Hayley.