Jeff Bridges has one of Hollywood's most successful careers and marriages, but it has not all been a walk in the park. Despite the challenges life has thrown at him, his wife has stood by him, and they've weathered every possible storm together.
Many recognize Jeff Bridges as the most natural and least self-conscious screen actor. Others know him for his versatile roles in his commercially successful films "King Kong," "Tron," "Tron: Legacy," "The Big Lebowski," and "Iron Man," among many others.
In addition to a buzzing career, he also has one of the longest marriages by Hollywood standards. The "Masked and Anonymous" actor has been married to Susan Geston since 1977, and they have been going strong since.
Susan Bridges and Jeff Bridges in June 1977 | Source: Getty Images
Bridges met his wife in Chico Hot Springs outside Livingston, Montana, while filming the 1975 "Rancho Montana." During one of the scenes, his eyes fell on a beautiful girl with two black eyes and a broken nose.
He was not sure whether she was a waitress or a maid, but he was confident that despite her injuries — from an accident, as he would later learn — she was gorgeous. It was love at first sight for Bridges but a different case for Geston.
After work, the "The Fisher King" actor gathered the courage to ask her out, and she turned him down twice. "No," she said, "it's a small town; maybe we'll run into each other later."
Jeff Bridges and Susan Bridges attend ceremony honoring Jeff Bridges with a hand and footprint held at TCL Chinese Theatre on January 6, 2017 in Hollywood, California. | Source: Getty Images
Later came sooner than Bridges had anticipated, and only a few days after their first meeting, during the wrap party, the two danced the night away and fell in love.
They married on June 5, 1977, and have had a beautiful union for decades, culminating in the arrival of their three daughters; Haley Roselouise, Isabelle Bridges, and Jessica Lily. The "Crazy Heart" actor would tell Good Housekeeping:
"We know we'll experience our stuff, have tough times, but we're doing it together."
Bridges and Geston's marriage had had no qualms, especially when it came to supporting each other through life's challenges. One such challenge came about when Bridges got a cancer diagnosis in 2020.
"I have been diagnosed with Lymphoma. Although it is a serious disease, I feel fortunate that I have a great team of doctors, and the prognosis is good."
He then let his followers know that he would be starting treatment and would update them on the developments. In a similar post on his Instagram, he thanked his family for their love and support, saying he was profoundly grateful.
Geston opened up about the devastating news saying that they became numb after but immediately began doing what needed to be done. The actor soon started his chemotherapy, and a short while after, they announced that the tumor had started to shrink.
Bridges would often update his fans and followers on his improvements, noting when he shaved his head, got a puppy, and celebrated his 71st birthday. Through it all, what remained a constant was the support he received from his wife.
MORE TERRIBLE NEWS — CONTRACTING COVID
Susan Bridges and Jeff Bridges during Special Screening of Touchstone Pictures' "Stick It" at El Capitan in Hollywood, California, United States. | Source: Getty Images
All was going well, and Bridges' health had improved tremendously until a doctor's report changed everything. In January 2021, a month after starting chemotherapy, Bridges received a notice from his health provider that he may have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus at the treatment center.
He tested positive, and due to his weakened immune system because of the chemotherapy, the virus hit him hard. He shared that he had no defenses and nothing left in his immune system to fight the virus. He would say:
"COVID made my cancer look like nothing."
Jeff Bridges and Susan Bridges during "Seabiscuit" Los Angeles Premiere at Mann's Bruin in Los Angeles, California, United States. | Source: Getty Images
It was a fight for his life, and Geston was heartbroken, not knowing if her husband would get out alive. The news trickling in from the hospital seemed to carry the presentiment of sad news ahead.
After a call from the hospital saying they would be putting her husband on a ventilator, Geston knew she had to do everything to help her husband. She started pushing the doctors to do their best.
Jeff Bridges attends a conversation, Q&A and book signing for his new book 'Jeff Bridges: Pictures Vol. 2' at NeueHouse Los Angeles on October 15, 2019 in Hollywood, California. | Source: Getty Images
Bridges' stay at the hospital was challenging, and he could not make any decisions about his healthcare, so his wife and physician had to step up and make the choices for him. Geston recalled:
"I said, 'Save his life. No matter what you have to do.'"
Eventually, the medical team was able to keep Bridges off the ventilator, and their fight for his life finally bore fruit. The "Fearless" actor remembers being close to dying with the team screaming at him to keep fighting.
However, the actor had no fighting spirit left in him. He had surrendered and felt ready to go. He would recall the incident, telling People:
"I was dancing with my mortality."
Jeff Bridges is seen at 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' on October 14, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images
On the verge of death, his wife had fought to ensure he remained alive, and for that, Bridges remains grateful. They had overcome not one but two life-threatening illnesses and had done it together.
BRIDGES APPRECIATES HIS WIFE MORE
"The Vanishing" actor had fought with death and won. Now, he appreciates life's simple pleasures and his wife, who had not only stood by him during his worst moments but also set goals for him to achieve.
Actor Jeff Bridges (R) and Susan Geston attend the Jeff Bridges lunch hosted by AARP The Magazine at Spago on August 1, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California | Source: Getty Images
Her dreams for her husband's recovery finally came true as the actor recuperated and eventually returned to his work, filming the FX series "The Old Man." The actor loves spending time with Geston, noting and thanking her for her wisdom. He would tell People:
"We don't have to do much. Just being in the same vicinity feels wonderful."
While Bridges boasts an unparalleled career in film, with numerous accolades under his belt, he says his family is his greatest joy.
Guest, Haley Roselouise Bridges, Jeff Bridges and Susan Geston [Left to Right] at the Arlington Theatre on February 9, 2017 in Santa Barbara, California. | Source: Getty Images
He is keen on spending precious life moments with the family that stood by him through thick and thin and advises others to spend time with people they love as there's nothing more decadent than that.