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Friday, September 29, 2023


Best actor takes role to ‘Heart’

Jeff Bridges received the Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Bad Blake in "Crazy Heart." | Courtesy of Focus Features

Jeff Bridges, son of actor Lloyd Bridges, has been in movies and television since 1951 when he was just an infant at a train station in The Company She Keeps. He will always be remembered as “The Dude” in the Coen Brothers’ 1998 comedy The Big Lebowski.

Now, he has another role that is just as memorable. Bridges was nominated four times for an Academy Award until he finally won for his most realistic and moving performance as “Bad Blake” in Crazy Heart.

Some of his other films include a 1976 remake of King Kong, TRON, The Vanishing, Arlington Road, Seabiscuit, Tideland, Iron Man and The Men Who Stare at Goats. These films and his performances in them go to show that he will never fail to be a great actor.

His first Oscar nomination came in 1971 at the age of 22 for The Last Picture Show, which opened opportunities for more roles and inevitably led to his second Oscar nomination three years later. Alongside Clint Eastwood in Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, it was then evident that he was an A-list actor.

A decade passed until Bridges received his third Oscar nod, this time going from best actor in a supporting role to best actor in a leading role in John Carpenter’s Starman. The fourth nomination Bridges earned was for the 2000 thriller The Contender, which found Bridges back in the supporting actor position.

Bridges finally won a much-earned Oscar. In Sunday’s 82nd Annual Academy Awards, he ran up against Morgan Freeman for Clint Eastwood’s Invictus, Colin Firth for A Single Man, George Clooney for Up in the Air and Jeremy Renner for the Best Picture winner The Hurt Locker. Bridges won it as best actor in a leading role at 60 years old.

Crazy Heart is a magnificent film that chronicles the tough times has-been guitar player Bad Blake has with alcoholism and relationships. He continues to tour bowling alleys and bars to play for old, dedicated fans accompanied by young, struggling musicians.

Colin Farrell plays Tommy Sweet, his successful student, who has passed him by in fame and fortune, and Maggie Gyllenhaal, in another Oscar nominated role, plays as his love interest with powerful emotion.

After winning the Oscar, he told People Magazine at the Governor’s Ball, “This could be a dream; I might wake up. Maybe not. Not for awhile anyway.”

He has finally earned his first Academy Award after being nominated on and off for nearly four decades. In a backstage interview, he was asked what the ride had been like from sitting on his bed and getting acting tips from his father to now winning an Oscar.

Bridges’ response was simple.

“Well, you know, ups and downs,” he said. “What does the Dude say? Strikes and gutters, man.

“That’s about it.”

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