Family Tree Tuesday – Jeff Bridges
Jeff Bridges is an American actor, musician and producer. He began his first televised acting in 1958 as a child with his father, Lloyd Bridges, and brother Beau on television’s Sea Hunt. Some of his best-known major motion films include: Tron, Fearless, Iron Man, The Contender, Starman, The Fabulous Baker Boys, Jagged Edge, Against All Odds, The Fisher King, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, Seabiscuit, Arlington Road, and The Big Lebowski. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role as Otis “Bad” Blake in the film Crazy Heart (2009) and earned his sixth Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of Rooster Cogburn in True Grit (2010).
He was born Jeffrey Leon Bridges on December 4, 1949 in Los Angeles, California to actor Lloyd Bridges and actress and writer Dorothy Bridges. His older brother is actor Beau Bridges, he also has a younger sister, Lucinda, who is an artist and another brother Garrett, who died of sudden infant death syndrome in 1948. Bridges shared a close relationship with his brother Beau growing up, as Beau acted as a surrogate father to him when their father was working. At age seventeen, Bridges toured with his father in a stage production of Anniversary Waltz. After graduating from high school, he went to New York City to study acting at the Herbert Berghof Studio. He also joined the United States Coast Guard Reserve, where he served for eight years. Bridges also has a passion for music and in 2011 had signed a recording contract with Blue Note Records/EMI Music Group and released his second album, Jeff Bridges (2011).
Lloyd Bridges, Jr. was an America actor, best known for his role of Mike Nelson in Sea Hunt, the most popular syndicated American TV series in 1958. He was born in San Leandro, California to Harriet Evelyn (Brown) and Lloyd Vernet Bridges, Sr., who was involved in the California hotel business and once owned a movie theater. His parents were both natives of Kansas, and had English ancestry. Bridges studied political science at UCLA, where he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon. He joined the stock company at Columbia Pictures, where he played small roles in features and short subjects. He left Columbia to enlist in the U.S. Coast Guard and following World War II, he returned to film acting. He was blacklisted briefly in the 1950s after he admitted to the House Un-American Activities Committee that he had once been a member of the Actors’ Lab, a group with links to the Communist Party. He resumed working after being cleared by the FBI, finding his greatest success in television. Bridges met his wife, Dorothy Bridges in his fraternity at UCLA; they married in 1938 in New York City.
Dorothy Louise Bridges was an American actress and poet born in Worcester, Massachusetts. She was of English ancestry. Her family moved to Los Angeles when she was two years old. She made her film debut in the movie Finders Keepers. Bridges occasionally returned to acting throughout her life, often in roles where she was able to work with members of her family. She had introduced her children to the acting profession as their first drama teacher. She encouraged each of her children to “pretend” for an hour each day. Dorothy also wrote poetry, later publishing some of her work. She was known to write love poems to her husband every Valentine’s Day during their 59 year marriage. She released her memoirs in 2005, You Caught Me Kissing: A Love Story.
Beau Bridges (born Lloyd Vernet Bridges III) is also an American actor and director. He was nicknamed Beau by his parents after Ashley Wilkes’ son in Gone with the Wind. He wanted to become a basketball star and played his freshman year at UCLA, and later transferred to the University of Hawaii. He enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard in 1959 and served eight years in the Coast Guard Reserve. Bridges appeared along with his brother, Jeff, on their father’s CBS anthology series, The Lloyd Bridges Show. His best known role is perhaps the 1989 film The Fabulous Baker Boys in which he starred opposite his brother Jeff. From 2002-2003, he took on the role of Senator Tom Gage, newly appointed Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, in over 30 episodes of the drama series The Agency. He won a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album with Cynthia Nixon and Blair Underwood in 2009 for their recording of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. Bridges has two children – Casey and Jordan Bridges with his first wife Julie Landfield and three children – Dylan, Emily and Ezekiel Jeffrey “Zeke” Bridges with his second wife Wendy Treece.
Jordan Bridges is the third generation of actors in the Bridges family. He made his first professional acting debut at the age of five in the television film “The Kid from Nowhere”, directed by his father, Beau. After a break he returned once more in the television film “The Thanksgiving Promise” in 1986 starring the entire Bridges family. Not wanting to be a child actor he left acting and attended L.A.’s progressive Oakwood school. He got interested in acting again as the school had a strong emphasis on the arts. He followed it up as a theater major and literature minor at New York’s Bard College. Before earning his bachelor’s degree, Bridges spent his junior year in England studying at the prestigious London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts, living in a tiny basement flat in Chelsea, and attending West End theatre productions on free passes. Recently, Bridges appears in the TNT drama series Rizzoli & Isles, which premiered in July 2010.
Did you know Jeff along with his brother Beau and father Lloyd all have stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame? Jeff and Beau have stars in the category of Motion pictures and Lloyd’s star is in the category of Television. All three stars are located on the same block of 7065 Hollywood Blvd.
Check out Jeff Bridges’ family tree and see how you may be related!