While many children of famous actors follow their parents into the profession, it is pretty rare that the child equals or surpasses the achievements of their parent. A few names come to mind: Jane Fonda, Michael Douglas, Angelina Jolie. And Jeff Bridges definitely belongs on that list.
His father was the highly successful actor Lloyd Bridges, who appeared in over 100 films and starred in multiple TV series including the popular “Sea Hunt.” Jeff’s brother is the Emmy Award-winning actor Beau Bridges.
Jeff’s career had an auspicious start when he earned an Oscar nomination at age 22 for his second film “The Last Picture Show.” Still regarded as a classic, the film featured an all-star cast of experienced performers (Ellen Burstyn, Eileen Brennan, Ben Johnson, Oscar winner Cloris Leachman) and introduced a bunch of new young actors such as Cybill Shepherd, Timothy Bottoms, Sam Bottoms and Bridges.
Bridges would continue to earn accolades from the Academy Awards, amassing seven nominations over an incredible 45-year career to date. In addition to “The Last Picture Show” he also earned Best Supporting Actor nominations for “Thunderbolt and Lightfoot” in 1974, “The Contender” in 2000 and “Hell or High Water” in 2016. He received Best Actor nominations for “Starman” in 1984, “Crazy Heart” in 2009 and “True Grit” in 2010. He won the Oscar for “Crazy Heart.”
Bridges has had one of the steadiest careers of any actor of his generation. He is almost continuously choosing good roles. He did make a mistake and appear in “Heaven’s Gate” which is widely regarded as one of the biggest fiascos in moviemaking history, but he managed to turn that experience into a positive one by purchasing one of the cabins used in the film making it a vacation home he still uses to this day.
Let’s take a look back at 20 of his greatest films, ranked worst to best.
– Original text and gallery published in December 2018.