“I was ready to go. I was dancing with my mortality.”
Jeff Bridges is honored in the new issue of People, because in June 2022, there will be plenty to celebrate. His 45-year marriage to his wife Susan, the birth of a new grandson, the adoption of a small dog and the arrival on FX of his action series The Old Man. Good news for the 72-year-old actor, who intends to enjoy every moment, well aware of having almost never been able to celebrate all this. Because in October 2020, the doctors diagnosed him with lymphoma, a cancer which prompted him to undergo chemotherapy in an attempt to make it disappear. While he was in the middle of his treatment, in January 2021, he caught the Covid. Hard knocks that he wanted to share with his fans, giving regular updates on his blog.
Jeff Bridges announces his cancer is in remission
The actor of The Big Lebowski recognizes in the pages of the American magazine having seen himself die at that time. “They had found a cocktail that worked (to fight cancer). Man, it was disappearing fast! This thing was imploding. (but when he had the Covid on top) I no longer had any immune defence. That’s what chemo does, it destroys all of that. I had nothing to fight the Covid. Besides, my cancer was nothing.” He then spent five months bedridden in the hospital, suffering with each breath and having to be permanently connected to oxygen bottles. “I was about to die. The doctors kept telling me: ‘Jeff, you have to fight. You’re not fighting there.’ I felt that I had surrendered. I was ready to leave. I was dancing with my mortality.”
He explains that he was able to get out of it thanks to good treatment and a medical team who supported him, for example a sports coach specialized in getting convalescent patients back into shape, with whom he trained to walk again three days a week, once he no longer had to lie down: “I regained my strength little by little.” Now in remission, he was able to complete the filming of The Old Man and explains that he is very proud of this series, which he shares with John Lithgow and Amy Brenneman: “The more the show took shape, the more I said to myself: ‘Oh, we’ve got something really cool here.’” Since his long recovery, he says he enjoys life more: “Who would think: ‘I would like cancer and a bit of Covid?’ However, I received ‘grace’ to that an enormous dose of love, which overwhelmed me. Everything has taken on more value to me, and in the most beautiful way.”
Jeff Bridges in John Wick mode in The Old Man trailer