Jeff Bridges' Health Troubles Were More Serious Than Anyone Knew

It has been almost two years since Jeff Bridges first revealed he was diagnosed with lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system. Just a few months later in 2021, the "Big Lebowski" star also announced he had contracted COVID-19. At a time when vaccines were not yet available, Bridges was in a particularly precarious situation health-wise. "I had no defenses," the actor told People about his immune system at the time. Although Bridges had tweeted that his lymphoma prognosis was "good," the chemotherapy treatment for the cancer compromised his immune system. "I had nothing to fight it. COVID made my cancer look like nothing," Bridges said in May. 

Eventually COVID-free (and double-vaccinated), Bridges also announced his lymphoma had entered remission in September 2021, adding that "The 9" x 12" mass has shrunk down to the size of a marble" (via Entertainment Weekly). As he continues shooting his FX drama "The Old Man," the acting icon recently opened up about just how dire his health journey was. 

Jeff Bridges's family kept him from surrendering to cancer and COVID-19

"The Dude Abides," despite some scary almost-brushes with death amidst his health struggle the past few years. As Jeff Bridges told E! News in September, his dual struggle with lymphoma and COVID-19 left him completely immunocompromised. "I was just really at death's door a couple of times there," he admitted. After over four months of hospitalization, Bridges confessed he even wondered if he would act again — or attend daughter Hayley Roselouise Bridges' September 2021 wedding (he ultimately did, however!). In fact, it was Haley's wedding that further motivated Jeff to push his cancer into remission that very month. "I had a goal — walking my daughter Hayley down the aisle," Jeff wrote on his website at the time (via People).

As "The Old Man" star told E!, his family and his team of doctors and trainers were all instrumental in bringing him back from "surrender mode." Furthermore, although Jeff certainly met his load of struggles facing lymphoma and COVID-19 simultaneously, he told People in May that the ordeal enhanced his "ability to receive all the love and give it." As he put it, "Everything was turned up in the most beautiful way."