I am writing and posting this here in the hopes that Mr. Bridges might read this.
I am a long-time fan of your work of course. But this isn’t why I am hoping to reach out to you. In the various roles ive seen you in, I have always sensed a gentle spirit that shines through. A kindness and silly sense of humor. And, as my mother and I both have noticed, you near a striking resemblance to my father.
My father made sure his children had a steady diet of quality movies and TV shows. Being born in 1981, I grew up in the glorious age of VHS tapes, a diet gladly supplied by our local library. It was within walking distance and always had a huge selection. He made sure we had a revolving door of anything Jim Henson related, Monty Python, the films of Terry Gilliam, and great science fiction. This set me up for my very first sci-fi obsession…..TRON. you can kinda see where I am going with this.
My father graduated from Florida Institute of Technology and worked as a computer programmer/engineer from the time I can remember. He was part of the first generation to do so, as far as what we consider modern computers. This movie meant a lot to him.
As I got older, more mature, I grew to appreciate good quality entertainment because of my fathers influence – music, movies, and the great outdoors ( I DESPERATLY wanted to be in the boy scouts, but because I was of a certain gender, I couldn’t) My father made sure I learned all the skills that a avid camper would want. He even told me I was a better canoer and fire maker than almost all the other boys.
And of course, I began to notice trends in my favorite movies, actors, and directors. You seemed to pop up the most often as a favorite actor. TRON, The Big Lebowski, and the most recent favorites, True Grit and Crazy Heart.
When I happen to read an interview, or see you on a late night show, you seem so comfortable and funny. I cant articulate enough, because my point being, you remind me so much of my father. You look like him as well, which is fun.
My father had been in reasonably good health, until about 1.5 years ago. At 73, He had to have a 6-bypass surgery on his heart and a pacemaker placed. He recovered very well, and lived very well, enjoying his gardening, and spending time with his grandchildren. (aged 17, 7, 4, and 20 months).
He was working on location in Milwaukee, (We all live in the Columnbus, OH area) and he had a contract job. He called my mother to let her know that he was done early and would be flying in Dec. 7th. When I went to pick him up, he looked terrible. Unbeknownst to us, he hadn’t let us know that he had been vomiting for the last few days. Turns out he had a large hernia blocking his colon.
Ill spare you details, except that he had his first surgery to fix this on the 8th, and a second surgery on the 10th. Unfortunately his heart was not strong enough and he died on the 17th.
This made the holidays……strange. Being surrounded by my nieces and nephews, seeing their happiness on Christmas, made the sadness bearable. This was not expected, and it is still a punch in the gut.
Seeing you now makes me happy, and fills me with a bittersweet feeling that, in a way, reassured me that my father is around. I know his spirit, soul, energy, etc. is around me, and the rest of his family.
My whole family are fans of your work, I only speak for myself because they do not know I am trying to reach you. In a fantasy world, id try to convince you to visit my mother. All I ask, as a tribute to my father, as he was also a fan of just about your movies, but TRON most of all, is a shoutout……a hello. Even just a response to this letter I write. I used to tell my boyfriend years ago, that if my father were to die, all id want to reassure me is a hug from Jeff Bridges. As I think on that now, it seems a bit creepy, since I am just a fan. And you being a celebrity, you may get some strange requests.
Anyway, id like to send you a link to my father obituary. He was quite a man.
P.S. I just saw on the news that your home has been damaged in the recent California mudslides. My heart breaks for you, but I am glad that you and your family are ok.
Thank you for your time