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After 50-Year Career, Jeff Bridges Savors First Oscar

  • Penelope Poulou

Hollywood veteran hits career high in role of washed-up singer

After decades of masterful acting and five Academy Award nominations, actor Jeff Bridges won the Oscar for best actor for his role as washed-out country singer Bad Blake in the music drama "Crazy Heart."

"Thank you, Mom and Dad for turning me onto such a groovy profession," he said when accepting the award. It took five decades and the role of a washed-up country singer for actor Jeff Bridges to finally win an Academy Award.

It took five decades and the role of a washed-up country singer for actor Jeff Bridges to finally win an Academy Award.

Bridges comes from a famous show business family. His father was actor Lloyd Bridges, whose career spanned 60 years and more than 100 films. Jeff Bridges's older brother, Beau, is also an acclaimed actor and the two have appeared on-screen together, including in the TV series "Hidden in America" about poverty in the United States.

It's a cause that's close to Jeff Bridges' heart. In 1983, he founded the End Hunger Network, a Los Angeles non-profit group that aims to raise awareness about world hunger.

"Every three days the same amount of people that died in Hiroshima from the bomb, die from hunger," he said.

Many people believe Bridges deserved an Oscar for his performance as "The Dude" in the 1998 Coen brothers film "The Big Lebowski," a funny existential story about mistaken identity.

Throughout the years, Bridges has tackled all kind of films: comedy, science fiction and dramas like "Crazy Heart," the film that finally brought him an Oscar.

Bridges plays a broken country singer trying to get a grip while drinking himself into oblivion. Yet, when he strums his guitar, we get a glimpse of the star he once was. Bridges' performance is intense yet subtle. His movements evoke the tired man he portrays. His music is fluid and authentic.

Filmmaker Scott Cooper says Bridges poured himself into the role. "It's an iconic screen performance and for a man who's had probably 50 films - and I know his work intimately - I would have to rank it among his best," said Cooper.

It took five decades and the role of a washed-up country singer to show that Bridges remains at the top of his game, and Oscar night was finally his.

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