Jeff Bridges Returns For First Project Since 2020 Cancer Diagnosis

by Leanne Stahulak
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“The Big Lebowski” star Jeff Bridges returns for his first project since revealing his cancer diagnosis back in 2020. Bridges stars in a new spy drama “The Old Man,” premiering on FX on June 16.

Jeff Bridges announced his lymphoma diagnosis in October 2020. At the time, production on “The Old Man” hit the brakes for 15 months. Originally, the show was supposed to debut last year, per Entertainment Weekly.

But now, the FX show has a new release date and the first look at the CIA spy drama. “The Old Man” is based on the best-selling Thomas Perry novel of the same name. Per EW, Bridges stars as Dan Chase, “a retired CIA operative who has been living off the grid since abandoning the organization decades ago — and who is forced to reckon with his past when an assassin arrives intent on taking him out.”

Fellow cast members include John Lithgow, Alia Shawkat, E.J. Bonilla, Gbenga Akinnagbe, and Amy Brenneman. Check out the first look of Bridges in “The Old Man” in the tweet below.

Not only is this Jeff Bridges’ first project since his cancer diagnosis, but it’s also his first recurring TV role in more than 50 years. He’s starred exclusively in films and one-episode TV stints since the 1960s.

Bridges’ first prominent role took place in 1958-1960 when he featured in four episodes of “Sea Hunt.” From there, he made several brief appearances in shows like “The Lloyd Bridges Show,” “The Loner,” “The F.B.I.,” and “Lassie.” Afterward, from the 1970s onward, Bridges primarily focused on film.

Jeff Bridges Provided Cancer Update Last Fall

In October 2021, one year after revealing his cancer diagnosis, Jeff Bridges provided the world with another update. In a blog post on his website, Bridges revealed that his cancer was finally in remission.

“The 9″ x 12″ mass has shrunk down to the size of a marble,” Bridges wrote. However, he contracted COVID-19 while undergoing chemo treatment.

Jeff Bridges started chemo treatment back in October 2020, and in January 2021, he contracted COVID. The center where he received chemo treatments told the actor that he might have been exposed during his last visit. This took place before Bridges was vaccinated.

“Soon after, my wife Sue and I share an ambulance to the ICU. We both got the ‘rona,” Bridges said. “Sue spends 5 days in the hospital. Me…? I’m there 5 weeks. The reason I’m there so long is because my immune system is shot from the chemo. My dance with COVID makes my cancer look like a piece of cake.”

Dealing with both illnesses at the same time took a heavy toll on Bridges physically. But mentally, the pain reminded him to appreciate the life he’s been given.

“While I had moments of tremendous pain (screaming singing, a sort of moaning song all through the night) getting close to the Pearly Gates, all in all, I felt happy and joyous most of the time,” he said. “This brush with mortality has brought me a real gift — LIFE IS BRIEF AND BEAUTIFUL. LOVE IS ALL AROUND US, AND AVAILABLE AT ALL TIMES.”

And now, after recovering from both cancer and COVID, Jeff Bridges is back in the business.

Outsider.com