“Everybody dies, and this is me dying,” thought “The Big Lebowski” actor while lying in a hospital, unable to walk or breathe without oxygen assistance.

    Jeff Bridges wed a waitress after she gave him an ultimatum – either they get married, or she accepts job offers in another city.

    A few years ago, “The Big Lebowski” star was ready to die, yet his wife nursed him back to health.

    Now, 73-year-old Bridges appears slender, tanned, and happy.

    In 1974, Jeff Bridges lounged in a hot tub while filming “Rancho Deluxe” on a picturesque Montana ranch. Amidst the tranquility of this serene setting, his gaze fell on a ranch worker. Susan Geston, a pretty 20-year-old waitress with golden locks, casually walked past him. It took just that one brief moment for Bridges to fall for her at first sight, starting an enduring love story that would later see Geston fiercely fighting for his life.

    Despite his initial feelings, Geston wasn’t instantly taken with the Hollywood star. When he got up the courage to ask her on a date, she gently declined. But “The Big Lebowski” actor was determined, and when he asked a second time, the young woman said they might bump into each other because they were in a small town in Montana

    Jeff Bridges and Susan Geston at the "Somebody Killed Her Husband" premiere in New York in 1978 | Source: Getty Images

    She was indeed accurate in her assumption. Their paths crossed at a local party. Sharing a dance, sparks flew between them, and at that moment, they knew “that was it.”

    Geston quit her job and relocated to sunny Los Angeles to be with her famous boyfriend. For three blissful years, they lived together harmoniously, but the situation took a turn when she received a job offer in Montana. She presented the actor with a rather hard choice: either they get married, or she goes back to Montana, adding, “I know you love me, but I want a family.”

    “Oh God, I can’t let this woman go,” thought Bridges, overwhelmed by emotion. In a second, he dropped to one knee and asked her to be his wife. Within just five days, in 1977, they tied the knot. The Hollywood star and the former waitress started a peaceful family life, becoming parents to three daughters.

    Jeff Bridges, Susan Geston and daughters Isabelle and Jessica at the "Seabiscuit" premiere in Los Angeles in 2003 | Source: Getty Images

    Bridges admitted that their marriage is much like any other, filled with both struggles and happy moments. However, it remains strong because they’re there for one another. He shared:

    “We know we’ll experience our stuff, have tough times, but we’re doing it together.”

    The actor’s confession was clearly displayed after he crossed the age of 70. Sadly, the spouses faced a major upheaval when Bridges found out about a tumor in his stomach.

    Jeff Bridges Was Ready to Die
    In March 2020, while filming “The Old Man,” Bridges felt something like a bone in his stomach while doing some exercises. He asked his wife about the strange feeling, and she said they should seek medical advice.

    After returning home and visiting the hospital, doctors found a large mass in Bridges’ body. It was pretty shocking for him as just a few days ago, he was doing fight scenes for “The Old Man” and felt no pain, despite having a 9-by-12-inch tumor within him. His wife was “numb” after hearing the news.

    Jeff Bridges and Susan Geston at the 82nd Annual Academy Awards in California on March 7, 2010 | Source: Getty Images

    Bridges had to accept the harsh realities of chemotherapy. Battling cancer was already a difficult journey, but within a year, he received a letter from his chemo center bearing even more distressing news. The “Iron Man” actor read that he had tested positive for COVID and had no immune system to battle it.

    Soon, the actor couldn’t walk or breathe without oxygen assistance. He was “ready to go” as he faced his mortality. One day, his doctor told him plainly that he needed to battle for his survival, seeing the actor’s fading will to live. At that moment, Bridges thought:

    “Everybody dies, and this is me dying.”

    Bridges’ Wife Nursed Him Back to Health
    As Bridges braced himself for the inevitable end, his wife was determined not to let him go. Both Geston and her husband were hospitalized due to Covid, but she was discharged a week later. After recovering, she returned to help him in the hospital with a strong desire to see her husband pull through.

    The “True Grit” star was teetering between life and death, yet he vividly recalls how Geston “fought” to keep him off a ventilator. The actor and even the doctors didn’t wish things to escalate to this stage in his treatment. However, Geston remained “adamant.” In Bridges’ own words, his wife Sue was his “absolute champion.”

    In time, Bridges significantly got better and was even allowed to recuperate at home. He spent months in his garage, practicing meditation and breathing exercises, all while being hooked up to oxygen tanks. He admitted that he could truly feel the love surrounding him during that period at home.

    Jeff Bridges’ Life and Look at 73
    Now 73-year-old Bridges has made a return to the spotlight. In a recent interview, the actor joyfully revealed that his tumor had shrunk to the size of a marble, allowing him to go back to work. After a two-year hiatus, he is excited to complete filming “The Old Man,” which had been put on hold due to his cancer diagnosis. He described the chance to work again as a dream come true.

    After healing with great care from his wife, Bridges is looking good. He has grown his hair long and thick and combs it back. His body has slimmed down, while his skin has an attractive tan.

    In his later years, the actor has embarked on a new chapter in his life, which he lovingly refers to as the “good dream part.” He expressed deep gratitude for being alive and able to work.

    However, his wife holds the utmost significance in his heart. Bridges openly confessed that he now values his time with Geston even more, despite the passage of 46 years since they first fell in love. Their unwavering devotion to each other remains intact.

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