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The 72-year-old says “the 9’ x 12’ mass has shrunk down to the size of a marble.”
After a rough battle with COVID and chemotherapy to treat Lyphoma, Jeff Bridges is back on a TV set, and he couldn’t be happier.
The 72-year-old is currently promoting his latest show, FX’s The Old Man, and in a virtual panel to discuss the series, he told press he’s feeling “terrific,” per The Wrap.
Lymphoma is cancer that begins to form in immune system cells, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI). There are many forms of lymphoma, but they can generally be broken into two basic categories: Hodgkin lymphoma, which is determined by the presence of a type of cell called the Reed-Sternberg cell, and non-Hodgkin lymphomas, which includes a large group of cancers of immune system cells.
Almost a year after revealing his Lymphoma diagnosis to the public in October 2020, the actor announced that the cancer was in remission. In comparing the journey to catching COVID before he could get vaccinated, he called chemotherapy “a piece of cake.”
He contracted the virus in January and spent five weeks in the ICU. “The reason I’m there so long is because my immune system is shot from the chemo,” he wrote in a blog post at the time. Still, he was glad to reveal that “the 9’ x 12’ mass has shrunk down to the size of a marble.”
A post shared by Jeff Bridges (@thejeffbridges)
Since then, The Big Lebowski star has been on the upswing, having been spotted on a walk with his wife in September. And he’s so grateful that, despite pandemic-related filming delays, he was able to return to work safely.
“As far as I’m concerned, FX and all of the team were so considerate and gave me all of the time I needed to heal and all the support I needed,” he told reporters on Tuesday. “The protocols—we were still in COVID—made me feel very safe and eager to get down to business and play.”
And his “brush with mortality,” as Bridges called it in a blog post, inspired how he plays his Old Man character Dan Chase, who battles Alzheimer’s disease.
“In times like that, it seems like all your philosophies and spirituality comes to you,” he said of his experience. “It tests you. All of that has been made more mature by that experience. I’ve always approached life the same way, [but this] made things sharper.”
The wake-up call also impacted how Bridges interacts with others. He always prioritized kindness, of course, but he can now truly empathize with those who’ve been through similar challenges. That’s why when he learned that his Old Man co-star John Lithgow’s brother also battled Lymphoma, he immediately gave him a call.
“My dear brother [was] diagnosed with something similar to what Jeff suffered from. When I told him about my brother David, he immediately got in touch with him, he’d never met the man,” Lithgow said at the press conference. “He’s the most bighearted person. It’s not like you’re working with an actor at all, you’re working with a new friend.”
We are so happy that Bridges is feeling better, and cannot wait to see him on the big screen soon.