Fighting on. Jeff Bridges opened up about testing positive for COVID-19 – before vaccines were available – amid going through chemotherapy after he was diagnosed with lymphoma, a form of cancer, in October 2020.
“It was working brilliantly, and it really shrunk the thing [tumor] quite rapidly,” the Big Lebowski actor, 72, told E! News of his chemo treatment, adding that shortly after getting “that good news,” he got a letter from the treatment center explaining that he had possibly been exposed to COVID-19.
“The chemo wipes out your immune system and when COVID hit me, I had nothing to fight it. I was just really at death’s door a couple of times there,” Bridges explained. “Getting COVID made the cancer look like nothing, man.”
The Old Man star then went on to thank his team of medical professionals, as well as his family – wife Susan Geston and their three children, Isabelle Bridges, Jessica Lily Bridges and Haley Roselouise Bridges – for all their support amid his health battles.
“Jeff is truly grateful for his family, friends and the fans who have rallied around him,” an insider shared with Closer in January 2021. “It’s really lifted his spirits.”
Bridges revealed his lymphoma diagnosis in a statement posted to social media in October 2020.
“As the Dude would say.. New S**T has come to light,” he began, referencing his famous Big Lebowski character. “I have been diagnosed with Lymphoma. Although it is a serious disease, I feel fortunate that I have a great team of doctors and the prognosis is good. I’m starting treatment and will keep you posted on my recovery.”
Bridges concluded his statement by writing that he’s “profoundly grateful for the love and support” from his family and friends, and thanked fans for their “prayers and well wishes.”
In September 2021, the Oscar winner shared a positive update about his lymphoma battle with fans on his personal website, per Us Weekly, writing, “Lots has gone down since my last installment. My cancer is in remission — the 9″ x 12″ mass has shrunk down to the size of a marble.”
“Covid kicked my a** pretty good, but I’m double vaccinated and feeling much better now,” he continued. “I heard that the vaccine can help folks with [long-term COVID]. Maybe that’s the cause of my quick improvement.”