Jeff Bridges Reveals He Felt Close to Death During Severe COVID Case

Bridges said he was "getting close to the Pearly Gates" amid his COVID battle.

Oscar-winning actor Jeff Bridges has had a challenging year. In Oct. 2020, he announced that he had been diagnosed with lymphoma and would soon begin treatment. Now, he's revealing that while his tumor has shrunk, he experienced another recent health scare: severe COVID. Since Bridges' immune system was compromised by chemotherapy, he had a tough time battling the virus. The 71-year-old actor even described feeling close to death during his COVID case. Read on for the latest update on Bridges' health.

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Jeff Bridges felt close to death during his battle with COVID.

Jeff Bridges
Tinseltown / Shutterstock

On Sept. 13, Bridges shared an entry on his website that he wrote back in March. He said he had withheld the post until he fully recovered. The actor revealed that he had severe COVID while he was recovering from cancer and chemotherapy treatment. Bridges said that while his wife Susan Geston spent five days in the hospital, he was there for five weeks after the couple shared an ambulance to the ICU. "The reason I'm there so long is because my immune system is shot from the chemo," Bridges wrote. "My dance with COVID makes my cancer look like a piece of cake."

Bridges said that he 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," but that he somehow felt "happy and joyous most of the time." Thankfully, the actor's COVID is now "in the rearview mirror." In his post, Bridges wrote, "COVID kicked my a** pretty good, but I'm double vaccinated and feeling much better now."

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He is grateful for the lessons he's learned from getting cancer and COVID.

Jeff Bridges

"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," Bridges wrote. He said he had the opportunity to learn things about life and love that he wouldn't have been able to learn had he not gotten cancer and COVID.

The actor has maintained positivity throughout his health struggles. After announcing he had cancer on Twitter, Bridges expressed his gratitude for the support he received. "This cancer thing is bringing on feelings of precociousness and gratitude and good old fashion love and lots of it, big time," he wrote on his website in October. "I'm feeling so much of it comin' my way, and man I appreciate it. It's contagious, all this love, like some kind of positive virus."

Bridges said his cancer has shrunk.

Jeff Bridges celebrity commercials, celebrity grandparents

In Bridges' most recent update, he shared good news about his cancer. Following treatment, his diagnosis improved. "The nine by 12 mass has shrunk down to the size of a marble," he wrote. Although this was a positive development, he received his COVID diagnosis shortly thereafter.

Recounting the order of events on his website, he recalled that, "On January 7th I get a letter, from the place where I'm getting my chemo infusion for the cancer. The letter tells me I may have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus @ their joint."

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The actor was able to dance with his daughter at her wedding and walk her down the aisle.

Hayley Bridges and Jeff Bridges
Ari Perilstein/Getty Images for Dom Perignon

Bridges revealed that he had a goal of walking his youngest daughter, 35-year-old Haley Bridges, down the aisle without oxygen, the sound of which he said reminds him of Darth Vader. He said that thanks to his "terrific medical team," he was able to walk her down the aisle and do the father-daughter dance, with no supplemental oxygen required. Now, Bridges said he's well enough to return to work on the TV show The Old Man.

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