His most prized possession isn’t his Oscar. His wife isn’t an actress. But Jeff Bridge’s story of meeting his wife is straight out of a Hollywood romance— but also SO much better. Incredibly, that story gained a lovely epilogue ten years after it happened, when the beautiful item Bridges calls his prized possession came into his life.
Since he’s been acting in Hollywood since the 1950’s, you could be forgiven for assuming a few things about the acting legend. After all, he started his career at the tender age of two, and comes from the legendary Bridges acting family. He’s been nominated for an Academy Award six times and won once, for his role in 2009’s Crazy Heart. He’s worked with such legendary people as Jessica Lange, John Huston, Cybil Shepherd, John Goodman, and countless others. But Bridges is more like the rest of us then you would assume. The item he counts as most dear to his heart isn’t Lebowski’s robe, a True Grit prop gun or his Best Actor Oscar. And while he met his wife, Susan Beston, while he was filming a movie, she wasn’t a part of the crew or a fellow actor. She was simply a Montana girl with two black eyes and a broken nose, and he was simply smitten.
The better-than-made-for-the-movies story is this: In 1975, while shooting a scene for Rancho Deluxe in a place called Chico Hot Springs, outside of Livingston, Montana in Paradise Valley, Bridges found that he couldn’t take his eyes off a “gorgeous” woman with two black eyes and a broken nose. After working up his courage – and getting busted for staring a few times! – he walked up and asked Susan out. Her answer? A truly unscripted one: No!
Bridges still had some hope, however, because Susan mentioned that – since Chico Hot Springs was such a small town – they might bump into each other again. A few nights later, her prediction came true, when they ran into each other in a bar and danced the night away. “And that was about it, man,” says Bridges. “I mean, I was head-over-heels— I was head-over-heels the first time I saw her.”
Romances in Hollywood – and even romances outside of Hollywood, too – don’t seem to last that often, especially between people who are in the business and those who are not, but Bridges and his wife are the exception that prove the rule. Listening to him tell the story is almost too charming, but it’s worth it to hear so obviously in his voice how in love with her he still is, and how crystal clearly he remembers seeing and meeting her for the first time. Just listen to him tell OWN the story, and to find out the incredible addendum that happened about ten years into their marriage.
Isn’t that incredible? We all have photos of the early days of our relationships with our husbands and wives, but to have a picture of the actual first words you spoke to each other? That’s really something special. No wonder Bridges calls those photos his most prized possession.
What do you think of this story? Are you a fan of Jeff Bridges and his work? Do your remember the moment you met the love of your life, and do you even have pictures of the moment? Share your own stories of romance with us!