Jeff Bridges views cancer battle that left him ‘pretty close to dying’ as ‘learning experience’

Jeff Bridges reflected on his cancer and COVID-19 battle that left the actor “pretty close to dying.”

Bridges was diagnosed with lymphoma and later contracted COVID-19. Three years later, “The Big Lebowski” star is doing “great” post recovery.

The 74-year-old actor explained being near-death was a”learning experience,” in an interview with Page Six at the 49th Chaplin Award Gala at Lincoln Center.

“It’s amazing the way the mind can forget all that stuff,” Bridges added. “I don’t think too much about the past.”


Bridges announced his Non-Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosis in October 2020.

“As the Dude would say.. New S— has come to light,” he said, in reference to his character from “The Big Lebowski.” “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.”

The actor had discovered the tumor while filming the TV series “The Old Man.”

“I was doing some exercises while on the ground and felt what seemed like a bone in my stomach. I thought to myself, ‘Hmm.’ But it didn’t hurt or anything,” Bridges previously told AARP magazine. “I asked Sue what she thought. She said: ‘I don’t know, but you’ve got to get it checked out.’”

“I’m hiking and feeling great,” he continued. “My shins really itch, and I think, ‘Oh, I just got, you know, dry skin.’ Then I had night sweats, but thought, ‘That’s just hot summer nights.’ It turns out those are lymphoma symptoms.”

Bridges eventually went back to filming, not knowing he had a tumor in his stomach.

“I was doing those fight scenes for the first episode of ‘The Old Man’ and didn’t know that I had a 9-by-12-inch tumor in my body,” Bridges reflected.

He added, “You’d think that would have hurt or something, when they were punching me and stuff. It didn’t.”

After completing his final round of chemotherapy, Bridges came down with COVID-19.

“Shortly after finding out that good news, I got a letter from the treatment center where I was getting my chemo, and they told me that there was a possibility that I had been exposed to COVID,” Bridges told Fox News Digital at the time. “That meant me being in the hospital for five weeks, very close to, you know, kicking the bucket. I mean, I was very sick.”

He confessed to People magazine in 2022 that the ordeal left him “pretty close to dying.”