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Jeff Bridges: The Artist

Back in 1998, the John Irving novel, "The Widow for One Year" sat atop the New York Times Best Seller's list. Now it has been adapted for the big screen in "The Door in the Floor." In it, Jeff Bridges stars as an artist dealing with a divorce, and the tragic death of his two sons.

Bridges visits The Early Show on Wednesday and tells co-anchor Harry Smith that for a self-described lazy person he keeps a busy man's schedule.

Speaking of "The Door in the Floor," Bridges says, though it is tragic, it is "a John Irving story, so there's a lot of comedy interwoven in the tragedy."

The film reunites him with his "Nadine" co-star, Kim Basinger. "It was great getting back together with her," Bridges says. "It was like we had a long weekend off and we're back to work again. Picked up where we left off."

Asked if he turns down movies, he says, "Yeah. I've got to be kind of dragged to the party. I generally like to do movies that I like to see. Those are movies where the filmmakers are kind of ahead of you."

After garnering rave reviews for his performance in "Seabiscuit," last summer and being nominated for four Academy Awards throughout his career, Bridges says, "It would be lovely to have that gold guy, you know. It's wonderful to be acknowledged, to get a nomination."

He credits his father Lloyd Bridges for teaching him the tricks of the trade. Jeff Bridges and his brother Beau grew up playing drowning victims and the like on their father's popular syndicated TV series "Sea Hunt" (1957-61).

Jeff Bridges says, "Probably my first acting memory is having to say my lines in the water and inhaling and not being able to exhale. He taught me all the basics."

His mother, Dorothy Dean, also reads all the scripts he gets. "I love to get her feedback," he says. "We rarely agree on the material but it's nice to get her opinion."

And when he is not on the big screen he occupies his time doing visual art pieces. You can find them on his Web site as well as his music and his commentary on his acting.

Some Facts About Jeff Bridges

  • Jeff Bridges was born in Los Angeles, Dec. 4, 1949.
  • He is the son of actor Lloyd Bridges (a familiar face on TV and the large screen for over 50 years, until his death in 1998), and the brother of actor Beau Bridges (working steadily, like his Dad, since age 7).
  • In 1950, Bridges made his first screen appearance at the age of four months, playing the infant in Jane Greer's arms in "The Company She Keeps."
  • Jeff Bridges, and his brother Beau, appeared in their father's popular syndicated television series "Sea Hunt" (1957-61) and on "The Lloyd Bridges Show" (CBS, 1962-63).
  • In 1971, Bridges earned a Best Supporting Oscar nomination for his role in "The Last Picture Show."
  • In 1984, Bridges earn his first Best Actor Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of the Earth-bound alien in "Star Man."
  • In 1987, he delivered a nicely comic, foolish turn opposite Kim Basinger in Benton's "Nadine."
  • In 1989, he starred opposite brother Beau and Michelle Pfeiffer in "The Fabulous Baker Boys."
  • In 1991, acted opposite Robin Williams in "The Fisher King", directed by Terry Gilliam.
  • In 1992, made his producing debut with "American Heart," directed by Martin Bell; also starred as an ex-convict trying to do right by his son (Edward Furlong); shown at Cannes; released theatrically in the USA in 1993.
  • In 1994, received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. And acted again with father in "Blown Away."
  • In 1996, starred opposite Barbra Streisand as a professor who wants to move slowly where love is concerned in the Streisand-directed "The Mirror Has Two Faces." He also was executive producer of Showtime's "Hidden in America", starring brother Beau and directed by Bell; played small role in the telefilm.
  • In 1997, he displayed a humorous side as 'The Dude', the cable-surfing, herb-smoking, Olympian slacker in "The Big Lebowski."
  • In 1999, he released his first solo album, "Be Here Soon" and launched Internet Web site
  • In 2003, he co-starred as an influential millionaire in the inspiring feature "Seabiscuit."
  • Bridges is an accomplished photographer and a talented guitarist
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