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IMAGE: John Turturro
Everett Collection
John Turturro made the most of his "Big Lebowski" role as The Jesus, but hasn't had another role quite as memorable.
By
TODAY contributor
updated 8/19/2011 1:15:36 PM ET 2011-08-19T17:15:36

“The Big Lebowski” isn’t just a cult classic, it's also a watershed moment in the career of Jeff Bridges. He began filming during a career dry spell, but this 1998 movie was a rebirth, as his portrayal of Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski would stand the test of time.

Now, more than a decade later, he’s a major star, with a best actor Oscar for “Crazy Heart, ”another nomination for “True Grit,” and a new album. But to many fans, he’ll always be “The Dude.”

Bridges and some of his co-stars will reunite Aug. 15-16 at the New York edition of Lebowski Fest, clebrating the release of the Blu-Ray version of the film. Here’s what’s become of the rest of the “Big Lebowski” core.

Slideshow: Unforgettable images from 'The Big Lebowski' (on this page)
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John Goodman (Walter Sobchak)
Goodman made the audiences forget all about his role as iconic "Roseanne" dad Dan Conner with his portrayal of The Dude’s buddy and bowling teammate, who won't roll on Shabbos. Most of his memorable roles since have been in voice-overs or TV, though he did get to play Pops in the movie version of “Speed Racer.”

Video: ‘Little Bit of Love’ for Jeff Bridges (on this page)

Julianne Moore (Maude Lebowski)
You’d have to say Moore’s done very well for herself over the past decade. “The End of the Affair,” “Far From Heaven” and “The Hours” earned her Oscar nominations, and “The Kids Are All Right” was one of the hits of 2010. But she was a lot more fun back in this era, when she went from “Boogie Nights” to using The Dude for procreation purposes.

Story: 'The Dude abides': The quotable Lebowski

Steve Buscemi (Donny Kerabatsos)
When is Buscemi not memorable? He’s continued to steal scenes wherever he’s cast, and now leads a criminal syndicate in HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire.” The former firefighter also endeared himself to fans by working 12-hour shifts with his old NYC firehouse after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Tara Reid (Bunny Lebowski)
Her career peaked with “American Pie” in 1999, but it’s been a quick fall from those heights. She’s now is in the direct-to-video category. But she’ll always have those “Taradise” memories.

Dude, you could own 'Big Lebowski' bungalow

David Huddleston (The Big Lebowski)
This wasn’t Huddleston’s first time in a cult classic — he played Olson Johnson in the Mel Brooks classic “Blazing Saddles.” Since this film, he’s mostly been the special guest star in TV shows, including stints as the mayor on “Gilmore Girls” and a senator on “West Wing.”

Story: Jeff Bridges is country solid on new album

Philip Seymour Hoffman (Brandt)
Hoffman beat Bridges to the best actor Oscar when he won one for “Capote.” He’s had much better luck in Hollywood than he did trying to settle the dispute between the two Lebowskis.

Mark it, Dude. 'Lebowski' reunion a blast

John Turturro (Jesus Quintana)
Turturro made the most out of his small part here, but his comedies since haven't been up to the "Lebowski" standards. Let's just say that the Adam Sandler vehicles "Mr. Deeds" and "You Don't Mess with the Zohan" didn't prove as memorable as his role as intense bowler "The Jesus."

Who's your favorite "Big Lebowski" character? Discuss on our Facebook page.

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Photos: Unforgettable images from 'The Big Lebowski'

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  1. White Russians

    One of the most iconic images from "The Big Lebowski" is The Dude's (Jeff Bridges) ever-present White Russian, a mix of vodka, Kahlua and half and half. He's very protective of them ("careful, man, there's a beverage here!") and can be creative about ordering one. ("Another Caucasian, Gary.") (Everett Collection) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. The rug

    When mixed-up would-be thugs break into The Dude's home by mistake, one of them urinates on his rug as a show of force. It's ridiculous, yes, but for The Dude, that makes things personal. He ends up getting a replacement rug from the real "Big Lebowski," which is good because as fans know, it really tied the room together. (Everett Collection) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. The robe

    Let's say The Dude's sense of style is a little laid-back. He's as likely to be seen at the grocery store in slippers and his ever-present robe as he is relaxing in them at home. (Everett Collection) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Bowling

    When asked what he does for recreation, The Dude tells Maude "Oh, the usual. I bowl. Drive around. The occasional acid flashback." Bowling is a vital part of the Dude's social life, and it's where he and Walter (John Goodman), center, and Donny (Steve Buscemi), right, attempt to get a handle on their oddly complicated lives. Walter, of course, will not roll on Shabbos. (Everett Collection) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. The marmot/ferret and the Nihilists

    German Nihilists have an odd sense of how to torture someone. In one memorable scene, they drop a live animal into The Dude's bathtub while he's in it. He calls it a marmot, but we're pretty sure it's a ferret. Whatever it is, it doesn't like bathing. (Everett Collection) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. The toe

    When The Dude doesn't deliver on his promises, The Big Lebowski hands him a gauze-wrapped little toe sent to him by the supposed kidnappers. As we learn in the end, the toe doesn't belong to Bunny Lebowski, but toes in general are a theme of the movie. In one scene, Bunny flirts with The Dude by asking him to blow on her toenail polish, and in another, Walter almost kills a fellow bowler for letting his toe slip over the foul line. (Everett Collection) Back to slideshow navigation
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Video: ‘Little Bit of Love’ for Jeff Bridges

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