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Jeff Bridges says he was ‘pretty close to dying’ when he had COVID-19 during cancer treatment

“I was dancing with my mortality,” the actor recalled in a new interview.
"The Giver" Press Conference
Bridges was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2020. He is now in remission.Vera Anderson / WireImage

Jeff Bridges was "dancing" with his mortality a year ago after testing positive for COVID-19 amid his cancer treatment. 

In the latest issue of People magazine, the 72-year-old actor recalled being “pretty close to dying” after his chemotherapy weakened his immune system and he tested positive for COVID-19. In 2020, Bridges was diagnosed with lymphoma. He is now in remission. 

The actor previously shared that he contracted the coronavirus in January of last year, not long after he began chemo. At the time, the vaccine wasn’t yet available, and his treatment had to be suspended as his COVID-19 symptoms took a turn for the worse.

“COVID made my cancer look like nothing,” Bridges told the publication, explaining how he struggled for breath, shook uncontrollably and was in extreme pain. “I couldn’t even roll over in bed without calling the nurse to help me with the oxygen.” 

Bridges’ wife, Susan Geston, said she “didn’t know if he would recover.” When she got a call from the hospital that they might have to put her spouse on a ventilator, she said, "'Save his life. No matter what you have to do.'"

Luckily, the “Big Lebowski” star was kept off the ventilator, but even he expressed to People that he felt like he “was pretty close to dying.”

“The doctors kept telling me, ‘Jeff, you’ve got to fight. You’re not fighting.’ I was in surrender mode. I was ready to go,” he shared. “I was dancing with my mortality.”

Bridges first shared his COVID-19 diagnosis in September 2021, at the same time he announced that his cancer was in remission.

Lymphoma is a blood cancer that affects lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell that defends the body against bacteria and viruses, according to the Lymphoma Research Foundation.

At the time, he said his 9” x 12” mass had “shrunk down to the size of a marble” and his COVID-19 was “in the rear view mirror.”

His wife also contracted the virus but was in the hospital for five days while he wrote that he spent five weeks.

The Oscar winner also shared that he noticed a difference in how he was feeling after he got vaccinated.

Bridges has continued to share his latest projects on his social media and blog. Most recently, he shared how excited he was to share the trailer for his upcoming thriller series, “The Old Man,” scheduled to debut June 16 on FX.