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8 best Jeff Bridges movies to revisit before the Golden Globes

In the end, the Dude does truly abide.
/ Source: TODAY

Born into a Hollywood family in 1949, Jeff Bridges was working in movies before he could even form complete sentences, appearing alongside his mom, Dorothy Dean Bridges, and his big brother, Beau (all in uncredited roles) in 1951's "The Company She Keeps."

Jeff Bridges
Jeff Bridges at the LA premiere of "Bad Times at the El Royale" in September. Jordan Strauss / AP

But it was far from his last on-screen appearance, as we all now know — and far from the last time he acted with family, including a few appearances with dad Lloyd Bridges on TV's "Sea Wolf" in the late 1950s.

Since then, the gravel-voiced Bridges, who always seems to have a twinkle in his eye, has amassed a lifetime of credits and awards (he has a Golden Globe and Oscar for 2009's "Crazy Heart") and become part of the zeitgeist as The Dude from 1998's "The Big Lebowski." As he prepares to accept the Cecil B. DeMille Award at Sunday's 76th Annual Golden Globes, here's a glance back at eight of his greatest performances:

"The Last Picture Show" (1971)

The Last Picture Show 1972
"The Last Picture Show"Alamy

Though he'd been a working actor for most of his youth, "Picture Show" was arguably Bridges' coming-of-age as a young gun in Hollywood. The black-and-white film also gave Cybill Shepherd her film debut, and put him alongside Ellen Burstyn, Cloris Leachman and Randy Quaid, among others, as a coming-of-age Texan about to leave to fight in Korea. A skinny-dipping party scene got the film banned in Phoenix.

"Tron" (1982)

Jeff Bridges in Tron

The tech and science-fiction craze sparked by "Star Wars" was still raging in 1982, when Bridges played a computer programmer transported into a mainframe computer. Visually striking (computer animation and live action combined in a dark world lit by neon), "Tron" got a sequel with "Tron: Legacy" in 2010, and Bridges returned again as an older version of his original character and also as a digitally de-aged version.

"Starman" (1984)


Moving from science-fiction to fantasy, Bridges appeared as an alien visiting Earth after hearing the message sent out in the Voyager 2 space probe. The film earned Bridges his first Golden Globe nomination and his third Oscar nomination; he also had been recognized for "Last Picture Show" and 1974's "Thunderbolt and Lightfoot."

"The Fabulous Baker Boys" (1989)

Jeff Bridges, Michelle Pfeiffer and  Beau Bridges/ The Fabulous Baker Boys
"The Fabulous Baker Boys"Alamy

The Bridges bros returned to share the screen in this romantic musical dramedy, playing struggling sibling lounge pianists who need a fresh angle on the act. Enter Michelle Pfeiffer as a singer who changes everything. The Washington Post considered this to be Jeff Bridges' "best work to date." Though it earned him no nominations or awards, this would not be Bridges' last time playing a challenged musician.

"The Fisher King" (1991)

King Fisher
"The Fisher King"Alamy

What happens when you mix Robin Williams with Bridges and put Monty Python's Terry Gilliam in the directing seat? The weird, mystical and heartfelt "Fisher King," in which Bridges plays a shock jock whose comments prompt a tragedy, the results of which send him into a drunken wilderness ... until he meets Williams' Parry, a homeless man on a search for the Holy Grail. Both Williams and Bridges received Golden Globe nominations, but Williams was the one who won.

"The Big Lebowski" (1998)

Image: THE BIG LEBOWSKI, Jeff Bridges, 1998, (C) Gramercy Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection
"The Big Lebowski"Everett Collection

"The Big Lebowski" became the Ur-Bridges film: equal parts weird, fantasy and maybe even romance, a classic Coen brothers-directed/written surreal story about a man who really wants to get his rug fixed.

Though it failed to do well at the box office initially, it's taken on cult status — and given Bridges his nickname and a catchphrase: "the Dude abides." It's spawned a religion (Dudeism) and has multiple festivals in its honor, and two species of African spider were named after the film and its main character.

"Crazy Heart" (2009)

Jeff Bridges in "Crazy Heart"
"Crazy Heart"Fox Searchlight

In the years between "Lebowski" and the film that would win him his first and only (so far) Golden Globe and Oscar, Bridges put in great work in several other films, including 2000s "The Contender" (which earned him an Oscar and Golden Globe nomination).

But he ultimately got the recognition he deserved with an independent film put together by a first-time director (Scott Cooper) in which he returned to the world of music as a washed-up, hard-drinking country music singer who falls for a young journalist, played by Maggie Gyllenhaal. The Toronto Star said his performance had "generosity." (If you liked "A Star is Born," you could see this as a more uplifting companion piece.)

"True Grit" (2010)

Jeff Bridges
"True Grit"Paramount Pictures

Having rebranded himself in the movies as a tough-talking soul of the old American West, "The Dude" was perfectly suited to strap on the boots of "The Duke" — that is, John Wayne — to remake 1969's "True Grit." The Coen brothers paired with Bridges again as he assumed the mantle of Rooster Cogburn, a lawman who loves to drink and is hired by a teenager (Hailee Steinfeld) to track down her father's killer. Bridges was again nominated for an Oscar for his part, and has thus far received one more Oscar and Golden Globe nomination, for 2017's "Hell or High Water."