Jeff Bridges opens up about his fight for life and confesses he was at ‘death’s door’ while battling cancer and COVID-19 at the same time

Jeff Bridges is sharing about his recent fight for life, where he battled both COVID-19 and cancer at the same time.

And what made things extremely dire was that he had to undergo chemotherapy treatments while the coronavirus wreaked havoc on his immune system.

‘The chemo wipes out your immune system and when COVID hit me, I had nothing to fight it,’ the Crazy Heart star, 72, revealed to E! News, before confessing, ‘I was just really at death’s door a couple of times there.’

The Academy Award-winning actor revealed he had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in October 2020. While most people with NHL survive at least 5 years after a diagnosis, older people like Bridges are more likely to die from the condition, according to Medical News Today.

Other factors that affect an individuals outlook include the stage and spread of the cancer.

Initially, the acclaimed actor was informed by doctors that his chemo treatments were working, but then he tested positive for COVID-19 in early 2021, which was a time before vaccines and boosters became available.

Thins got so bad for Bridges that he ended up having to be hospitalized for more than four months. 

During that time, his mind raced with thoughts of whether he would ever be able to  work again, or be able to walk his daughter Haley, 36, down the aisle at her wedding.

‘I remember the doctors saying to me, “Jeff, you gotta fight,”‘ he recalled of a time when things were going from bad to worse. ‘I had no idea what they were talking about. I thought, “Man, I’m in surrender mode here.” With a great medical team, great trainers and my family, everybody brought me back.’

By September 2021, The Big Lebowski actor took to a blog and admitted that his experience with cancer and treatments was a ‘piece of cake’ compared to being sick with the coronavirus.

With a wife of 45 years, Susan Geston, three daughters and three grandchildren, Bridges has a lot to live for. He has since gotten fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and is now focused on staying healthy and helping raise awareness by telling his story of survival.

One way the musician and actor is making a difference is by teaming up with AstraZeneca since the launch of Up The Antibodies, a campaign that urges immunocompromised people to up their antibodies amid the still lingering COVID-19 pandemic.

‘A lot of the world is trying to move forward and put COVID-19 behind them, but people with compromised immune systems can’t do that yet,’ Bridges said in a statement.  

 ‘While the option to up my antibodies to protect me from COVID-19 wasn’t around when I was going through cancer treatment, it is now,’ Bridged said after consulting with doctors. ‘As soon as I could, I upped my antibodies. And now I’m feeling more confident to get back to doing the things I love.’

As part of his work with the Up The Antibodies campaign, the American Heart star shot a new national PSA, where he tells his story.

The clip begins with Bridges carrying an acoustic guitar while walking through a field. 

‘Missed a lot of things while I was away,’ he says, ‘You know cancer, chemo, covid, that kind of away.’

Looking reflective wile staring up into the sky, he then gets personal and deep: ‘I certainly missed my family, being with them. I missed my friends, making movies.’

Just as he starts to strum on the guitar he closes his eyes, looks back up into the sky and confesses: ‘I love being alive man. And I almost lost it all. My immune system was totally shot, Fortunately, you don’t have to wait around for the worst. You can up your antibodies before covid comes knockin’.’

With a wide beaming smile, Bridges turns toward the camera at the end the video and adds: ‘Because when you antibodies are up, well, you can get back to what you love.’

And in another positive note: Bridges’s cancer remains in remission, and he did, in fact walk his daughter down the aisle at her wedding.