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Actor Jeff Bridges Tweets That He Has Been Diagnosed With Lymphoma

Jeff Bridges visits <em>Extra</em> at Burbank Studios on Dec. 13, 2019, in Burbank, Calif.
Noel Vasquez
Getty Images
Jeff Bridges visits Extra at Burbank Studios on Dec. 13, 2019, in Burbank, Calif.

Jeff Bridges announced Monday night that he has a possibly life-threatening illness. He broke the news on Twitter with a reference to the iconically laid-back character with whom he's long been identified.

"As the Dude would say..New S**T has come to light," the 70-year-old actor tweeted. "I have been diagnosed with Lymphoma. Although it is a serious disease, I feel fortunate that I have a great team of doctors and the prognosis is good."

Lymphoma is a form of cancer that, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, affects "tissues and organs that produce, store and carry white blood cells that fight infections."

Bridges' tweet went on to say: "I'm starting treatment and will keep you posted on my recovery." He has not announced publicly whether it is Hodgkin or non-Hodgkin lymphoma — or at what stage the cancer was diagnosed.

The Oscar-winning Crazy Heart actor has been a fixture in Hollywood since he first appeared with his father, Lloyd Bridges, in the TV series Sea Hunt in the 1950s. Nominated seven times for an Academy Award, he's had starring roles in such films as True Grit, Starman, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot and The Last Picture Show. And he is indelibly identified with the unflappable LA slacker, The Dude Lebowski in The Big Lebowski.

He is now in production on the drama series The Old Man, in which he stars and is executive producer. The series will debut on FX and Hulu in 2021 and is produced by Touchstone Pictures and FX Productions. Those organizations issued a statement:

"Our thoughts go out to Jeff and his family during this challenging time and they have our love and support. We wish him a safe and full recovery. And, as Jeff always says, 'We are all in this together.' Jeff, we are all in this together with you."

The actor used that phrase in a second tweet to draw attention to an issue he has championed: "Thank you for your prayers and well wishes. And while I have you, please remember to go vote. Because we are all in this together. Vote.org. Love, Jeff."

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Bob Mondello, who jokes that he was a jinx at the beginning of his critical career — hired to write for every small paper that ever folded in Washington, just as it was about to collapse — saw that jinx broken in 1984 when he came to NPR.