It was "love at first sight" for Jeff when he saw Susan in 1975. Since then, the love has only grown.
Hollywood is a place where finding celebrities who have been together for a long time is like searching for a needle in a haystack. It's refreshing to see couples who don't end up heartbroken after a nasty public divorce. Jeff and Susan Bridges are one of those couples, happily married for 43 years now.
In a recent interview with People, the 70-year-old actor shared the secret to the long-lasting union - mutual respect. "We are quite different as people, and we celebrate that rather than making it drive us apart. I respect her wisdom, and I’m sure the girls do too," he said and added, "I’ve really been blessed."
For Jeff, "it was love at first sight," when he saw Susan on the sets of Rancho Deluxe in Paradise Valley, Montana, in 1975, reported The Daily Mail. Susan Geston, then 20-years-old, was a roadhouse waitress with two black eyes and a skinned nose, according to Cheat Sheet. Jeff thought it was because of a brawl with her boyfriend but it turned out to be a car wreck injury.
Jeff, 24 at that time, had made his name with films like The Last Picture Show, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, and The Iceman Cometh, but he was still a shy guy who couldn't ask the girl out. After stealing peeks at her for a while, he finally asked her out, and do you know what she said? She said no. Fate had its way and the couple met again at the wrap party for Rancho Deluxe. This time, Susan agreed to dance with the handsome actor.
Even though she was not impressed by the actor's lifestyle, his wicked sense of humor, intellect, and wit took her heart way. Although Jeff returned to Los Angeles, he couldn't stop thinking about Susan, he was in love. Together with his best friend, David Greenwalt, he went back to Montana in a motor home to get Susan and so their story began.
They had their fair share of bumps along the way particularly one where after living with Jeff for three years, Susan wanted to start a family but not without marriage. Jeff on the other hand was the kind of guy who thought the concept of marriage as “a step toward death.”
Susan realized Jeff's dilemma and moved out of their house, reported Reader's Digest. After living apart for six months Susan got a job offer in Montana and that's when The Dude actor realized, "If I let this girl go, I will always know she was the one." He added, "So I got down on my knees and asked Sue to marry me. She said, 'Yes.'" When she asked him when he wanted it to happen, he replied, "This week.” So, on June 5, 1977, they tied the knot.
Back in 2014, during an interview with the AARP magazine, he referred to himself as the kite and Susan as the string who lets him be himself and soar. Long time friend, Loyd Catlett, said, "Sue brings Jeff down to earth. In this business, you've got everybody telling you how great you are. In a loving way, she says, 'All right, honey, let's get down to reality.'"
The Big Lebowski actor teamed up with his eldest daughter Isabelle, 38, for a children's book titled Daddy Daughter Day where he contributed through illustrations. The book, inspired by the bond the actor shares with his daughters Isabelle, Jessica, 37, and Hayley, 35, is about a dad who goes on an adventure with his daughter, reported People.
For Isabelle, her parents' marriage is inspirational. "They love each other, but they like each other, they spend time together. They make an effort to ask each other questions about what the other is interested in," she said. The couple is an inspiration to many others as well. All these years and not one rumor of infidelity has surfaced about the couple.
It could be because Jeff believes, “If you change partners every time it gets tough or you get a little dissatisfied, then you don’t get the richness that’s available in a long-term relationship." He added, “My wife supports me, and it makes me love her more," as reported by Country Living.
In the actor's 50 years of working in the industry, he was nominated for seven Oscars and won one for Crazy Heart (2009) but to him, his family is the greatest thing that's ever happened to him. He said, "Time goes so fast, and it’s so precious. To spend it with people you love, there’s nothing richer than that."
Jeff and Susan are surely a couple who restore our belief in love.