Jeff Bridges is old school cool. He looks great holding a cigarette. He’s kept his sexy signature overlong hair swept back off a forehead that creases on purpose. He has the cheekiest of smiles. And he looks fine in a suit.
But for me, with Jeff, so much of his appeal is about the voice. When romance novels describe a man with a voice like melted chocolate, they are describing him. It’s all smooth low tones, and lazy sex appeal. That alone should be enough to make him a sure thing in the Pink Heart Hall of Fame.
Jeff was born on December 4, 1949 in Los Angeles, California he comes from a show biz family with his dad Lloyd, mum Dorothy and older brother Beau all actors. I have to say he won the lottery In that gene pool. He scored a few early roles theough his family connections, then served time in the Coast Guard –ah a man in uniform! – before studying acting at the Herbert Berghof school.
It wasn’t long before he became a movie star and a sex symbol. Think STARMAN – the first picture to earn him an Oscar nomination, THE LAST PICTURE SHOW – the film that set him up for the kinds of roles he has continued to play so well, as IMDB call his style “rambling, reckless, rascally”, and especially AGAINST ALL ODDS - seriously, how’s that for a movie poster! See, they really don’t make ‘em like they used to.
This is a working actor. He’s been in something like 75 movies. And he came really close to some of the most famous roles of all time: Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver, 'John Rambo' in First Blood, and Don Jonson’s part in Miami Vice but was deemed too expensive – thank goodness! Was on the short list for the Michael Douglas role in Fatal Attraction and Christopher Walken's role in The Deer Hunter. All of which made those actors.
He’s multi-talented too. Go to Internet Movie Database and you’ll see him credited as an illustrator, a still photographer and as a composer. A man with artistic flair. A man with a true artist’s soul. Sigh… Check out his website. It’s literally hand written by him and is jam-packed with his amazing and diverse scribbles.
Somehow he’s never been considered an A-list despite the Oscar nominations and great roles. I read somewhere once that it’s his natural ease and charm that made him slide under the wire when compared with his contemporaries, and I reckon that could be it. He has none of that quiet desperation, and raging ambition that seems to spark off some of the top actors. No flash, no ego, he’s just all ease, and charm, and yummy appeal that rolls off him in waves.
My particular faves have been THE FISHER KING (magical, wondrous, glorious film) and THE FABULOUS BAKER BOYS. It’s one of my favourite movies ever. He works nights, in a tux, playing the piano in smoky dives. Ah, yum right? Those long clever fingers, that concentration as he’s bent over the keys, that scene where Michelle Pfeiffer oozes over the piano top singing “Makin’ Whoopee” (a song that has a special place in my heart since Frank Sinatra (or a very good likeness ;))) serenaded my husband and I on our wedding night).
Susie: You're good, aren't you?
Jack: I can carry a tune.
Susie: You're better than that.
He’s been married to the same woman since 1977, and together they have three daughters. Sexy, talented, artistic, successful, a family man…
And even if there wasn’t all that, there’s still that voice.
Available online now and in stores come mid-May in the UK is Ally’s first ever BY REQUEST reprint.
HOW TO MARRY A BILLIONAIRE is one of her best-selling books to date and has been reissued in a triple pack called BARGAINING WITH THE BILLIONAIRE.