Actor Jeff Bridges shares love story of 45-year marriage to longtime wife Susan Geston

It's always so uplifting to learn about a pair who has endured the test of time since we are inundated with news about the newest celebrity couple whose relationship has crumbled.

Take 72-year-old movie icon Jeff Bridges as an illustration.

A rare breed in Hollywood is the actor. He married Susan in 1977, and they have been together ever since.

And Jeff Bridges claims that his marriage has improved throughout the course of their 45 years of marriage.

Bridges has been a renowned and lasting movie star in Hollywood for many years. His breakthrough came in the 1970s, when he received Oscar nominations for his performances in the classic movie The Last Picture Show and Thunderbolt and Lightfoot with Clint Eastwood.

In blockbusters like King Kong and Tron as well as critically praised parts in movies like Starman and The Fisher King, he found continuous success. However, his most well-known performance was as "The Dude" in the cult classic The Big Lebowski in 1998. This role has generated fan gatherings and its own guiding principles (and countless orders of White Russians at bars.)

While filming Rancho Deluxe, a 1975 western comedy, the veteran actor fell in love with Susan Geston. On a property near Chico Hot Springs where a hot bath scene was filmed, Susan worked as a waitress.

"I noticed this girl while we were filming a scene in the hot tub at a location called Chico Hot Springs. I was unable to look away from her. She had two black eyes, a newly broken nose, and was stunning (from a car accident, I later learned). I was intrigued by something about her beauty and deformity, wrote Jeff Bridges in 2014.

Jeff would eventually win Susan over, but it would take time. Jeff once asked the attractive waitress out after work, but she declined.

A few days later, he re-asked, but received the same response. It's a tiny town; maybe we'll run into each other later, Susan finally said, giving him hope.

They eventually connected after some time on a night off from work.

After a night of dancing, the two got along well, and soon the waitress was packing her things to accompany Bridges back to California.

While Geston wanted to be married, Bridges was hesitant about making such a commitment during their relationship.

Geston informed Bridges in 1977 that she would follow her own path if he would not propose marriage to her. Bridges was aware that he would live to regret letting his love leave.

According to Jeff, "Oh God, I can't let this woman go." "I got this idea of an old man wondering, 'Man, why didn't I marry that girl from Montana.'"

So he did, and a few days later the pair was married.

45 years later, Bridges and Geston are still much in love.

The two have gained a lot of knowledge about communicating and sticking together under pressure. They have one grandchild and three adult daughters.

Isabelle, their eldest child, was born in 1981. The other girls, Haley and Jessica, were born in 1985 and 1983, respectively.

According to Bridges, he still has the same level of admiration for his wife as he had when he first saw her busing tables.

What you don't realize until you are married, according to Bridges, is that you actually believe all other doors are shut.

"But this gate you open [with marriage] is a hallway lined with all these other amazing doors - children, closer connection, experiences, and everything else," the author said.

Of course, friction exists in every relationship. But Bridges and his wife never gave up when they encountered a hiccup; instead, they learned how to work through it by having regular, honest, and open communication.

Bridges stated, "If you switch partners whenever things are difficult or you feel a bit unsatisfied, then you don't gain the richness that's present in a long-term relationship."

"We appreciate our differences as individuals rather than letting them cause us to drift apart. She has wisdom, which I value and am sure the daughters do as well. I've been really fortunate.

Bridges believes his marriage has improved steadily over the past 45 years. What they don't tell you about marriage, he said, is that it just improves with time on all fronts.

This tale helped me regain hope for true love and enduring connections.
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