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American Masters: Jeff Bridges: The Dude Abides

Airs Wednesday, January 12, 2010 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV

Jeff Bridges, actor, musician, photographer, an occasional vintner and a stor...

Credit: Courtesy of ALAN KOZLOWSKI 2010

Above: Jeff Bridges, actor, musician, photographer, an occasional vintner and a storyteller

Called "the most natural and least self-conscious screen actor that has ever lived" by über-critic Pauline Kael, Jeff Bridges has been plying his craft most of his life. With a first role as an infant in his mother Dorothy's arms and a childhood television debut in his father Lloyd's television series "Sea Hunt," he burst onto the silver screen in "The Last Picture Show" in 1971 and was immediately recognized with a Best Supporting Actor nomination.

He has created original and memorable characters in notable films since that time. To name but a few -- "Heaven's Gate," "Starman," "Jagged Edge," "The Fisher King," "Fearless," "Wild Bill," "The Fabulous Baker Boys," "The Big Lebowski," and his 2010 Oscar-winning best actor in "Crazy Heart."

He is an exceptional musician, an artist, a photographer, an occasional vintner and a story teller extraordinaire.

He helped found the End Hunger Network in 1983 and continues to work tirelessly to reach their goals. Known for taking on-set still photographs of cast and crew during all of his recent movies, Bridges puts together a book after wrapping, presents one to everyone and sells the rest to support End Hunger. He wrote about it in his 2006 volume "PICTURES." Bridges returns to the screen in 2011 with Tron Legacy and as Rooster Cogburn in the remake of "True Grit."

Preview: American Masters: Jeff Bridges: The Dude Abides

In this clip from "Jeff Bridges: The Dude Abides" airing nationally Wednesday, January 12, 2011. Bridges visits the shop in New York's Greenwich Village called The Little Lebowski dedicated to collector items for 'The Big Lebowski" and explains how he first got involved acting for the Coen Brothers.

Jeff Bridges Interview

How much of "The Dude" is still in Jeff Bridges? In this video, he talks about the surprising reasons why he agreed to be the subject of an "American Masters" documentary. "Jeff Bridges: The Dude Abides" airs nationally on Wednesday, January 12, 2011. (check local listings)

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