|Born||Dorothy Louise Simpson
September 19, 1915
|Died||February 16, 2009
Los Angeles, California
|Other names||Dorothy Dean|
(m. 1938; d. 1998)
|Children||4, including Beau Bridges and Jeff Bridges|
Dorothy Louise Bridges (née Simpson; September 19, 1915 – February 16, 2009) was an American actress and poet. Bridges was the matriarch of an acting family, which included her late husband, Lloyd Bridges, her sons, Beau Bridges and Jeff Bridges, and her grandson, Jordan Bridges. Bridges was sometimes credited as Dorothy Dean.
Bridges was born Dorothy Louise Simpson in Worcester, Massachusetts, on September 19, 1915, to Louise Myles (1888–1969) and Frederick Walter Simpson (1886–1979). Her father was an immigrant from the United Kingdom, born and raised in Liverpool, England. Her mother was of Irish and Swiss-German ancestry. Her family moved to Los Angeles when she was two years old. Bridges made her film debut in the movie Finders Keepers.
She attended the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) where she met her future husband, Lloyd Bridges, while acting in a small theatrical play on campus. Lloyd Bridges, who was a UCLA upperclassman at the time, appeared in the production as her "leading man."
The couple married in 1938 in New York City. Dorothy and Lloyd Bridges remained married for 60 years, until he died in 1998 at the age of 85. They had four children: Beau Vernet, Garrett Myles, Jeffrey Leon, and Lucinda Louise. Garrett died of sudden infant death syndrome on August 3, 1948.
Bridges occasionally returned to acting throughout her life, often in roles where she was able to work with members of her family. She was sometimes credited as Dorothy Dean. She appeared in Sea Hunt, a television series which starred her husband. Bridges also appeared in The Thanksgiving Promise, a 1986 television movie directed by her son, Beau Bridges, and the 1989 film, See You in the Morning, which co-starred her son, Jeff Bridges. Dorothy Bridges credits also included the 1993 television movie, Secret Sins of the Father, which was directed by Beau Bridges, who cast other members of the Bridges family in main and supporting roles.
In addition to raising her children, Bridges also introduced them to the acting profession as their first drama teacher. She encouraged each of her children to "pretend" for an hour each day. Her son, Jeff Bridges, would later say that the playtime "pretend" games were "basically the basis of acting." Jeff Bridges notes that both his parents studied under Michael Chekhov and that "and a lot of things my mom learned with him were passed down to all of us." Two of Dorothy Bridges' sons, Jeff and Beau, and grandson, Jordan, ultimately became actors while her daughter, Lucinda, is an artist.
Bridges also wrote poetry, later publishing some of her work. She was known to write love poems to her husband every Valentine's Day during their 59-year marriage. Dorothy and Lloyd exchanged vows again for their 50th wedding anniversary.
Dorothy Bridges released her memoirs, You Caught Me Kissing: A Love Story, in 2005. Much of the book centered on her marriage to Lloyd Bridges. It included commentary from her children and family photos. Bridges was 89 years old at the time of the book's release.
She was survived by her brother Frederick Simpsons, Jr.; sons, Beau Bridges and Jeff Bridges; and her daughter, Lucinda. Her eleven grandchildren include actors Jordan Bridges, Casey, Dylan and Emily. She was also survived by two great-grandchildren Lola and Orson Bridges.
- "Actress Dorothy Bridges dies, Mother of Beau and Jeff Bridges was 93". Variety. 2009-02-20. Retrieved 2009-04-23.
- "Ancestry of the Bridges family". Retrieved 2014-04-04.
- McLellan, Dennis (2009-02-21). "Dorothy Bridges dies at 93; 'the hub' of an acting family". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-04-23.