Actor Jeff Bridges and his wife Susan recently celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary, and the occasion comes at a remarkable time in their lives.
The star has a hit on his hands thanks to "The Old Man" on FX, and a show of photographs by Susan Bridges has earned terrific reviews.
It was while talking with Jeff Bridges before the launch of his show that I learned of the exhibit featuring Susan Bridges' work, shot more than 40 years ago.
Jeff said he was "just so happy" her work was finally being shown publicly, especially since both share a passion for photography.
One is a photo of the 19th century -- brought to life in the 20th century -- for a movie called "Heaven's Gate."
"I was in the right place at the right time," Susan said. "Jeff had been cast in 'Heaven's Gate,' and I came along."
Encouraged by the film's cinematographer, Vilmos Zsigmond, Susan took pictures for six months, of her husband, his parents, and his co-stars.
"It brings you back instantly to that time, and the experience," Jeff said. "So that's wonderful."
The couple had met just a few years before, a moment recorded in a photo that was to be the first of so many.
"It's been important to us, I think, to share the photographing," Susan said.
The shared hobby has brought them to the historic Livingston Depot Center near their Montana home. Jeff is behind the camera as Susan revisits her images from the earliest days of their marriage.
"We still take photographs, and he still tells me how to do it, and then I have to do it my own way," she said.
Her husband is "The Old Man" on FX, a series interrupted by COVID and Jeff's cancer diagnosis, challenges that beg the question if photographs also offer them comfort.
"They do because we, Jeff and I, have such a long history together, and I have documentation of a lot of that history," she said. "And when he was sick, just to be able to look at the photographs and remember the great life that we had, and still have together, was really wonderful."
What was wonderful for me was to bear witness to the pride these two have in each other's work, and how photography has made their bond even closer.
"The Old Man" airs Thursdays on FX and streams on Hulu. Both are owned by Disney, the parent company of this ABC station.