Dorothy Bridges Cause of Death: A Tribute to the Matriarch of a Hollywood Dynasty

Dorothy Bridges was an actress, poet, and the wife of the legendary actor Lloyd Bridges. She was also the mother of two Oscar-nominated actors, Beau Bridges and Jeff Bridges, and the grandmother of Jordan Bridges, who followed in the family’s footsteps. Dorothy Bridges passed away on February 16, 2009, at the age of 93, in the same home where she and her husband raised their children. What was the cause of her death and how did she live her life? Here is a tribute to the matriarch of a Hollywood dynasty.

A Love Story That Lasted 60 Years

Dorothy Bridges was born Dorothy Louise Simpson on September 19, 1915, in Worcester, Massachusetts. 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.

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 on October 15, 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 and her husband moved to New York City, where they continued to pursue their acting studies and careers. Dorothy and Lloyd Bridges both studied under the acting teacher Michael Chekhov. They returned to Hollywood in the early 1940s when Lloyd Bridges was signed to Columbia Pictures.

A Prolific Writer and Poet

Dorothy Bridges was a prolific writer and poet for more than 50 years. She had performed her poetry at the Hollywood Bowl (for Bob Hope). In 2005, at age 89, she published the book “You Caught Me Kissing”, which detailed the great love story between Dorothy and Lloyd through the collection of poems and valentines she wrote for him each year. After his passing in March 1998, she continued to write him poems.

Barbra Streisand was a fan of the book: “Dorothy is delicious — her poems are like her … warm, funny, sexy, deep and very loving. How lucky her children are — to have learned how to love.”

Dorothy Bridges also introduced her children 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, later said 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.”

A Supporting Actress and a Supportive Mother

Dorothy 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. She 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 was a supportive mother who encouraged her children to pursue their dreams. She was proud of their achievements and attended many of their premieres and award ceremonies. She was also a loving grandmother who enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren.

Dorothy Bridges was a philanthropist who participated in many charity events to help raise funds for worthy causes. She championed Heal the Bay, Whales Alive, Earthtrust, the Environmental Defense Fund, the Wilderness Society, Sierra Club and American Oceans Campaign, among others.

A Peaceful Passing

Dorothy Bridges died of “age-related causes” in Holmby Hills, Los Angeles on February 16, 2009, in the same home where she and her husband raised their children. Her son, Jeff Bridges, called her the “hub” of their family in an interview with the Los Angeles Times following her death. She was survived by her brother Frederick Simpson, Jr.; sons, Beau Bridges and Jeff Bridges; and her daughter, Lucinda.

A private memorial service for family and friends was held on March 7, 2009. In lieu of flowers, the family asked that donations be sent in her memory to any of the organizations she supported.

Dorothy Bridges was a remarkable woman who lived a full and rich life. She was a devoted wife, a caring mother, a talented writer, and a generous soul. She left behind a legacy of love and creativity that will continue to inspire generations to come.

Doms Desk

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