Jeff Bridges wins best actor Oscar in "Crazy Heart"

Sun Mar 7, 2010 11:53pm EST
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Jeff Bridges won a best actor Oscar on Sunday, his first ever Academy Award, for his role in "Crazy Heart" as a drunken country singer who finds redemption.

Bridges, the brother of Beau Bridges and the son of screen star Lloyd Bridges, was previously nominated for an Oscar four times but had never walked away with the award.

"Thank you Mom and Dad for turning me on to such a groovy profession," Bridges said after whooping in joy, pumping his golden statuette in the air.

Bridges told the Kodak Theater audience how his father had taught him the basics of acting, while his mother egged him on to entertain guests at parties.

"They loved showbiz so much, I feel an extension of them. This is honoring them as much as it is me."

Bridges is known for his naturalistic style and for often playing rambling and unpredictable characters, and he has long been considered an underappreciated actor.

In "Crazy Heart," Bridges played country singer Bad Blake, who is a heavy drinker and has been relegated to playing in small bars and even a bowling alley.

He wrestles to gain control of his life after falling for a journalist and single mother, played by Maggie Gyllenhaal.

Bridges, 60, did his own singing for the role, putting his lesser known musical abilities front and center to give voice to the fictional, down-on-his-luck country star.   Continued...

<p>Actor Jeff Bridges celebrates after he won best actor for his role in "Crazy Heart" during the 82nd Academy Awards in Hollywood, March 7, 2010. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn</p>