- Jeff Bridges and Susan Geston met on the set of Rancho Deluxe in 1975.
- The two had a very brief engagement before tying the knot in 1977.
- The couple has three daughters together.
Although Jeff Bridges, 69, and his wife, Susan Geston, 66, have been happily married for 41 years, there was once a time when the actor was terrified of commitment. "I don’t know how it is for women or for other guys, but when I was young and in my 20s, I had a fear of marriage," he wrote in back in 2006. "I thought it was a giant step toward death. So I did everything in my power to resist it—the idea was frightening to me, man."
Those were his feelings, at least, until he came across his future spouse Susan, and he remembers that memorable moment like it was yesterday. He even carries a special photo of her from that day, which was captured the very first time they met.
Fargo, North Dakota native Susan was in Paradise Valley, Montana waiting tables to pay for college while Jeff was there to film scenes for the 1975 movie Rancho Deluxe. He saw her working and knew he had to ask her out. "I knew I was madly in love with my wife the minute I saw her," Jeff told .
When Jeff, then 24, finally suggested the two go on a date, Susan, then 20, quickly said no—but luckily, the two just happened to run into each other a few nights later. They spent the night dancing and hit it off. After filming wrapped, she moved back to California with Jeff.
Despite his immediate infatuation, marriage didn't follow for many years. "It was love at first sight, but getting to the altar was so tough," he said. But when Susan gave him an ultimatum (she wanted to get married and start a family), he knew he didn't want to lose her.
"I said, 'Oh God, I can't let this woman go,'" Jeff told . "I had this vision of an old guy thinking there was this girl from Montana, man, why didn't I marry her." They were married just five days after he proposed on June 5, 1977.
While it required a leap of faith, it all worked out. "What you don't know until you get married is that you think all the other doors close, which is true, but this doorway you open [with marriage] is a hallway lined with all these other brilliant doors—kids, deeper intimacy, adventures, and everything else," Jeff said. After four decades of marriage, the couple has three daughters, Isabelle, 37, Jessica, 35, and Haley, 33. They've also worked on 50 movies together, according to the .
"My marriage just gets better and better every year," Jeff said. But that doesn't mean it was always easy. The pair used to fight often, but eventually developed a simple solution for improving their communication. They chat often about what's bothering them—letting the other talk until they've finished with no interruptions, according to .
Of course, despite a long career in Hollywood, Jeff doesn't want his marriage to pan out like most celebrity unions do. Cheating and divorce just isn't for him, he says. "If you change partners every time it gets tough or you get a little dissatisfied, then you don't get the richness that's available in a long-term relationship," he said. "My wife supports me and it makes me love her more."