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Jeff Bridges says he came 'close to dying' from COVID-19 amid cancer battle

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Jeff Bridges says he came 'close to dying' from COVID-19 amid cancer battle
Jeff Bridges recalled how he survived COVID-19 after undergoing chemotherapy for non-Hodgkin lymphoma. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

May 26 (UPI) -- Jeff Bridges says he came "pretty close to dying" from COVID-19 amid his battle with cancer.

The 72-year-old actor recalled in the June 6 issue of People how he survived COVID-19 after undergoing chemotherapy for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

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Bridges announced in October 2020 that he was diagnosed with lymphoma.

In the new interview, Bridges said he had chemotherapy by infusion and oral chemo to treat his tumor, which weakened his immune system. The actor then tested positive for COVID-19 in January 2021.

"I had no defenses. That's what chemo does -- it strips you of all your immune system. I had nothing to fight it," he said. "COVID made my cancer look like nothing."

Bridges spent nearly five weeks in the hospital as he fought the virus.

"I was pretty close to dying. The doctors kept telling me, 'Jeff, you've got to fight. You're not fighting,'" he said. "I was in surrender mode. I was ready to go. I was dancing with my mortality."

Bridges received convalescent plasma as part of his treatment and "started taking baby steps" toward his recovery. The actor has now recovered and is working on a new FX series, The Old Man.

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Bridges announced in September 2021 that he was in remission from cancer. He mentioned his COVID-19 battle at the time, saying he was now "double vaccinated and feeling much better."

The Old Man is based on the Thomas Perry novel of the same name. The series also stars John Lithgow, Amy Brenneman, Alia Shawkat and Gbenga Akinnagbe, and will premiere June 16 on FX.

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