10 Greatest Roles of Jeff Bridges

As the actor hits theaters in 'Tron: Legacy' and 'True Grit', Peter Travers looks back on his top performances

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'The Big Lebowski' (1998)

Universal Home Entertainment

Like you thought I'd say anything else. All hail the Dude, played by Bridges in a performance that belongs in the acting time capsule, despite the cruel fact that he wasn't even nominated for an Oscar that year. Roberto Benigni won for the hateful Life Is Beautiful. Shame and double shame. The ponytailed, pot-bellied, pot-smoking Dude, real name Jeff Lebowski, mostly bowls with his buddies Walter (John Goodman) and Donny (Steve Buscemi) and sometimes Jesus (an unmissable John Turturro), a pervert in a hairnet. Then the Dude is mistaken for a gangster, also named Lebowski, and his adventures begin. Priceless moment: A hood pees on the Dude's rug, forcing its removal and saddening the Dude no end: "That rug really tied the room together."

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