Jeff Bridges' character 'The Dude' from "The Big Lebowski" was inspired by a guy named Jeff Dowdand he's been going through some major health problems over the past couple months.

Jeff is 69. He had a double hernia surgery in February, and there were some complications, including a bad infection, which led to his kidneys not working and him being unable to digest food. He spent a week in ICU, and almost died.

Fortunately, he's on the mend now. But the medical bills have depleted his bank account, and a GoFundMe has been set up for him, with a goal of $25,000.

Last we checked, it had raised more than $5,800. (Just $5,800? Where's the money, Lebowski!)

Jeff worked with the Coen Brothers' on their first movie "Blood Simple", and 14 years later, they based "The Big Lebowski" loosely on him.

By the way, Jeff's real nickname IS 'The Dude.' He got the nickname back in the sixth grade from a few friends, and it stuck.


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