Five-time Oscar nominee and sentimental favorite
Bridges beat out fellow nominees George Clooney ("Up in the Air"), Colin Firth ("A Single Man"), Morgan Freeman ("Invictus") and Jeremy Renner ("The Hurt Locker") for the long-awaited honor, presented by Kate Winslet.
In front of a standing ovation from the Kodak Theatre audience, Bridges' acceptance speech focused on the influence his parents, actors Lloyd and Dorothy Bridges, had on his career.
"Thank you, Mom and Dad, for getting me into such a groovy profession," he said. "My dad and mom loved show business so much. I remember my mom getting all the kids together to entertain at parties and my dad sitting me on my bed and teaching me all the basics of acting. They loved show business so much. I feel like an extension of them. This is honoring them as much as honoring me."
Bridges' previous nominations include Best Actor for 1984's "Starman" and Best Actor in a Supporting Role for 2000's "The Contender," 1974's "Thunderbolt and Lightfoot" and 1971's "The Last Picture Show."
Before accepting his Best Actor award, Bridges' "The Fabulous Baker Boys" co-star Michelle Pfeiffer offered her own praise for the beloved actor. "I saw that you can have a career and a strong marriage and a family and manage to turn out, year after year, great performances like we saw as 'Crazy Heart' 's Bad Blake," she said. "An amazing human being, Jeff Bridges has created not only a life we can respect and aspire to, but the performance of a lifetime."
Relive all the best moments from the 2010 Academy Awards with photos, interviews, blogs, post-show analysis and more, right here at MTV News.