Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Steve Bridges R.I.P.

Steve Bridges, Impersonator of Presidents, Dies at 48
Published: March 6, 2012

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Steve Bridges, an impressionist who used prosthetics and wigs in mimicking presidents, particularly George W. Bush, who twice joined him onstage in Washington, was found dead at his home here on Saturday. He was 48.

A maid found his body on Saturday morning, his manager, Randy Nolen, said Monday. Craig Harvey of the Los Angeles County coroner’s office said the death appeared to be of natural causes, adding that an autopsy would be conducted.

Mr. Bridges’s impression of George W. Bush made him a regular on “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” during the Bush administration. In 2003 he was invited to the White House, and in 2006 the president joined him in a comic routine at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner in Washington and at a Ford’s Theater benefit.

Mr. Bush called Mr. Bridges’s brother Phillip on Monday and offered condolences, Mr. Nolen said.

Mr. Bridges also did impressions of Presidents Obama and Bill Clinton.

The makeup and prosthetics used for his Bush and Clinton routines were designed by Kevin Haney, who won an Academy Award for aging Dan Aykroyd in “Driving Miss Daisy.” The Obama prosthetics were created by Kazu Tsuji, who designed Jim Carrey’s Grinch in “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” Mari Enyart was Mr. Bridges’s makeup artist.

“From the neck up, everything but his teeth was covered in a prosthetic piece of some sort,” Mr. Nolen said, adding that it had taken nearly four hours to apply the Obama makeup and nearly three hours to do Mr. Bush and Mr. Clinton.

Mr. Bridges would sometimes do shows without makeup, titled “Steve as Steve,” relying only on his many voice impersonations, including those of Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Tom Brokaw and all the presidents from John F. Kennedy to Mr. Obama.

Mr. Bridges was born in Dallas. He is survived by his parents, Thomas and Margaret Bridges; his brothers, Phillip and Jon; and a sister, Elizabeth Bridges.

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