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Meet The Real Life Dude From ‘The Big Lebowski’

The Coen Brothers have always been upfront with the fact that ‘The Dude’ from ‘The Big Lebowski’ is based on their friend Jeff Dowd. This short documentary from Jeff Feurzeig takes a closer look at this dude behind “The Dude.”

In it, we that learn that Dowd led a pretty interesting life before becoming the most lazy man in Los Angeles if not the world. Just like his film version, he was a student activist who protested the Vietnam War as part of the notorious Seattle 7. Dowd ended up spending a year in a Federal penitentiary for his activities with The Seven, and when he got out of jail he went into the production and promotion of independent film, which is how he met the Coens. During that time period Dowd also aided Robert Redford in the founding of the Sundance Institute.

These days, Dowd is more than happy to be associated with ‘The Big Lebowski’ and loves attending Lebowski-fest, the annual fan convention for all things “Dude” where Dowd bowls and rub shoulders with folks dressed up as Walter Sobchak, Jesus Quintana and, of course, The Dude.

We also learn that Dowd ends his cellphone conversations with “the dude abides.” Yup, he’s the dude alright.

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