Comedian Steve Bridges, a longtime Clayton resident and well-known impersonator best known for mimicking former President George W. Bush on "The Tonight Show," died suddenly at his Los Angeles home Saturday after returning from a tour in China.
Bridges, 48, spent much of his childhood in Clayton and attended Berean Christian High School in Concord. He was born in Dallas on May 22, 1963.
"It was a shock to all of us. He had been traveling, doing shows in Hong Kong and then to China," Phillip Bridges, his older brother, said Monday. "He was tired. He had been on the road. But he was doing great. He was in great health."
Steve Bridges garnered national attention for lampooning prominent political figures, including former President Bill Clinton, former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and President Barack Obama.
A regular on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," he was invited to the White House to meet Bush in 2003, and appeared alongside the chief executive at the 2006 White House Correspondents' Association dinner. Among his appearances as Bush were during singer Barbra Streisand's 2006 tour.
"I try to become that person in a funny way," Bridges told the Washington Post in 2006. He also described undergoing a process lasting more than two hours to have makeup and prosthetics applied to complete the illusion.
Bridges showed a knack for impersonation from an early age, cracking up his siblings with impressions of 1980s movie stars and practically anything he saw on television.
"It all started in the back seat of our Volkswagen," Phillip Bridges said. "He and I doing 'The Three Stooges.' "
The Los Angeles County coroner plans an autopsy, but does not suspect foul play, family said. They say he died from natural causes.
His housekeeper found him Saturday morning, apparently asleep on the couch. He did not respond when she tried to wake him, Phillip Bridges said.
Besides Phillip, Bridges is survived by his parents, Tom and Margaret Bridges; another brother, Jon; and a sister, Elizabeth Bridges, all of Clayton.
The Los Angeles Times contributed to this report.