Laura Dern

Actor, Director, Writer
From the surreal world of David Lynch to the blockbuster prehistoric adventures of Steven Spielberg, Oscar-nominated actress Laura Dern created one of the most interesting and unusual careers of any actress in ... Read more »
Born: 02/10/1967 in Santa Monica, California, USA

Filmography

Actor (88)

99 Homes 2015 (Movie)

Lynn Nash (Actor)

Bravetown 2015 (Movie)

Annie (Actor)

Hollywood Film Awards 2014 - 2015 (TV Show)

Herself

Jimmy Kimmel Live 2014 (Tv Show)

Guest

Late Night with Seth Meyers 2014 (Tv Show)

Guest

The Fault in Our Stars 2014 (Movie)

Frannie (Actor)

When The Game Stands Tall 2014 (Movie)

Bev Ladouceur (Actor)

Wild 2014 (Movie)

Bobbi (Actor)

Enlightened 2011 - 2013 (TV Show)

Actor

Hart's Location 2013 (Movie)

(Actor)

Inside the Actors Studio 2013 (Tv Show)

Interviewee

The Master 2012 (Movie)

Helen Sullivan (Actor)

Everything Must Go 2011 (Movie)

Delilah (Actor)

Little Fockers 2010 (Movie)

Prudence (Actor)

Tenderness 2009 (Movie)

Aunt Teresa (Actor)

The 14th Annual Critics' Choice Awards 2008 - 2009 (TV Show)

Actor

The Late Show With David Letterman 2008 (Tv Show)

Guest

Lonely Hearts 2007 (Movie)

Rene Fodie (Actor)

The 2007 Film Independent's Spirit Awards 2006 - 2007 (TV Show)

Actor

Year of the Dog 2007 (Movie)

Bret (Actor)

Inland Empire 2006 (Movie)

Nikki Grace/Susan Blue (Actor)

Happy Endings 2005 (Movie)

Pam (Actor)

Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio 2005 (Movie)

Dortha Schaefer (Actor)

2004 IFP/Independent Spirit Awards 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

We Don't Live Here Anymore 2004 (Movie)

Terry Linden (Actor)

Intimate Portrait: Rosanna Arquette 2002 - 2003 (TV Show)

Actor

King of the Hill 2002 - 2003 (Tv Show)

Voice

Searching for Debra Winger 2002 - 2003 (TV Show)

Actor

The West Wing 2002 (Tv Show)

Actor

Equality Rocks 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

Focus 2001 (Movie)

Gertrude Hart (Actor)

I Am Sam 2001 (Movie)

Randy Carpenter (Actor)

Jurassic Park III 2001 (Movie)

Doctor Ellie Sattler (Actor)

Novocaine 2001 (Movie)

Jean Noble (Actor)

Shelley Winters: Full Disclosure 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

Daddy & Them 2000 (Movie)

Ruby Montgomery (Actor)

Dr. T And The Women 2000 (Movie)

Peggy (Actor)

Intimate Portrait: Mary Steenburgen 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

Fall in Love With a Stranger 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

October Sky 1999 (Movie)

Miss Reilly (Actor)

Storytime 1993 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

Blockbuster Entertainment Awards 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

Ellen 1996 - 1997 (Tv Show)

Actor

Fallen Angels 1992 - 1993, 1996 - 1997 (Tv Show)

Actor

The 54th Annual Golden Globe Awards 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

Citizen Ruth 1996 (Movie)

Ruth Stoops (Actor)

Family Film Awards 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

Ruby Ridge: An American Tragedy 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

American Heroes & Legends 1992 - 1995 (TV Show)

Narrator

Fourth Annual Environmental Media Awards 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

Frasier 1995 (Tv Show)

Actor

A Century of Women 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Voice

The 51st Annual Golden Globe Awards 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

The 66th Annual Academy Awards Presentation 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

A Perfect World 1993 (Movie)

Sally Gerber (Actor)

Jurassic Park 1993 (Movie)

Dr Ellie Sattler (Actor)

Rock the Vote 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

The 18th Annual People's Choice Awards 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

Rambling Rose 1991 (Movie)

Rose (Actor)

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Wild At Heart 1990 (Movie)

Lula Pace Fortune (Actor)

Fat Man and Little Boy 1989 (Movie)

Kathleen Robinson (Actor)

Haunted Summer 1988 (Movie)

Claire Clairmont (Actor)

Blue Velvet 1986 (Movie)

Sandy Williams (Actor)

Smooth Talk 1986 (Movie)

Connie (Actor)

Mask 1985 (Movie)

Diana (Actor)

Happy Endings (NBC) 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Actor

Teachers 1984 (Movie)

Diane (Actor)

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains 1981 (Movie)

Jessica McNeil (Actor)

Foxes 1980 (Movie)

Debbie (Actor)

A Season For Miracles (TV Show)

Actor

Afterburn (TV Show)

Actor

Bastard Out of Carolina (TV Show)

Voice

Damaged Care (TV Show)

Actor

Down Came a Blackbird (TV Show)

Actor

Drunk History (Tv Show)

Actor

Recount (TV Show)

Actor

The Baby Dance (TV Show)

Actor

The Real Ellen Story (TV Show)

Actor

Within These Walls (TV Show)

Actor
Director (2)

Call Me Crazy: A Five Film 2012 - 2013 (TV Show)

Director

The Gift 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Director
Producer (1)

Inland Empire 2006 (Movie)

(Co-Producer)

Biography

From the surreal world of David Lynch to the blockbuster prehistoric adventures of Steven Spielberg, Oscar-nominated actress Laura Dern created one of the most interesting and unusual careers of any actress in Hollywood. Her track record as a risk-taker and her dedication to well-written female characters on a journey of self-discovery in films like "Blue Velvet" (1986) and "Rambling Rose" (1991) often meant that her finest work was seen more often in art house cinemas. A growing public interest in upscale cable television movies such as "Afterburn" (HBO, 1992), "Down Came a Blackbird" (Showtime, 1995) and "Recount" (HBO, 2008) provided a second outlet for Dern's facile work with character dramas and dark comedy, leading to multiple Emmy nominations. Of course, Dern starred in major blockbusters like "Jurassic Park" (1993) and "Jurassic Park III" (2001), but she made her career in smaller films like "I Am Sam" (2001), "We Don't Live Here Anymore" (2004) and "Year of the Dog" (2007). The statuesque blonde with the respectable Hollywood pedigree could easily have sold out her sophisticated taste for a fulltime job brandishing weaponry in action thrillers, but she remained true to the offbeat, counterculture leanings of her famous parents, actors Diane Ladd and Bruce Dern. Adding to her list of indelible characters, Dern was the star of her own series, "Enlightened" (HBO. 2011- ), which earned her more acclaim and helped cement her status as one of Hollywood's most unique talents.

Relationships

Andrea Beckett

Step-Mother
Beckett married Bruce Dern in 1969

Bruce Dern Actor

Father
Born June 4, 1936; married to Diane Ladd from 1960-69; played the caretaker in "Silent Running" (1972) and Capt. Bob Hyde in "Coming Home" (1978)

Diane Dern

Sister
Born in November 1960 Drowned at age 18 months on May 18, 1962, five years before Laura was born

George Dern

Great-Grandfather

Jeff Goldblum Actor

Companion
Met while filming "Jurassic Park" (1993) Announced engagement in December 1994 Split two years later in 1996

Renny Harlin Actor

Companion
Harlin produced "Rambling Rose" (1991), which starred Dern

Ben Harper Actor

Husband
Engaged in August 2004 Married Dec. 23, 2005 after dating for five years Harper filed for divorce in October 2010; briefly reconciled until Dern re-activated divorce filing July 6, 2012

Jaya Harper

Daughter
Born Nov. 28, 2004; father, Ben Harper

Ellery Harper

Son
Born Aug. 21, 2001; father, Ben Harper

Robert Hunter

Step-Father
Hunter married Diane Ladd in February 1999

Diane Ladd Actor

Mother
Born Nov. 29, 1932; married to Bruce Dern from 1960-69; nominated for an Oscar for her role as Flo in "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore" (1974) Appeared with daughter in "Wild at Heart" (1990) Mother and daughter both received Oscar nominations for "Rambling Rose" (1991)

Mary Lanier Actor

Grandmother

Kyle MacLachlan Actor

Companion
Met while filming "Blue Velvet" (1986) Together from 1985-89

Archibald MacLeish Actor

Great-Uncle

Vincent Spano Actor

Companion
Met while filming the HBO movie "Afterburn" (1992) No longer together

Billy Bob Thornton Actor

Companion
Began dating in March 1997 Announced plans to marry in 1999 Thornton abruptly ended their relationship by marrying Angelina Jolie in Las Vegas on May 5, 2000

Tennessee Williams Actor

Great-Cousin

Treat Williams Actor

Companion
Met while filming "Smooth Talk" (1985) No longer together

Tennessee Williams

Great-Cousin

Shelley Winters Actor

Godmother

EDUCATION

University of Southern California

Los Angeles , California
Completed one semester before filming "Blue Velvet" (1986)

Studied acting with Peggy Feury

Harvard University

Cambridge , Massachusetts
Attended the summer acting workshop

Royal Academy of Dramatic Art

London , England
Attended the summer program at age 16

The Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute

Los Angeles , California
Began studying at age nine

Studied acting with Sandra Seacat

University of California, Los Angeles

Los Angeles , California
Dropped out after two days when she landed role in "Smooth Talk" (1985)

Milestones

2012

Appeared in Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master"

2011

Starred on HBO's "Enlightened" as a corporate executive who winds up in a mental health treatment center after a nervous breakdown

2010

Joined the ensemble cast of "Little Fockers," opposite Ben Stiller, Robert De Niro, and Dustin Hoffman

2008

Portrayed controversial Florida politician Katherine Harris in the HBO movie "Recount"; earned Emmy and SAG nominations for Best Actress in a TV-Movie

2007

Played Molly Shannon's know-it-all sister-in-law in "Year of the Dog"

2006

Reteamed with Lynch to star in "Inland Empire"

2005

Co-starred in "Happy Endings," a comedic drama about the ups and downs of relationships

2005

Appeared in the drama "The Prize Winner of Defiance Ohio" opposite Julianne Moore

2004

Co-starred with Mark Ruffalo, Peter Krause and Naomi Watts in "We Don't Live Here Anymore"

2002

Cast as a doctor who takes on HMOs in the Showtime movie "Damaged Care"

2001

Acted with then-boyfriend Billy Bob Thornton in "Daddy and Them"; written and directed by Thornton

1999

Played a teacher opposite Jake Gyllenhaal and Chris Cooper in Joe Johnston's "October Sky"

1998

Offered a critically acclaimed performance in Showtime's "The Baby Dance"; produced by Jodie Foster; earned a Golden Globe nomination

1997

Received an Emmy nomination for her guest role as a lesbian who coaxes Ellen DeGeneres out of the closet in the famous "Puppy Episode" of the ABC series "Ellen"

1996

Acted the part of Vicki Weaver in "Ruby Ridge: An American Tragedy" (CBS)

1996

Portrayed an irresponsible and drug abusing pregnant woman in Alexander Payne's directorial debut "Citizen Ruth"; Diane Ladd makes a cameo appearance as Dern's mother

1995

Executive produced (and acted in) Showtime's "Down Came a Blackbird"

1994

Directorial debut, "The Gift"; also starred with Diane Ladd and Isabella Rossellini; broadcast as a presentation of Showtime's Directed By series

1993

Portrayed a criminologist assisting in the tracking of a pair of escaped convicts in the Clint Eastwood-directed "A Perfect World"

1993

Cast as a woman who falls in love with a man who may be a murderer on the Showtime series "Fallen Angels"; received an Emmy nomination

1993

Cast as a paleontologist in Steven Spielberg's blockbuster feature "Jurassic Park"

1992

Received an Emmy nomination for her performance as the widow of an Air Force pilot in the HBO film "Afterburn"

1991

Starred as a pure-hearted nymphomaniac in Martha Coolidge's "Rambling Rose"; earned first Best Actress Academy Award nomination; also earned a Golden Globe nomination

1990

Played a chain-smoking floozy in Lynch's "Wild at Heart"; onscreen mom played by her real-life mother Diane Ladd

1988

Made New York stage debut opposite then-boyfriend Kyle MacLachlan in the off-Broadway production "The Palace of Amateurs"

1988

Reteamed with Stoltz for the forced and disappointing "Haunted Summer"

1986

First collaboration with director David Lynch, "Blue Velvet"

1985

Attracted attention as Eric Stoltz's blind girlfriend in Peter Bogdanovich's "Mask"

1985

Offered an impressive performance as a sexually curious teenager in her first leading role in Joyce Chopra's "Smooth Talk"

1984

Played a young student opposite Nick Nolte in "Teachers"

1983

TV-movie debut, "Happy Endings" (NBC)

1980

Played bit part as an irksome party crasher in Adrian Lyne's "Foxes"

1974

Made a brief appearance in Martin Scorsese's "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore"

1974

Returned to Los Angeles with her mother

1973

First feature film credit was an extra in "White Lightning"

1972

Made TV debut on the CBS soap opera "The Secret Storm"; her mother played a regular on the series

1970

Moved to New York for three years when her mother Diane Ladd remarried

Raised by mother and grandmother after parents' divorce

Petitioned to become an emancipated minor so she could work adult hours

Bonus Trivia

.

"I feel children of actors are either destined to be in show business or to be so far out of it that they never even want to see a movie." – Dern to the Calgary Sun, Oct. 27, 2000

.

"When I was seven, I spent my summer vacation with my parents, who were each working on movies. I was watching Hitchcock and Scorsese direct actors, and all those sets were about: use what exists, try stuff, improvise, do whatever, don't worry about the script. It was all that energy." – Dern on why she became an actor to Movieline's Hollywood Life, July/August 2004

.

"We're questioning whether we should alter ourselves. I'm supposed to be an actor and be honest and authentic. I'm not supposed to look a certain way." – Dern on Hollywood's obsession with youth to Interview Magazine, August 2004

.

"Quite often I play a character with a sense of purity who is traveling through a darker world." – Dern quoted in Buzz magazine, September 1991

.

"Eventually, through my love of the work and as a result of growing up a little bit more, I learned what my parents had known for a long time, which is that what actors do is quite extraordinary. As an actor, you can take experiences in your life and qualities in your nature and use them to explore and learn about both yourself and other people. The only other career I can think of that I might possibly find equally exciting is that of a child therapist or psychologist. It's really the same kind of job, in a way, figuring out why we do what we do." – Dern quoted in Buzz magazine, September 1991

.

"More than just tall, she's startlingly elongated. Everything about her, her legs, waist, neck is so sinewy, so luxuriously stretched out, that at times she has the absurd, towering aura of Alice in Wonderland just after drinking that potion. What's special about Dern is the way her face and her spirit matches that outsize body. There's a rangy, expressive simplicity to her features. Her eyes are so bright and direct they're almost stylized, and her mouth is a geometric wonder: When she grins, it tilts her whole face heavenward, and when she cries, it contorts into a tragedy mask's gaping, upside down smile, an expression of unadulterated sorrow. No young actress today can play emotionally hungry post adolescents with such purity and yearning." – Owen Gleiberman on Laura Dern in Entertainment Weekly, Oct. 11, 1991

.

In 1992, Dern and Diane Ladd became the first mother and daughter to be nominated for an Academy Award for acting in the same film, "Rambling Rose" (1991). They, however, did not play mother and daughter in the film.

.

"With each character I play, if I can understand something of their sexuality, then I know what drives their fears." – Dern quoted in Interview magazine, December 1996

.

"The problem is, once you've succeeded in proving you can do something really different, they reward you by offering you the same role again. I just want to keep going somewhere I haven't gone before. But it's not like, now that I've played the homeless huffer in 'Citizen Ruth' that I need to play the elitist heiress in Paris, although that doesn't sound bad. Mainly, I like to play women who conquer their own demons, who learn to become themselves against all odds. That's my recurring theme: people who find their own voice." – Dern to the Daily News, Feb. 14, 1999

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