Laura Dern

Laura Dern

Actor
|
Life Story

Laura Dern was born on February 10, 1967 in Los Angeles, the daughter of actors Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd. Dern was exposed to movie sets and the movie industry from infancy, and obtained several bit parts as a child. Her parents divorced when Dern was two and Dern lost contact with her father for several years as a result.

Her parents' background and her own early taste of the moviemaking world soon convinced the young Dern to pursue acting herself. Like so many young actors, her decision may have been influenced by social awkwardness -- the child of 60s counterculture parents, she was steeped in Eastern mysticism and political radicalism, and was seen as an oddball by her more conservative classmates. Her gawky physical appearance didn't help - even before her teens, she had achieved most of her impressive 5' 10" height, was rail-skinny (other than precociously wide hips), had huge feet and a slouching posture, and for all this was often teased by classmates. Perhaps the nine-year-old Dern found refuge by studying acting at the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute.

The first success for the young Dern came in 1980, with a role in Adrian Lyne's Foxes (1980), a teen movie starring Jodie Foster. She followed this with several small parts, or parts in small movies, such as Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains (1982) and Teachers (1984), as a student who has an affair with a teacher. (Her mother objected to her active presence on movie sets at age thirteen, which required Dern to sue for emancipation so she could play her role in "The Fabulous Stains"). Her next roles, as the blind girl who befriends the deformed boy in Mask (1985), and as a teenaged girl whose sexual awakening collides with a mysterious older man in Smooth Talk (1985), gave her career an important boost. Dern appeared to have made it with a leading role in David Lynch's acclaimed Blue Velvet (1986), but it was four years before her next notable film, and this was the bizarre Wild at Heart (1990), also directed by Lynch.

Family

Ben Harper (23 December 2005 - 2013) ( 2 children)

Trivia

Born at 7:48am-PST
Daughter of Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd.
Once engaged to Billy Bob Thornton.
Once engaged to Jeff Goldblum for two years (1995-1997).
Had an elder sister, born in 1961, who drowned at the age of 18 months, years before Laura was born.
Granddaughter of Mary Lanier
When she was cast in Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains (1982) at age 13, her mother Diane Ladd refused to let her go, feeling she was too young to leave home for a movie shoot. Laura sued for emancipation and won, but the movie was not a hit.
She said that her idols are Katharine Hepburn, Barbara Stanwyck and Lucille Ball.
Hers and her mother's (Diane Ladd) Oscar nominations for Rambling Rose (1991) mark the first time a mother and daughter ever received Oscar nominations for the same movie.
Has played daughter to real-life mother Diane Ladd in four movies: White Lightning (1973), Wild at Heart (1990), Citizen Ruth (1996) and Daddy and Them (2001).
Both she and her mother, Diane Ladd, starred in two dinosaur-themed movies in 1993. Dern starred as Ellie Sattler in the box office smash Jurassic Park (1993), while Ladd starred in the failed indie film Carnosaur (1993).
Has starred in two films titled "Happy Endings", one a television film, Happy Endings (1983), and the other an independent film, Happy Endings (2005).
Goddaughter of the late Shelley Winters.
Her paternal great-grandfather, George Henry Dern, was Governor of Utah and Franklin D. Roosevelt's first Secretary of War. Her maternal cousin was playwright Tennessee Williams.

Personal Quotes 

It's really fun to act like a bimbo. But it's fun to act like a bimbo only when people know that you really aren't one.
I get so protective of David [Lynch], like an older sister or something, which is so absurd. He's not waiting for us to get the movie because he doesn't think the cinema is about 'getting it'. I think he believes - which I've found very rare in filmmakers - in the intelligence of the audience, that they're intelligent enough to discover the film and what it means within themselves.
(2011, on Enlightened (2011)) I worked with HBO on Recount, and we had a wonderful experience together. I'm such a fan of HBO and how much flexibility they give in character as well as schedule. Mike [White] and I had done his first directorial feature together, which was Year of the Dog, and really wanted to do more together. HBO had asked me if there were characters or things I really wanted to do, and I talked along the lines of things that inspired me. I talked about how aware all of us had become of our cultural apathy in this country, and I thought it would be really interesting to play a character who was a rager that somehow turned that into becoming a whistleblower, with Network-my favorite film-being an influence on that. People may think he's crazy, but he's the one person opening windows and saying, "I can't take it anymore!" From that place, with HBO's support and hope, and them wanting Mike to do something as well, they threw us in the ring together to see if he could create a vision around that idea. And from that came this story. It was a really cool, wonderful collaboration. Not only did Mike write the show, but he was able to go away as a screenwriter first to really write all the episodes. That's unheard of in television. We had the episodes first, and then we filmed them as a block, as we would a feature. That was an amazing way to do it, the way you'd pray you could do it, and it was great for us because we were working on films as well. Doing this, by the way, was like doing one movie for four months.

Filmography

Signup for Newsletter

Signup for the latest news about Movies & Events and exclusive offers.

Don't worry, we won't spam you. You will be able to unsubscribe with a single mouse click.
Subscribe for Our Whatsapp Updates

Which update you want to receive?