Feb. 10th, 1967
Los Angeles, California, USA
5' 10 1/2"
Laura Dern's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles2010 - Little Fockers
2009 - Tenderness
2006 - Lonely Hearts
2006 - Inland Empire
2004 - We Don't Live Here Anymore
2001 - Jurassic Park III
2001 - I am Sam
2001 - Novocaine
2001 - Daddy and Them
1999 - October Sky
1996 - Citizen Ruth
1993 - Jurassic Park
1993 - A Perfect World
1991 - Rambling Rose
1990 - Wild at Heart
1989 - Fat Man and Little Boy
1988 - Haunted Summer
1987 - Predator: The Concert
1986 - Blue Velvet
1985 - Mask
1984 - Teachers
1982 - Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains
1980 - Foxes
1974 - Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore
1973 - White Lightning
Guest TV Roles
U.S. Poet Laureate Tabatha Fortis
Laura Dern was born on February 10, 1967 into a moviemaking family - her father is Bruce Dern and her mother is 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 (1981) 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 (I)'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.
The following year, Dern starred in Rambling Rose (1991), which would become her signature performance, as a sexually-precocious, free-spirited young housemaid in the South in the 1930s. Dern earned an Oscar nomination for her performance, and so did her mother and co-star, Diane Ladd. Dern continues to win prominent roles on the big screen, often in smaller, highly-regarded human dramas such as October Sky (1999), I Am Sam (2001) and We Don't Live Here Anymore (2004), although she is perhaps most widely known for her repeat role as Ellie Sattler in the summer adventure movies Jurassic Park (1993) and Jurassic Park III (2001), or for her guest performance on "Ellen" (1994), as the woman to whom Ellen finally comes out as a lesbian.
Dern's pre-teen gawkiness matured into lithe beauty, but this doesn't prevent Dern from fearlessly throwing herself into a wide variety of roles which are sometimes unflattering, an excellent example being her unflinchingly comic portrayal of an intensely annoying loser whose pregnancy becomes a social and political football in Citizen Ruth (1996). This results in Dern being one of the most interesting actors working in Hollywood today.
Having previously dated such Hollywood talent as Treat Williams, Renny Harlin, Kyle MacLachlan, Jeff Goldblum and Billy Bob Thornton, Dern eventually married musician Ben Harper (II) in 2005. Early in her career, Dern was roommate to Marianne Williamson, the spirituality guru. Dern attended two days of college at UCLA and one semester at USC.
- Granddaughter of 'Mary Lanier' (qv)
- (21 August 2001) Welcomed first child, son Ellery Walker, with boyfriend 'Ben Harper (II)' (qv) in Los Angeles.
- Hers and her mother's ('Diane Ladd' (qv)) Oscar nominations for _Rambling Rose (1991)_ (qv) mark the first time a mother and daughter ever received Oscar nominations for the same movie.
- When she was cast in _Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains (1981)_ (qv) at the age of 13, her mother 'Diane Ladd' (qv) 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 wasn't a hit.
- Played daughter to real-life mother 'Diane Ladd' (qv) in 4 movies: _Citizen Ruth (1996)_ (qv), _Daddy and Them (2001)_ (qv), _Wild at Heart (1990)_ (qv) and _White Lightning (1973)_ (qv).
- She said that her idols are 'Katharine Hepburn' (qv), 'Barbara Stanwyck' (qv), and 'Lucille Ball' (qv).
- Has starred in two films titled "Happy Endings", one a television film in 1983 and the other an independent film in 2005.
- Once engaged to 'Billy Bob Thornton' (qv).