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Birth Name: Laura Elizabeth Dern
Date of Birth: February 10, 1967
Place of Birth: Los Angeles, California, USA
Height: 5' 10"
Best Known For: Blue Velvet, Rambling Rose and Jurassic Park
|Laura Dern Biography
Laura Dern was born on February 10, 1967, in Los Angeles, California. She is the daughter of of actors Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd and the great-granddaughter of former Utah governor George H. Dern. Dern's parents also had a daughter who was born in 1961, but she drowned at the age of 18 months. Dern's parents divorced when she was 2 years old and Dern lost contact with her father for several years as a result.
Dern's acting career began when she was a young girl in 1973. She appeared in the Burt Reynolds crime drama White Lightning, and then in Martin Scorsese's Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore the following year. Dern was not credited for either of these roles. Her first official role, credits and all, was in the 1980 drama Foxes starring Jodie Foster.
After a few more bit parts, Dern caught some recognition for her role as a pregnant teenager in 1984's Teachers. The following year, she was applauded for her performance as a blind girl in love with a disfigured man in Mask. In 1986, Dern landed her breakout role in David Lynch's Blue Velvet, alongside Isabella Rossellini, Kyle MacLachlan and Dennis Hopper. Dern then appeared in a handful of disappointing films before teaming up with Lynch again in 1990, playing the lead female role opposite Nicolas Cage, in the The Wizard of Oz like film Wild at Heart.
In 1991, Dern landed her next big role playing the lead in Rambling Rose, a film about a woman who is taken in by a family to serve as a housemaid in the 1930s. Dern's mother, Diane Ladd, also appeared in the film and she and Dern were the first and only mother and daughter to both win Academy Award nominations for the same film (Dern for Best Actress, Diane for Best Supporting Actress).
In 1993, Dern won a lead role in Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park, playing Dr. Ellie Sattler opposite Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum, whom she later dated and was engaged to for two years. She reprised her role in the third installment of the Jurassic Park series in 2001. Also in 1993, Dern appeared with Clint Eastwood and Kevin Costner in the film A Perfect World, which was also directed by Eastwood.
Dern's next notable role came in 1996, when she played a pregnant drug addict torn between protests from pro-choice and pro-life movements in Citizen Ruth. Dern took on fewer projects in the following years, most of which were easily forgotten. In 1999, she returned to the spotlight after appearing in October Sky with Chris Cooper and Jake Gyllenhaal. The following year, Dern was part of the all-star ensemble in Dr. T & the Women.
In 2001, Dern was seen in Daddy and Them alongside her mother and future flame, Billy Bob Thorton. Dern became engaged to Thorton after some time together, though the couple never married, because Thorton left Dern abruptly and married Angelina Jolie. Dern next played Steve Martin's girlfriend in that year's Novocaine which also featured Helena Bonham Carter. That same year, she was seen opposite William H. Macy in Focus, and had a part in the award-winning film I Am Sam, with Sean Penn.
Dern then took some time off from film to give birth to her first child, Ellery Walker (b. August 21, 2001), with Ben Harper. She returned to acting in 2004, in the independent drama We Don't Live Here Anymore. She was then seen in Happy Endings as part of a lesbian couple. That same year, Dern gave birth to her second child with Ben Haper, a daughter, Jaya (b. November 28, 2004). Dern and Harper later married on December 23, 2005.In 2005, Dern starred with Julianne Moore and Woody Harrelson in The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio a film based on a true story, with Dern playing a prize-winning housewife. In 2006, Dern appeared alongside John Travolta, James Gandolfini, Salma Hayek and Jared Leto in the crime drama Lonely Hearts, and starred opposite Jeremy Irons in Inland Empire. In 2007, Dern is scheduled to appear in the drama The Year of the Dog with Molly Shannon, and in the drama Tenderness.
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