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Laura Dern (1967)

Laura Elizabeth Dern

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  Summary  

Laura Elizabeth Dern is an American actress, film director and producer. Dern has acted in such films as Smooth Talk , Blue Velvet , Fat Man and Little Boy , Wild at Heart , Jurassic Park and October Sky . She has won awards for her performance in the 1991 film Rambling Rose, for which she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role. She was awarded a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film for her portrayal of Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris in the film Recount . Dern currently stars in HBO's Enlightened, for which she has received a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy nomination.

  Biography  

 early life and career
Dern was born in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of actors Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd, and the great-granddaughter of former Utah governor and Secretary of War George Dern. Scottish-American poet, writer, and Librarian of Congress Archibald MacLeish was her great-uncle. Laura Dern's film debut was a cameo in her mother's film White Lightning . She also made a brief appearance in Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore , one of Ladd's signature roles. Her mother objected to her 13-year-old daughter's presence on the set of Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains, but Dern sued for emancipation.

In the mid-1980s she gained critical acclaim for roles in Mask, Blue Velvet and Wild at Heart. Dern's starring role in Blue Velvet was a breakthrough though her next notable film, Wild at Heart, took almost four years to be released. Dern's affiliation with Lynch has continued with her role in Inland Empire. In 1992, Dern and her mother became the first mother and daughter to be nominated for an Academy Award for acting in the same film in Rambling Rose. They did not play mother and daughter in the film. Dern starred as Dr. Ellie Sattler in Steven Spielberg's 1993 blockbuster Jurassic Park. That same year, Clint Eastwood enlisted the actress for his film A Perfect World. She also starred as Ruth in the 1996 satire Citizen Ruth, the directorial debut of Alexander Payne. In a reversal of roles, Dern's mother makes a cameo appearance, with Dern's character screaming a torrent of abuse at her. In 1997, Dern was featured in Widespread Panic's music video for their song, "Aunt Avis", which was directed by Dern's then boyfriend and future fiancé, Billy Bob Thornton. In 1998, Dern co-starred in the Jodie Foster's film The Baby Dance. While dating Thornton in 1999, she was cast as his love interest in his film Daddy and Them, which also includes Diane Ladd. Dern also appeared in Joe Johnston's film October Sky.

Robert Altman called upon Dern's talents to play a Champagne-loving Aunt in his Texas-based comedy Dr. T & the Women in 2000. She co-starred in Within These Walls, Arthur Miller's Focus, and Novocaine. She had a minor role in Jurassic Park III, and was a supporting actor in the film I Am Sam. She starred in the 2002 film Damaged Care and the 2004 film We Don't Live Here Anymore. Dern was part of the ensemble dramedy Happy Endings in 2005, and she appeared in the 2006 film The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio. In 2006, David Lynch and Dern reunited for Inland Empire and, also in 2006, Dern had a supporting role in Lonely Hearts. Mike White, known for writing School of Rock and The Good Girl, hired Dern for his directorial debut in 2007, the comedy titled Year of the Dog and starring Molly Shannon, John C. Reilly and Peter Sarsgaard, and in 2008 Dern starred in Recount for which she won a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress - Series, Miniseries or Television Film. Since then, Dern was seen in the independent 2009 drama Tenderness and, in 2010, she appeared in Little Fockers, playing an advanced school principal who dated Owen Wilson's character Kevin Rawley.

In an interview, Dern stated that she would reprise her role as Ellie Sattler for Jurassic Park IV.

Dern has done much work on television, most notably Afterburn, for which she received a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Mini-Series or Movie. She guest-starred on The West Wing, as a voice on King of the Hill and as a lesbian who coaxes Ellen DeGeneres out of the closet in the famous "The Puppy Episode" of the television series Ellen. On the April 24, 2007 airing of DeGeneres' talk show, Dern revealed she did not work for more than a year following her appearance in that episode because of resulting backlash, but nevertheless called it an "extraordinary experience and opportunity."

Dern has been acknowledged with several awards from the independent film industry including the Sundance Institute and was the subject of an aggressive media campaign by David Lynch to win her an Academy Award nomination for her work in Inland Empire. On November 1, 2010, she received the 2,420th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Her parents, Diane Ladd and Bruce Dern, were presented with stars too.

In October, 2011, Dern starred in a new HBO television series called Enlightened. Dern plays Amy Jellicoe, "a health and beauty executive who returns from a post-meltdown retreat to pick up the pieces of her broken life" with, among others, her mother, played by her real-life mother Ladd. Dern brought screenwriter Mike White back into television work after he had had an on-the-job meltdown of his own, and into the series' project. Jellicoe's Hawaiian retreat included introduction to meditation and the character tries to continue the discipline as she resumes her working life. Dern received a Golden Globe nomination for her role in the series.

Dern has also been cast in Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master along with Amy Adams and Philip Seymour Hoffman, set for release in 2012.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Laura Dern", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.