Personal detailsName: Laura Dern
Born: 10 February 1967 (Age: 48)
Where: Los Angeles, California, USA
Height: 5' 10"
Awards: Won 3 Golden Globes, nominated for 1 Oscar
All about this star
It's often sad to see the children of stars attempt to follow in their illustrious forebears footsteps. It's so very hard to reach those heights, so disheartening to watch them struggle in vain. Yet occasionally, with a combination of talent, luck, perseverance (and, often, good connections) the kids come through. Nicolas Cage, for one, has made grand additions to the Coppola family cannon. And another who's made it against the odds, AND forged a serious and generally respected artistic career, is Laura Dern.
Laura Dern was born on February 10th, 1967, in Los Angeles. Her parents were both renowned actors Father Bruce, the finest seether in cinema history, is remembered well for They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, The Great Gatsby, and as the only villain to have killed John Wayne onscreen, while mother Diane Ladd appeared in such classics as Chinatown and Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore. Through these two, Laura is linked to an impressive family tree, and some of cinema's most memorable moments.
Bruce Dern hailed from Chicago, his family being big wheels in New Deal politics. His father was a law partner of Adlai Stevenson, while his grandfather, George, was the Secretary Of War under Franklin Roosevelt. Ladd, who grew up in Mississippi, was a cousin of Tennessee Williams, she and Bruce coincidentally meeting while in an off-Broadway production of Williams' Orpheus Descending, in 1960. They fell in love and moved to California, but soon suffered tragedy when their first child drowned in a swimming-pool, aged 19 months. It was a blow from which their marriage never really recovered. But they gave it a go, and conceived a second child, Laura, while starring together in Roger Corman's The Wild Angels - tagline: "Their credo is Violence, their god is Hate, they call themselves The Wild Angels", who wouldn't want parents like THAT? When Laura was born, the couple were filming TV show Castle Keep, written by Robert Altman who recalls them bringing the baby on to the set, using one of the drawers from their motel room as a makeshift crib.
Sadly, Bruce and Diane split when Laura was 2. She stayed with her mother, having little contact with Bruce till she began calling him when she was 8 (they're now very close). The small family lived for a while in Santa Monica, then three years in New York, then moved back to the Valley, Diane in the meantime remarrying. To begin with, Laura found it alienating to have just one parent but, as time went on, she found that fewer and fewer of her schoolmates retained two. Another strange, and thoroughly disturbing moment came when she was watching TV at age 5. There's Bette Davis, standing at the top of a staircase, clutching a hat-box.