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Bruce Dern

Bruce Dern

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Also Known As: Bruce Macleish Dern Died:
Born: June 4, 1936 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Winnetka, Illinois, USA Profession: actor, cab driver

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

An intense character actor who was frequently typecast as a psycho or villain, Bruce Dern started on television with credits on multiple Westerns. He scored film success with roles in Hitchcock's "Marnie" (1964), Bette Davis' "Hush Hush, Sweet Charlotte" (1964), and a string of projects with Roger Corman, including "The Wild Angels" (1966). A genre star, Dern was most recognizable for his committed turns in lower quality but vivid productions including the mad scientist film "The Incredible 2-Headed Transplant" (1971), the sci-fi proto-environmental picture "Silent Running" (1972), and the deranged mastermind behind a blimp bombing of the Super Bowl in "Black Sunday" (1977). Other notable film work included "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" (1969), "Support Your Local Sheriff!" (1969), and his infamous turn as a cattle rustler who kills John Wayne in "The Cowboys" (1972). He garnered award recognition as the spoiled Tom Buchanan in "The Great Gatsby" (1974) and as a disillusioned Vietnam vet in "Coming Home" (1978). The ex-husband of fellow actor Diane Ladd and the father of actress Laura Dern, he continued to book roles into later age, including a chilling turn as the domineering father of polygamist...

An intense character actor who was frequently typecast as a psycho or villain, Bruce Dern started on television with credits on multiple Westerns. He scored film success with roles in Hitchcock's "Marnie" (1964), Bette Davis' "Hush Hush, Sweet Charlotte" (1964), and a string of projects with Roger Corman, including "The Wild Angels" (1966). A genre star, Dern was most recognizable for his committed turns in lower quality but vivid productions including the mad scientist film "The Incredible 2-Headed Transplant" (1971), the sci-fi proto-environmental picture "Silent Running" (1972), and the deranged mastermind behind a blimp bombing of the Super Bowl in "Black Sunday" (1977). Other notable film work included "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" (1969), "Support Your Local Sheriff!" (1969), and his infamous turn as a cattle rustler who kills John Wayne in "The Cowboys" (1972). He garnered award recognition as the spoiled Tom Buchanan in "The Great Gatsby" (1974) and as a disillusioned Vietnam vet in "Coming Home" (1978). The ex-husband of fellow actor Diane Ladd and the father of actress Laura Dern, he continued to book roles into later age, including a chilling turn as the domineering father of polygamist Bill (Bill Paxton) on "Big Love" (HBO, 2006-2011). Although he never fully broke out of his typecasting as a genre heavy, Bruce Dern proved he possessed impressive enough acting chops to build a long-lasting career.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Cut Bank (2014)
2.
 Pete's Christmas (2013)
3.
 Nebraska (2013)
4.
 Twixt (2012)
5.
 Inside Out (2011)
6.
 Choose (2011)
8.
 Golden Boys, The (2009)
9.
 American Cowslip (2009)
10.
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1959:
Broadway debut in "The Shadow of a Gunman"; led to audition for Actors Studio after Elia Kazan saw production
1960:
Screen acting debut in Kazan's "Wild River"
1962:
TV series debut as regular, played E J Stocker on ABC's Western "Stoney Burke"
1966:
Co-starred with Peter Fonda and then wife Diane Ladd in "The Wild Angels"
1967:
First of several collaborations with Jack Nicholson, "The Trip" (written by Nicholson) and "St Valentine Day's Massacre"
1978:
Won Oscar nomination for his portrayal of a Vietnam veteran in "Coming Home"
1979:
Played Sinclair Lewis opposite Lois Nettleton in the Broadway production of "Strangers"
1985:
Co-starred in the CBS miniseries, "Space"
1987:
Appeared opposite Matt Dillon in "The Big Town"
1989:
Featured in the Comedy "The Burbs," as the paramilitaric neighbor
1992:
Played John Gillon, a business man who owns most of a boxing town in "Diggstown"
1995:
Starred with former wife Diane Ladd in "Mrs. Munck"; Ladd also wrote and directed the film
1996:
Apeared in the comedy, "Down Periscope"
1996:
Played Sheriff Ed Galt in the drama "Last Man Standing" with Bruce Willis
1998:
Voiced Link Static in the animated movie, "Small Soldiers"
1999:
Cast as Mr. Dudley in the thriller, "The Haunting"
2001:
Appeared with Leelee Sobieski and Diane Lane in "The Glass House"
2003:
Cast opposite Charlize Theron in "Monster," about a Florida woman who killed seven men and was executed by lethal injection in 2002
2005:
Starred with Troy Garity and Randy Quaid in "Milwaukee, Minnesota"
2006:
Cast as Bill Paxton's father in the HBO series, "Big Love"
2007:
Cast as Virginia Madsen's father in "The Astronaut Farmer"
2012:
Appeared in Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained"
2013:
Starred in Alexander Payne's "Nebraska"
2013:
Won the Cannes Film Festival's Best Actor Award for his role in "Nebraska"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

New Trier High School: Winnetka , Illinois -
University of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia , Pennsylvania -
Actors Studio: New York , New York -
Choate School: Wallingford , Connecticut -

Notes

Dern says he became an actor "to find out what makes people do what they do in times of stress." --From The Hollywood Reporter, March 15, 1991.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Diane Ladd. Actor. Married in 1960; divorced in 1967; met while appearing Off-Broadway in "Orpheus Descending" (1959).
wife:
Andrea Dern. Married on October 20, 1969.

Family close complete family listing

grandfather:
George Dern. Politician. Former governor of Utah and served as Secretary of War under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
godfather:
Adlai Stevenson. Politician. Democratic nominee for President (1952, 1956).
uncle:
Archibald MacLeish. Poet, playwright.
father:
John Dern.
mother:
Jean Dern.
daughter:
Diane E Dern. Born on November 27, 1960; 18-month old daughter drowned in a pool while in a teenage maid's care on May 18, 1962; mother, Diane Ladd.
daughter:
Laura Dern. Actor. Born in February 1967; mother, Diane Ladd.
grandson:
Ellery Walker Harper. Born on August 21, 2001; mother, Laura Dern; father, Ben Harper.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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