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The Oscar-winning star has two very famous parents, who have had their fair share of accolades. Find out more about Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd here!
Laura Dern is one of the most celebrated actresses of all time. Aside from uncredited roles in the early 70s, she began regularly acting in 1980, and she’s appeared in a wide-range of critically-acclaimed films and popular blockbusters, notably early hits like Blue Velvet in 1986 and Jurassic Park in 1993. Since then, she’s appeared in many more movies and even won an Academy Award for her role in 2019’s Marriage Story.
While Laura, 55, has been a beloved star for decades, she actually has many family members that have been in the entertainment industry in various forms. Her parents Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd are both actors, and she also has relatives who have been in politics, very successful businesspeople, and writers. All three actors have stars on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame close by each other. Laura, who herself is a mother of two, has spoken about how happy she was that her parents were both entertainers in a 2014 interview with The Guardian. “My parents, Dianne Ladd and Bruce Dern, are so real; they’re so who they are. The 70s, when I was a child, was their time of great success. But there were no cameras following you through the market or paparazzi at your school,” she said. “They wanted to play complicated people and they didn’t care about anything else, like the glam stuff.”
The actress often celebrates her parents and shows photos with them on her Instagram profile. Find out more about both of Laura’s parents here!
Laura’s dad was married once before he went out with Diane. Bruce, 86, was briefly wed to Marie Dawn Pierce from 1957 to 1959, before marrying Diane in 1960. The pair’s first daughter died at 18 months old. By the time Laura was born in 1967, he was an established actor, with roles in a variety of TV shows, like Stoney Burke, where he appeared in 17 episodes. He had also done some movie work, including in films like Wild River and Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte.
Since the 60s, Bruce has appeared in a wide array of movies where he’s been critically acclaimed, including 1974’s The Great Gatsby, which earned him a Golden Globe nomination. His performances in 1978’s Coming Home and 2013’s Nebraska earned him both Golden Globe and Oscar nominations. Bruce and Diana divorced in 1969 and remarried Andrea Beckett that same year!
Laura has opened up about getting closer with her dad as she’s gotten older. She revealed that when she was younger, she felt like her dad was a bit unsure as a parent in a 2013 interview with Marc Maron on the WTF podcast. “I think he kind of — as you could imagine — didn’t really know what to do with a small person,” she explained. She also joked about how a playdate’s dad confronted her over a character her dad played who killed John Wayne in a 2013 Vulture interview.
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Awkward playdates aside, she did reveal what she learned from her dad in that interview. “To stay true to what’s right for you. Stay true to your own voice, and don’t worry about needing to be liked or what anybody else thinks. Keep your eyes on your own paper,” she said of what she picked up on as an actress.
Like Bruce, Diane, 83, had also established herself as an actress with a variety of film and TV roles in the late 1950s and 60s before Laura was born. Over the years, Diane has appeared in a number of hit movies like Chinatown (1974) and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989), and she’s received Oscar nominations for roles in Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (1974), Wild Heart (1990), and Rambling Rose (1991).
While Diane has been open about how she initially discouraged Laura from pursuing a career in acting, Laura’s first two uncredited roles were in her mom’s movies Alice and 1973’s White Lightning. Even though Laura spent lots of time with her dad as a kid, the actress did explain that her mom was the primary caregiver in the WTF interview. “I definitely was raised by my mom and my grandma,” she said. After Diane and Bruce split, she remarried William Shea from 1969 to 1976 and Robert Hunter in 1999.
The mom-and-daughter pair co-starred in the TV series Enlightened, which ran from 2011 to 2013. Laura said that some people didn’t realize that they weren’t just a mother and daughter on TV but in real life too. “I have had so many people come up to me, not really knowing we’re mother and daughter, and it’s amazing that there are people who are fans of the show who don’t know and get such a kick out of the relationship,” she said in a CBS News interview.
Both actresses appeared in a number of different projects together, including Rambling Rose, Wild At Heart, and Citizen Ruth. Similarly, Diane was ecstatic to get to work alongside her daughter on the show. “To work with someone you love is a great thing,” she told CBS News.
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