Real name: Laura Elizabeth Dern
Birthdate: February 10, 1967
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Laura Elizabeth Dern-Harper (born February 10, 1967 in Los Angeles, California) is an American actress. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in the movie Rambling Rose. Her other movies include Jurassic Park, Jurassic Park III, Blue Velvet, A Perfect World, Wild at Heart, October Sky, Mask, and We Don't Live Here Anymore, for which she received the award for Best Supporting Actress from the Boston Society of Film Critics.
Dern is the daughter of Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd and the great-granddaughter to former Utah governor George H. Dern. Laura Dern's film debut was in fact a cameo in her mother's film White Lightning; also making a brief appearance in Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, one of Ladd's signature roles. Her mother objected the 13-year-old Dern's prescence on the set of Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains, but a defiant Dern sued for emancipation.
In 1992, Dern and her mother became the first and only mother and daughter ever to be nominated for an Academy Award for acting in the same film in Rambling Rose. They, however, did not play a mother and daughter in the film.
In 1993 Dern played Dr. Ellie Sattler in Steven Spielberg's blockbuster hit, Jurassic Park. The same year Clint Eastwood enlisted Dern for his film A Perfect World.
Dern 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. The film became an indie sensation with Dern's hilarious portrayal of drug addict Ruth Stoops receiving praise.
In 1998 Dern and Stockard Channing co-starred in the moving Showtime film The Baby Dance. The touching film, produced by Jodie Foster, followed two couples from different backgrounds through a difficult adoption. Dern was moving as a poor woman from Louisiana giving her child up.
2001 was a busy year for Dern as she took on five films. The first was a TV movie with Ellen Burstyn called Within These Walls. Dern played a nun who taught female inmates to train dogs for special needs people. The film was based on a true story. Dern also co-starred with William H. Macy in Focus based on Arthur Miller's novel. Next Dern starred with Steve Martin in Helena Bonham Carter in the dark comedy Novocaine . She also made a cameo appearance in Jurassic Park III. The film I Am Sam with Sean Penn and Michelle Pfeiffer also featured Dern in a supporting role.
When David Lynch and Dern reunited in 2006 for INLAND EMPIRE the critical praise for Dern's lead role was overwhelming. Many journalists even believed that she deserved the best actress award for that film. Also in 2006, Dern had a supporting role in the film Lonely Hearts. The film was about the famed Lonely Hearts Killers and starred Salma Hayek, John Travolta and Jared Leto.
Dern is also known as an outspoken activist and supporter of many charitable causes, such as The Children's Health Environmental Coalition, which aims to raise awareness about toxic substances that can affect a child's health.
Dern married musician Ben Harper on December 23, 2005 after dating for five years. They have three children: son Ellery Walker and daughters Jaya and Rachel Belloma.