Laura Elizabeth Dern (born February 10, 1967) is an American actress and filmmaker. She is the recipient of numerous accolades, including an Academy Award, a Primetime Emmy Award, and five Golden Globe Awards. The daughter actors Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd (whom she’s frequently co-starred with), she made made an uncredited film debut in Joseph Sargent’s White Lightning (1973), with Burt Reynolds, Jennifer Billingsley, Ned Beatty, Bo Hopkins, R. G. Armstrong and Ladd; followed by another uncredited role in Martin Scorsese’s Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (1973), with Ellen Burstyn, Kris Kristofferson, Billy “Green” Bush, Ladd, Valerie Curtin, Lelia Goldoni, Vic Tayback, Jodie Foster, Alfred Lutter and Harvey Keitel.
Dern made her credited debut in Adrian Lyne’s Foxes (1980), with Foster, Scott Baio, Sally Kellerman, Randy Quaid, and Cherie Currie. Other films in the 1980s include Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains (1982), with Diane Lane, Christine Lahti, and Ray Winstone; and Arthur Hiller’s Teachers (1984), with Nick Nolte, JoBeth Williams, Ralph Macchio, Judd Hirsch, Allen Garfield, Lee Grant, and Richard Mulligan.
Films in the mid to late 1980s include Peter Bogdanovich’s Mask (1985), with Cher, Sam Elliott, Eric Stoltz, Dennis Burkley, Estelle Getty, and Richard Dysart; Smooth Talk (1985), with Treat Williams, Mary Kay Place, Elizabeth Berridge, and Levon Helm; David Lynch‘s Blue Velvet (1986), with Kyle MacLachlan, Isabella Rossellini, Dennis Hopper, Hope Lange, George Dickerson, and Dean Stockwell; Ivan Passer’s Haunted Summer (1988), with Philip Anglim, Alice Krige, Stoltz, and Alex Winter; and Roland Joffé’s Fat Man and Little Boy (1989), with Paul Newman, Dwight Schultz, Bonnie Bedelia, John Cusack, John C. McGinley, and Natasha Richardson.
Dern received her first Academy Award nomination (in the Best Actress category) for her portrayal of the titular orphan in Martha Coolidge’s drama film Rambling Rose (1991), with Robert Duvall, Lukas Haas, John Heard, and Ladd. She achieved international recognition for her role as Dr. Ellie Sattler in Steven Spielberg‘s adventure film Jurassic Park (1993), with Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough, Bob Peck, Martin Ferrero, BD Wong, Samuel L. Jackson, Wayne Knight, Joseph Mazzello, and Ariana Richards. She would reprise the role in Joe Johnston’s Jurassic Park III (2001), with Neill, William H. Macy, Téa Leoni, Alessandro Nivola, Trevor Morgan, and Michael Jeter; and Colin Trevorrow’s Jurassic World: Dominion (2022), with Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Goldblum, Neill, DeWanda Wise, Mamoudou Athie, Wong, and Omar Sy.
Other roles in the 1990s include Lynch’s Wild at Heart (1990), with Nicolas Cage, Ladd, Willem Dafoe, Harry Dean Stanton, and Rossellini; A Perfect World (1993), with Kevin Costner and Clint Eastwood (who also directed); Alexander Payne’s Citizen Ruth (1996), with Swoosie Kurtz, Kelly Preston, Reynolds, Kurtwood Smith, Mary Kay Place, M.C. Gainey, Kenneth Mars, and Tippi Hedren; and October Sky (1999), with Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Cooper, and Chris Owen.
Films in the early 2000s include Robert Altman’s Dr. T & the Women (2000), with Richard Gere, Helen Hunt, Farrah Fawcett, Shelley Long, Tara Reid, Kate Hudson, and Liv Tyler; Daddy and Them (2001), with Billy Bob Thornton (who also directed), John Prine, Andy Griffith, Ben Affleck, Kelly Preston, Ladd, Brenda Blethyn, Tuesday Knight, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Jim Varney; Focus (2001), with Macy, David Paymer, and Meat Loaf; I Am Sam (2001), with Sean Penn, Dakota Fanning, Michelle Pfeiffer, Dianne Wiest, Loretta Devine, and Richard Schiff; Novocaine (2001), with Steve Martin, Helena Bonham Carter, Elias Koteas, Scott Caan, Lynn Thigpen, Kevin Bacon, and Keith David; and We Don’t Live Here Anymore (2004), with Mark Ruffalo, Peter Krause, and Naomi Watts.
Roles in the mid to late 2000s include Don Roos’s Happy Endings (2005), with Tom Arnold, Jesse Bradford, Bobby Cannavale, Steve Coogan, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Lisa Kudrow and Jason Ritter; The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio (2005), with Julianne Moore and Woody Harrelson; Lonely Hearts (2006), with John Travolta, James Gandolfini, Jared Leto, Salma Hayek, Caan, Krige, and Bailee Madison; Lynch’s Inland Empire (2006), with Justin Theroux, Harry Dean Stanton, Grace Zabriskie, Jeremy Irons, Karolina Gruszka, Peter J. Lucas, Krzysztof Majchrzak, Julia Ormond, Nastassja Kinski, Laura Harring, Terry Crews, Mary Steenburgen, and Macy; Mike White’s Year of the Dog (2007), with Molly Shannon, Regina King, Thomas McCarthy, Josh Pais, John C. Reilly and Peter Sarsgaard; and Tenderness (2009), with Russell Crowe, Jon Foster, and Sophie Traub.
Dern received her second Academy Award nomination (in the Best Supporting Actress category) for Jean-Marc Vallée’s Wild (2014), with Reese Witherspoon, Thomas Sadoski, Michiel Huisman, Gaby Hoffmann, Kevin Rankin, and W. Earl Brown. Other films in the early 2010s include Everything Must Go (2010), with Will Ferrell, Rebecca Hall, Michael Peña, Glenn Howerton, and Stephen Root; Paul Weitz’s Little Fockers (2010), with Robert De Niro, Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Blythe Danner, Teri Polo, Jessica Alba, Dustin Hoffman, and Barbra Streisand; Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master (2012), with Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, and Rami Malek; The Fault in Our Stars (2014), with Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Sam Trammell, Nat Wolff, and Dafoe; When the Game Stands Tall (2014), with Jim Caviezel, Michael Chiklis, Alexander Ludwig, and Clancy Brown; and and Ramin Bahrani’s 99 Homes (2014), with Andrew Garfield, Michael Shannon, and Tim Guinee.
Films in the mid to late 2010s include Kelly Reichardt’s Certain Women (2016), with Kristen Stewart, Michelle Williams, Lily Gladstone, James Le Gros, Jared Harris, and René Auberjonois; The Founder (2016), with Michael Keaton, Nick Offerman, John Carroll Lynch, Linda Cardellini, and B.J. Novak; Craig Johnson’s Wilson (2017), with Harrelson, Isabella Amara, Judy Greer, and Cheryl Hines; Downsizing (2017), with Matt Damon, Christoph Waltz, Hong Chau, and Kristen Wiig; and Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017), with Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, Kelly Marie Tran, and Benicio del Toro.
Dern won several awards including an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story (2019), with Scarlett Johansson, Driver, Alan Alda, Ray Liotta, Julie Hagerty, and Merritt Wever. Other films in the late 2010s include The Tale (2018), with Burstyn, Ritter, Elizabeth Debicki, Isabelle Nélisse, Common, Frances Conroy, and Heard; Edward Zwick’s Trial by Fire (2018), with Jack O’Connell, Emily Meade, Jeff Perry, and Jade Pettyjohn; JT LeRoy (2018), with Stewart, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Diane Kruger, James Jagger, Dave Brown, Jim Sturgess, and Courtney Love; Hans Peter Moland’s Cold Pursuit (2019), with Liam Neeson, Tom Bateman, Tom Jackson, Emmy Rossum, Domenick Lombardozzi, Julia Jones, and John Doman; and Greta Gerwig’s Little Women (2019), with Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlen, Timothée Chalamet, Meryl Streep, Tracy Letts, Bob Odenkirk, James Norton, Louis Garrel, and Cooper.
Films in the 2020s include The Son (2023), with Hugh Jackman, Vanessa Kirby, Zen McGrath, Hugh Quarshie, and Anthony Hopkins.
Dern won Golden Globes for her roles in the TV movies Afterburn (1992), with Robert Loggia, Vincent Spano, and Michael Rooker; and Recount (2009), Kevin Spacey, Bob Balaban, Ed Begley Jr., John Hurt, Denis Leary, Bruce McGill, and Tom Wilkinson. She also won Golden Globes for the TV series Enlightened (2011-2013), with Luke Wilson, Ladd, Sarah Burns, and Timm Sharp; and Big Little Lies (2017-2019), with Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Woodley, Alexander Skarsgård, Adam Scott, Zoë Kravitz, James Tupper, Jeffrey Nordling, Iain Armitage, Kathryn Newton, and Meryl Streep – the latter she also won an Emmy.
Other TV movies or miniseries include The Three Wishes of Billy Grier (1984), with Macchio, Betty Buckley, Season Hubley, and Hal Holbrook; Down Came a Blackbird (1995), with Raul Julia and Vanessa Redgrave; The Siege at Ruby Ridge (1996), with Quad and Kirsten Dunst; The Baby Dance (1998), with Stockard Channing and Peter Riegert; and Damaged Care (2002), with James Le Gross and Regina King. She also voiced in the main cast of the Netflix animated series F is for Family (2015-2021), with Bill Burr, Justin Long, Debi Derryberry, Haley Reinhart, Mo Collins, Trevor Devall, Kevin Michael Richardson, and Sam Rockwell.
Each review will be linked to the title below.
(*seen originally in theaters)
(**seen rereleased in theaters)
- White Lightening (1973) – directed by Joseph Sargent – uncredited
- Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (1974) – directed by Martin Scorsese – uncredited
- Foxes (1980) – directed by Adrian Lyne
- Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains (1982) – directed by Lou Adler
- Happy Endings (1983) – directed by Jerry Thorpe – TV movie
- Teachers (1984) – directed by Arthur Hiller
- The Three Wishes of Billy Grier (1984) – directed by Corey Blechman – TV movie
- Mask (1985) – directed by Peter Bogdanovich
- Smooth Talk (1985) – directed by Joyce Chopra
- Blue Velvet (1986) – directed by David Lynch
- Haunted Summer (1988) – directed by Ivan Passer
- Fat Man and Little Boy (1989) – directed by Roland Joffé
- Wild at Heart (1990) – directed by David Lynch
- Industrial Symphony No. 1: The Dream of the Brokenhearted (1990) – directed by David Lynch – concert film
- Rambling Rose (1991) – directed by Martha Coolidge
- Afterburn (1992) – directed by Robert Markowitz – TV movie
- Jurassic Park (1993) – directed by Steven Spielberg
- A Perfect World (1993) – directed by Clint Eastwood
- Down Came a Blackbird (1995) – directed by Jonathan Sanger – TV movie
- Citizen Ruth (1996) – directed by Alexander Payne
- The Siege at Ruby Ridge (1996) – directed by Roger Young – TV movie
- Bastard Out of Carolina (1996) – directed by Anjelica Huston
- The Siege of Ruby Ridge (1996) – directed by Roger Young – TV movie
- The Baby Dance (1998) – directed by Jane Anderson – TV movie
- October Sky (1999)* – directed by Joe Johnston
- A Season for Miracles (1999) – directed by Michael Pressman – TV movie
- Dr. T & the Women (2000) – directed by Robert Altman
- Daddy and Them (2001) – directed by Billy Bob Thornton
- Jurassic Park III (2001) – directed by Joe Johnston
- Within These Walls (2001) – directed by Mike Robe – TV movie
- Focus (2001) – directed by Neal Slavin
- I Am Sam (2001) – directed by Jessie Nelson
- Novocaine (2001) – directed by David Atkins
- Goose (2002) – directed by Daniel Ivanick – short
- Damaged Care (2002) – directed by Harry Winer – TV movie
- We Don’t Live Here Anymore (2004) – directed by John Curran
- Happy Endings (2005) – directed by Don Roos
- The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio (2005) – directed by Jane Anderson
- Lonely Hearts (2006) – directed by Todd Robinson
- Inland Empire (2006) – directed by David Lynch – also co-producer
- Year of the Dog (2007) – directed by Mike White
- Recount (2008) – directed by Jay Roach – TV movie
- The Monday Before Thanksgiving (2008) – directed by Courtney Cox – short
- Tenderness (2009) – directed by Emil Stern
- Everything Must Go (2009) – directed by Dan Rush
- Little Fockers (2010) – directed by Paul Weitz
- The Master (2012) – directed by Paul Thomas Anderson
- Jay-Z: Made in America (2013) – directed by Ron Howard – herself – documentary
- The Fault in Our Stars (2014) – directed by Josh Boone
- When the Game Stands Tall (2014) – directed by Thomas Carter
- Wild (2014) – directed by Jean-Marc Vallée
- 99 Homes (2014) – directed by Ramin Bahrani
- Bravetown (2015) – directed by Daniel Duran
- Certain Women (2016) – directed by Kelly Reichardt
- The Founder (2016) – directed by John Lee Hancock
- Wilson (2017) – directed by Craig Johnson
- The Black Ghiandola (2017) – directed by Sam Raimi, Catherine Hardwicke, & Theodore Melfi
- Downsizing (2017) – directed by Alexander Payne
- The Good Time Girls (2017) – directed by Courtney Hoffman – short
- Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)* – directed by Rian Johnson
- The Tale (2018) – directed by Jennifer Fox
- Trial by Fire (2018) – directed by Edward Zwick
- JT LeRoy (2018) – directed by Justin Kelly
- Cold Pursuit (2019) – directed by Hans Petter Moland
- Marriage Story (2019) – directed by Noah Baumbach
- Little Women (2019) – directed by Greta Gerwig
- Crazy, Not Insane (2020) – directed by Alex Gibney – narrator – documentary
- If Anything Happens I Love You (2020) 1 directed by Will McCormack & Michael Govier – executive producer only – short
- The Way I See It (2020) – directed by Dawn Porter – producer only – documentary
- Jurassic World Dominion (2022) – directed by Colin Trevorrow
- The Son (2022) – directed by Florian Zeller