Shortly after, he moved to television and movie. A few of his early big screen endeavors include The Wild Angels (1966) and The Cycle Savages (1969). Dern earned an Academy Award nomination because of his performance in 1978’s Coming Home. More recently, he’d recurring character on the hit television series Big Love and starred in the critically acclaimed movie Nebraska (2013), which earned the veteran performer another Oscar nomination in 2014.
Produced on June 4, 1936, in Chicago, Illinois, Bruce MacLeish Dern has enjoyed a remarkable career as a character actor. As he described to the Tampa Bay Times, “I used to must wear white gloves at dinner. I needed to lift my hand to be called on at my dinner table.”
Dern comes from a long line of prominent men. His dad was a lawyer who worked with Adlai Stevenson. His mom’s family ran one of Chicago’s top department stores.
A rebellious nature at an early age, Bruce Dern was sent to boarding school in Connecticut to get a period. He eventually came back home to finish high school, where he shone on the track team, and continued to run competitively in the University of Pennsylvania. Following a trainer attempted to get him to shave off his sideburns, Dern stop both the team and college to pursue his other love—playing.
A couple of years after, he got his first movie role—a bit part in Elia Kazan’s Wild River. From the early 1960s, Dern had moved to La, California, and acquired several small television characters, generally playing some sort of villain or oddball.
On the big screen, Dern made several movies with B movie legend Roger Corman. The script for The Trip was composed by actor Jack Nicholson, who became a good buddy of Dern’s. Dern acquired supporting roles in more mainstream fare, such as the 1969 Depression-era drama They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? with Jane Fonda. He earned unusual cinematic distinction several years after with his part in the western The Cowboys (1972); his character in the movie shot the infamous John Wayne in the rear.
Maybe one of Dern’s most powerful film characters came in 1978: as a veteran who returns home totally ruined from his encounters abroad in the Vietnam War-era picture Coming Home. Dern received an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actor because of his performance in the movie, which also stars Jon Voight and Jane Fonda.
He also got a recurring role as Frank Harlow, the leader of a Mormon polygamist splinter group, on the success play Big Love. Dern played the dad of Bill Henrickson (Bill Paxton) about the show—a character that brought him his first and only Emmy Award nomination.
In 2013, Dern received a few of the most effective reviews of his life because of his performance in Nebraska. The movie, directed by Alexander Payne, follows one man’s quest to claim an alleged lottery award he received in the post. His part in Nebraska earned Dern the top actor honour in the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, and a 2014 Academy Award in the category of best performer.
Dern lives with his third wife, Andrea Beckett, among his former playing pupils. He also comes with an adult daughter, Laura Dern, from his second marriage to actress Diane Ladd. Laura has followed in her dad’s footsteps with her own successful performing career.