Bruce Dern

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Bruce Dern
Bruce Dern Cannes 2013.jpg
Born Bruce MacLeish Dern
(1936-06-04) June 4, 1936 (age 77)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1960–present
Spouse(s) Marie Dean (divorced)
Diane Ladd (1960–1969; divorced)
Andrea Beckett (1969–present)
Children Laura Dern
Diane Elizabeth Dern

Bruce MacLeish Dern (born June 4, 1936) is an American actor. He frequently takes roles as a supporting character actor, often playing villains of unstable nature. He has appeared in more than 80 feature films, and received Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor for the 1978 film Coming Home and Best Actor for the 2013 film Nebraska.

Early life[edit]

Dern was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Jean (née MacLeish) and John Dern, a utility chief and attorney.[1][2] He grew up in Kenilworth, Illinois.[3] His paternal grandfather was George Henry Dern, a former Utah governor and Secretary of War (he was serving in the latter position during the time of Bruce's birth). Dern's maternal grandfather was a chairman of the Carson, Pirie, and Scott stores,[4][5] his maternal granduncle was poet Archibald MacLeish, and his maternal great-grandfather was Scottish-born businessman Andrew MacLeish. Dern's godfather was former Illinois governor and two-time presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson.[6][7]

His ancestry includes Dutch, English, German, and Scottish. He attended The Choate School (now Choate Rosemary Hall) and the University of Pennsylvania.

Career[edit]

Early in his career, Dern acted in the Philadelphia premiere of Waiting for Godot opposite Lyle Kessler and first appeared on screen, for Alfred Hitchcock in North by Northwest followed by an uncredited role, in the 1960 film Wild River. He then appeared, as a guest star, in several popular 1960s television shows, including Route 66, Naked City, Sea Hunt, Surfside 6, 77 Sunset Strip, The Outer Limits, and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour.

In the 1962-63 season, Dern had the recurring role of E.J. Stocker in the ABC adventure/drama series about the rodeo circuit, Stoney Burke, starring Jack Lord in the title role and with Warren Oates.

In 1964, he appeared in a major Alfred Hitchcock film, the psychological thriller Marnie, in a short role as the sailor seen in flashbacks about Marnie's mother. Also in 1964, he had a small but crucial film role in Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte as the lover of the young Charlotte (a role played by Bette Davis).

During the next five years, Dern continued appearing in several popular television series, with multiple appearances as different characters, including: Wagon Train (3), The Virginian (3), Rawhide (1), 12 O'Clock High (4), The Fugitive (5), The F.B.I. (2), The Big Valley (5), Gunsmoke (4) and Bonanza (2), among others. During that period, he also appeared in several films, including The Wild Angels (1966), The War Wagon, The Trip (1967), Psych-Out, Will Penny (1968), and the early Clint Eastwood film, Hang 'Em High (1968) as a rustler/murderer.

Among Dern's first 20 film roles was a part in the Sydney Pollack picture They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, in 1969. That same year, he co-starred with James Garner and Walter Brennan in the classic film Support Your Local Sheriff! as gunfighter Joe Danby. In 1972, he appeared in four films: as the enemy and killer of John Wayne's character in The Cowboys notable for his character cold-bloodedly shooting Wayne in the back. Wayne warned Dern, "America will hate you for this." Dern wryly replied, "Yeah, but they'll love me in Berkeley." His best-known role may be that of Freeman Lowell, the caretaker of Earth's last forests in the dark sci-fi film Silent Running (1972). He then starred with Jack Nicholson in The King of Marvin Gardens; and also in Thumb Tripping, after having been seen in over 90 TV episodes or films.

Other memorable roles include Tom Buchanan in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby; or a psychotic Goodyear Blimp pilot who launches a terrorist attack at the Super Bowl in 1977's Black Sunday, and as Captain Bob Hyde in 1978's Coming Home, for which he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

In 1976, he appeared in Alfred Hitchcock's final film Family Plot, playing the boyfriend of a medium played by Barbara Harris; Dern told an interviewer that, due to Hitchcock's failing health, the director often asked his assistance during the production. During the 1980s and 1990s, Dern kept working but was unable to hit the mark as he did before: after the films of the '70s, he often played roles in flops like Tattoo and All the Pretty Horses. Occasionally, he did land a few good films, including TV movies.

In 1983, he won the Silver Bear for Best Actor at the 33rd Berlin International Film Festival for his role in That Championship Season.[8]

Dern at Super-Con 2009.

His most recent efforts include the independent movies The Astronaut Farmer and Monster, a recurring role on the HBO series Big Love, and the monster movie Swamp Devil for RHI Films New York and the Sci Fi Channel.

On November 1, 2010, he was presented the 2,419th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. His daughter Laura Dern and his ex-wife Diane Ladd received stars on the same date. He was honored with a Legend Award at the inaugural Gold Coast International Film Festival on June 1, 2011.

On May 26, 2013 he won the Best Actor award at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival for his role in Alexander Payne's Nebraska.[9][10] The role, which received significant critical acclaim, subsequently earned Dern Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations for Best Actor, along with other accolades.

Filmography[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Title Award
1971 Drive, He Said National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor
1972 The Cowboys Bronze Wrangler for Best Theatrical Motion Picture
1974 The Great Gatsby Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
1978 Coming Home Nominated – Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
1980 Middle Age Crazy Nominated – Genie Award for Best Performance by a Foreign Actor
1981 Tattoo Nominated – Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor
1982 Harry Tracy, Desperado Nominated – Genie Award for Best Performance by a Foreign Actor
That Championship Season Silver Bear for Best Actor
2006 Big Love Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series
2008 Swamp Devil Philadelphia Film Festival Jury Prize
2009 The Lightkeepers Nominated – Method Fest Award for Best Supporting Actor
2012 Django Unchained Nominated – San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Performance by an Ensemble
2013 Nebraska AARP Annual Movies for Grownups Award for Best Actor
Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Cast
Cannes Film Festival Best Actor Award
Dublin Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
National Board of Review Award for Best Actor
Pending – American Comedy Award for Comedy Actor - Film
Nominated – Academy Award for Best Actor
Nominated – Alliance of Women Film Journalists Award for Best Actor
Nominated – Alliance of Women Film Journalists Award for Best Ensemble Cast
Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
Nominated – Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Nominated – Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast
Nominated – Central Ohio Film Critics Association Award for Best Ensemble
Nominated – Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Nominated – Dallas–Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Nominated – Guardian Film Award for Best Actor
Nominated – Houston Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor
Nominated – Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead
Nominated – Iowa Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Nominated – London Film Critics Circle Award for Actor of the Year
Nominated – North Carolina Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Nominated – Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor
Nominated – San Francisco Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Nominated – St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Nominated – Satellite Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bruce Dern Biography (1936-)
  2. ^ JOHN DERN, 54, UTILITY CHIEF, ATTORNEY, DIES
  3. ^ http://www.timeoutchicago.com/arts-culture/film/16460606/bruce-dern-accepts-career-achievement-award-at-the-chicago-international-
  4. ^ http://www.interviewmagazine.com/film/new-again-bruce-dern
  5. ^ http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-11-11/entertainment/chi-bruce-dern-nebraska-20131109_1_nebraska-woody-grant-scene
  6. ^ "Bruce Dern shows a dangerous streak in 'Big Love'". Los Angeles Times. January 13, 2010. 
  7. ^ Bruce Dern was on Tavis Smiley recently and told the story of how Eleanor Roosevelt was not his godmother but a family friend whom his family visited at Hyde Park. "One year they were visiting and little Brucie got to go with them, and I was riding a bicycle in the afternoon, and ran into a tree and hit my head and had a concussion. In those days when you had a concussion they laid you down with your head on a pillow and then strapped your head across the pillow so you couldn’t move it to the side or forward or anything. When I kind of came to, I guess it was late at night, 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning, and as I rolled my head to the side, I saw this lady’s legs. They were kind of veiny, and had a nightgown down to about here with little kind of tacky slippers. (Laughter) I didn’t understand. As I slowly came up and started looking up to where the woman’s face was, she had a book in her lap, and she looked like this (makes face) and had that Roosevelt bite. I realized, my God, it’s the president’s wife. (Laughter) I had – it was just before he went to Yalta, so I would have been about eight, I guess. This was ’44; I think that’s when he went to Yalta. So that was in my house. Somebody took that and ran with it and assumed, well, who would babysit a guy like that unless it was his godmother?"http://www.pbs.org/wnet/tavissmiley/interviews/bruce-dern/
  8. ^ "Berlinale: 1983 Prize Winners". berlinale.de. Retrieved 2010-11-20. 
  9. ^ "Cannes Film Festival: Awards 2013". Cannes. 26 May 2013. Retrieved 26 May 2013. 
  10. ^ "Cannes: Lesbian Drama 'Blue Is the Warmest Color' Wins Palme d'Or". The Wrap. Retrieved 26 May 2013. 

External links[edit]